How child support should be allocated is a central issue during divorce proceedings. Parties can agree to the amount of child support, but if they do not, Louisiana law imposes certain levels of support. Child support awards are generally determined by a child support guideline schedule published by the Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services.
These guidelines estimate the expenditures for raising a child, taking into account the monthly adjusted gross income of both the mother and the father. The adjusted gross income for each party is that party's gross income – including wages, capital gains, social security benefits, and workers' compensation – minus any other child or spousal support obligations.
Each party is obligated to provide support equal to his or her proportionate share of the combined monthly adjusted gross income. Moreover, if the court believes a party is underreporting income, evidence can be admitted to establish the party's actual income. And if a party fails to pay child support, a court may hold the party in contempt. This can result in the party be taken to jail or having his or her license suspended.
A court may order a level of child support that deviates from the guidelines in cases where the guidelines would result in undue hardship to one of the parties. Deviation is further permitted if it is in the best interests of the child.
Because each case is unique, a Baton Rouge family law lawyer can help apply these general principles regarding child support to your specific circumstances. For those in the Baton Rouge area who are in need of assistance regarding a child support matter, please contact us.Categories: