How is Child Support Calculated in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana?
Both moms and dads facing a divorce get stressed over child support. They wonder if it will be enough to take care of the kids or if they can afford to pay what the court orders. In most cases, child support is straightforward and rarely deviates from the legal guidelines.
In most cases the Court is required by law to follow child support guidelines set in determining child support. The guidelines use a calculation based on the combined GROSS income of the parties (before taxes or contributions) with the non-domiciliary parent paying the domiciliary parent support. The law here strives to provide the children with support and opportunities similar to what they may have had if the parties stayed together.
Parents will need their past and current tax returns, income statements and other proof of income in order to calculate the child support. Things get tricky when one or both of the parties have their own business, are paid mostly in cash or are not being upfront about their income.
The parties’ individual gross income is compared to the combined gross income to determine each parties’ percentage of the total child support obligation. Day care, heath care coverage and in some circumstances private school and summer camp are added to the award proportionately using this percentage.
The child support guidelines go up to a combined gross income of $120,000.00. If the income is higher, the Court has judicial discretion to determine the child support award.
While a mother with young children is not required to work, both parents are expected to have income commiserate with their skill set. If they do not, the Court may find that they are voluntarily underemployed and attribute a higher income to them than what they are actually earning.
If you have questions about child support, make an appointment and get expert advice. We can figure out where you stand.