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Child Support Facts: How Much Child Support Will You Have to Pay?

If you’re involved in a divorce proceeding, child support will be a major factor.

Each state has its own child support calculations.

For the most accurate picture of how much support you will owe, talk to a local divorce attorney.

If you’re supposed to receive child support payments and are not, you have legal enforcement options. Talk to an attorney.

How is Child Support Determined?

Many states establish strict child support guidelines based on the percentage of net income and the number of children, or a formula incorporating the income of both parents.

In some states, courts are allowed to deviate from these guidelines if it is in the best interest of the child.

In general, courts may consider the following factors:

  • The child’s housing and living needs
  • The child’s medical needs
  • The needs of the custodial parents and their financial resources
  • The type of life the child would have had if he couple had not divorced
  • The child’s physical and emotional condition
  • The child’s educational needs
  • The needs of the non-custodial parent and their financial resources
  • The jobs and income of both parents

Average Child Support Payments

As you can see, there are a variety of factors in determining child support payments.

It’s hard to determine what you’ll have to pay without talking to a family lawyer first.

The average child support payment is $280 per child, per month, according the a U.S. Census Bureau report.

The report also mentions that only half of people who were supposed to pay child support actually paid the full amount.
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What Happens if You Refuse to Pay Child Support?

If you have been ordered to pay child support and refuse to comply with the obligation, the court or a state agency may take the following actions against you:

  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Loss of visitation privileges
  • Publication of your name on “deadbeat” mom or dad list
  • Automatic subtraction of your child support money from your paycheck, tax refunds or public assistance checks
  • Revocation of any professional licenses you may have

Can You Be Sent to Jail for Not Paying Child Support? Yes.

In most states, there are two ways that you can be sentenced to jail for failure to pay child support:

  • Through a contempt citation for failure to comply with the court order
  • Through prosecution for criminal non-support

If you’re facing wage garnishment or jail time for not paying child support, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Want to Pay Child Support but It’s Too Expensive? Get a Modification of Child Support Order

If you have a valid reason that you are temporarily unable to make your child support payments, do not simply ignore your obligation.

Rather, ask the court to modify your amount of child support.

Courts may grant a child support modification under the following circumstances:

  • A significant drop in your income
  • A serious sickness or disability
  • A change in the child’s condition (inheritance or age)
  • A change in the condition of your former spouse (diminished living expenses or higher income)

If you need to further discuss child support or custody matters with a divorce attorney, contact Total Lawyers at 877-421-3761 or complete our divorce case evaluation form.

You may immediately be connected to a divorce attorney within your area.

representative available 24/7 – Call 877-421-3761