In Child Support

Beginning July 1, 2015, updated child support guidelines went into effect. Some of the bigger changes include:

  1. Alimony no longer deductible nor includible in factoring net disposable income when factoring percentage of payments for work related child care and unreimbursed medical expenses. THIS CAN SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE PERCENTAGE ALLOCATION WHICH COULD LEAD TO A BIG FINANCIAL CHANGE IF CHILD CARE AND/OR MEDICAL COSTS ARE SIGNIFICANT.
  2. Prior alimony and/or child support awards to others can still only be deducted/factored in when running numbers only if paying on those awards, but a second threshold requirement has been added. The deduction will not be allowed if the current order sought to be reduced was already factored into the prior order. THIS WILL REQUIRE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRIOR CALCULATIONS WHICH MEANS MORE DOCUMENT REVIEW AND POSSIBLE DELAYS IF NOT PROPERLY PREPARED.
  3. “Shared physical custody” is defined as substantially equal parenting time as opposed to substantially in excess of a normal visitation schedule. THIS IS GOING TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO CAN DEVIATE FROM THE GUIDELINES BASED ON SHARED CUSTODY. AND A PARENT WHO HAD THE BENEFIT OF THE DEVIATION MAY LOSE IT IF SUPPORT IS RECALCULATED. I SUSPECT IT WILL ALSO CREATE MORE HAGGLING OVER PARENTING TIME.
  4. The child support guidelines stop when the combined gross income of the parents reaches $4000.00 per week. In the past, there was no direction given in the guidelines as to what to do if the parents’ income exceeded the $4000.00 and the courts were not consistent in their opinions of how to appropriately calculate child support past that threshold. We are now provided with instructions. THIS WILL REDUCE THE NEGOTIATION AND ATTORNEY’S FEES ONCE REQUIRED TO SETTLE THESE MATTERS BUT ALSO REDUCES THE FLEXIBILITY OF THE PARTIES TO CREATE A FORMULA THAT WORKS FOR THEM.
  5. Past due child support payments can now be ordered paid at 100% of the current weekly order as opposed to only 50% if certain conditions apply. IT’S ABOUT TIME AND MAY BE WORTH SOMEONE WITH A LARGE ARREARAGE DUE THEM TO RECALCULATE SUPPORT IF THIS CONDITION APPLIES AS THEY WILL BE PAID TWICE AS FAST.
  6. Additional deviation factor added for when the total child support award exceeds 55% of payor’s net income.

It is advisable to have an attorney run the numbers using the new guidelines before filing a motion to modify or to see if one should be filed. Significant changes could result either way. Read more about how we get you a fair Child Support agreement.

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