If you are in the midst of a child support case it is beneficial to hire a lawyer to assist with court proceedings and provide an overall knowledge of family law. There can be a lot of information from online sources, but it is best to hire a lawyer to make sure your interests are protected and you are properly presenting your case to the court.
Here at Epstein & Associates, we focus on divorce, child custody and all other areas of family law. Our lawyers have a thorough understanding of complex legal issues and experience in family court settings that will be invaluable for your case.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is the money that one parent pays to the parent who has physical custody of the child for the child’s overall care. In some cases, where there is shared parenting time, the parent with the higher income pays the other parent-child support as well, in order to maintain similar standards of living in both households. This support payment tends to be paid on a monthly basis, but this can change based on different factors. In addition to this base amount of child support, there is additional child support paid to cover extraordinary and extra-curricular activities.
Usually, child support covers the following:
- Room and board
- Overall child care
- Certain medical care (dentist, optometrist — everything that is not covered by OHIP)
- Education/Tuition expenses
- Any extracurricular activities the child may be involved in such as Rep Sports or tutoring
Who Pays For Child Support?
Typically both parents are required to contribute to the support of a child. In the majority of cases, the parent who does not have physical custody of the child is the one responsible for paying the child support to the other parent. The court may administer a paternity test if parenthood has not been confirmed.
If the child is being co-parented then the amount of payment can be determined through a couple of different options. Aside from determining a dollar amount in court, clients can also determine a rough estimate through the “Child Support Table Look-Up”. The Federal Child Support Tables were updated in 2017 to reflect more recent tax rules. The 2017 Look-up should be used to calculate child support amounts from November 22, 2017, onward.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer may seem like another unwanted expense, but when it comes to child custody and support cases you will save a lot of time and energy. Lawyers will make sure the case is constructed correctly and has all the necessary information in order to get the results desired.
Here are a couple of specific reasons why a child support lawyer is a very good idea:
- Complicated Cases: If your ex does not agree with the amount of money that has been determined, custody arrangements or even divorce terms, a lawyer would be the best person to assist in order to get the judge to rule in your favour.
- Calculating Child Support: While there are resources available online for pre-determining child support, a lawyer is the only resource that will know the nuances of your case and give you the exact information you need, rather than providing generic information.
- Modification of Child Support: In order to modify an existing child support order there needs to be a substantial change in either party’s circumstances. A lawyer can give you an idea and an overview of what a substantial circumstance can be and determine whether your situation meets the threshold.
- Lawyers Can Help With Child Custody Cases: Child custody and child support cases are usually tackled together. A child support lawyer can help with all custody arrangements so that it does not affect the relationship with your child.
Possible Issues That May Come Up
There are a couple of issues that may interfere with your case such as:
- Has the paternity of the father been proven?
- Is there a possibility that terms of the child support will not be agreed upon in court?
- Where has the child resided in the months preceding the case?
- Is there a custody case pending?
If any of the above apply to your current circumstances, hiring a lawyer is your best bet. All of the issues listed above may harm your custody case and cause you more of a headache that you don’t need, if not handled properly. With so much going on in your child’s life, being their number one support system should be the only thing on your list; let the professionals worry about the legal jargon and process.
Additional Child Support Resources
Here are some additional resources that may be useful when it comes to understanding child support.
For more information and a free 30-minute consultation please feel free to contact us today.