Author: Oriol Law Firm

Child CustodyDivorce
What is Child Support?

Child support is an obligation for one or both parents to provide financial support for their children in order to ensure that the children’s needs are met. Child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent (the parent with whom the child primarily lives). The amount of child support to be paid is usually determined by state law, often based on the gross income of both parents. Child support payments may be used to cover a variety of expenses, such as food, housing, clothing, medical care, educational costs, extracurricular activities, and other needs. It is important to note that child support is distinct from child custody and visitation arrangements.
Child support in Louisiana is determined using the Louisiana Child Support Guidelines. The amount of support a parent is required to pay is based on the gross income of both parents and the number of children in the family. The guidelines are designed to ensure that the child receives support in an amount that is commensurate with the parents’ incomes. Parents may also be required to provide medical insurance for the child, pay a portion of any uninsured medical expenses and other educational and extra-curricular expenses.

Child CustodyDivorce
How is Income Calculated for Child Support Purposes?

Child support is calculated using the gross income of the parents. Gross income is income from any source, including but not limited to salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, recurring monetary gifts, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, basic and variable allowances for housing and subsistence from military pay and benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disaster unemployment assistance received from the United States Department of Labor, disability insurance benefits, and spousal support received from a preexisting spousal support obligation; Expense reimbursement or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment, self-employment, or operation of a business, if the reimbursements or payments are significant and reduce the parent’s personal living expenses.
An overwhelming majority of cases involves two parents who received their income in the form of W-2 wages, and gross income is the income before taxes and other deductions. In those cases, determining gross income is not usually rather simple. However, determining gross income for self-employed parents is significantly more complicated.

Child CustodyDivorce
Who Can Get Child Support?

In Louisiana, either parent can get child support payments from the other parent. The parent may be married, unmarried, or divorced. The parent that is not the primary caretaker of the child is usually the one that will be required to make the payments. Child support can also be requested by a parent or guardian who has primary physical custody of the child. The parent or guardian must be able to prove that the other parent or guardian is financially responsible for the child’s well-being.
The amount of payments is determined by the court and is based on a number of factors, such as the income of both parents and the needs of the child.
Nonparents such as grandparents may get child support from the biological parents if they have legal custody of a child; however, to receive child support, grandparents may need to file a petition in court and provide evidence of their legal custody or guardianship. Additionally, the grandparents may need to show that the parent is not providing financial support for the child.

Child CustodyDivorce
How do I get Child Support and How Much Can I get?

You can get child support by filing a petition with the court. The court will consider several factors, such as the amount of time the child spends with each parent, the child’s financial needs, and the parents’ incomes. Once a child support order is in place, the paying parent must make the payments to the other parent.

The amount of child support you can get depends on a few factors:
• the number of children you have with the other parent,
• your income,
• the other parent’s income, and
• the kind of custody you have of the child (shared or not).
Child support in Louisiana is based on the need of the child or children and the ability of the other parent to pay child support.