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What to Keep in Mind About Child Support During Your Divorce Process

Divorce can be a complicated and emotional process, especially if you have children. You will need to navigate some important issues, ranging from asset division to child support.

Calculating child support can be slightly complex, as each situation is unique and there is not a one-size-fits-all solution you can use to determine the appropriate child support arrangement. Below are just a few of the considerations you should keep in mind when approaching child support negotiations:

  • You can always come back and make modifications: Although you must abide by the terms of your child support arrangement when your divorce is finalized, you are not locked into those specific terms forever. You do have the right to go back to court and seek modifications based on changes in income, expenses and life situations. In addition, every three years, you are entitled to make an application to have support modified. If your payments are through the support collection unit, you can also seek cost of living adjustments every 24 months.
  • There are no any tax consequences to worry about: Child support payments are outside the tax system for both the person paying and the one receiving support. The recipient will not be taxed based on support collected, and payors cannot deduct the payments on their tax returns. You do not need to worry about tax issues complicating your negotiations.
  • Child support is always considered a higher priority than maintenance: In some cases, a spouse who collects child support will also collect maintenance. However, the child support will always take precedence. Additionally, if a court determines child support payments will be reduced in the future, it does not necessarily mean that maintenance is reduced. The only time there is an automatic recalculation of maintenance is when child support terminates. This is since the formula for computing maintenance is different when there is no payment of child support. The maintenance obligation will increase after child support terminates.

For sound legal guidance when negotiating child support and related issues, consult an experienced family law and divorce lawyer with Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.