Divorces are rarely easy, and divorces involving children can be some of the most challenging life events anyone is likely to face. Unfortunately, circumstances can drive people apart, and divorce is typically the lesser of two evils in these situations. However, disputes are not uncommon, even when both parties enter into the process with the best of intentions.
If you don't have custody of your children, the court may require you to make child support payments to the custodial parent. In these cases, you or your former partner may disagree on the amount, and the judge will need to determine the appropriate level of child support. While every situation is unique, this article will present three common reasons for disputes in child support cases.
1. Inadequate Documentation
Most states have specific guidelines dictating the amount of child support the court can order. These guidelines take many factors into account, including your ability to pay and the total combined income of you and your ex-spouse. To make an equitable judgment, the court will usually request a variety of documents from both parents.
If one or both parties provide inadequate documentation, the court may not arrive at a fair arrangement. A child support lawyer can help you ensure that you have your paperwork in order and monitor for discrepancies in your ex-spouse's documentation. Their knowledge and experience can potentially help avoid a dispute or the need for a later modification.
2. Modification Requests
You or your ex-spouse may be able to request a modification to a child support arrangement to increase or decrease the amount. These modification requests can come up for any number of reasons, ranging from fully justified to frivolous reasons. For example, modifications may be necessary when the income of one or both parties changes.
You'll usually want a child support attorney on your side for all but the most trivial modification requests. If you're going in front of the judge, a lawyer can help you ensure you don't end up with a payment that's unjustified or unaffordable.
3. Ongoing Divorce Complications
Establishing child support amid a complicated or contentious divorce can muddy the waters. For instance, your or your spouse's assets may be unclear if you're still working through those details. These details can matter in cases where your assets may be substantial, and they can potentially affect the court's ruling on child support.
If you're facing this type of complicated dispute, you'll almost always want a child support attorney on your side. They can help the judge understand the details of your situation to take your ongoing case into account.