Wealthy parents and child support obligations

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Child Support on Friday, November 6, 2015.

The amount of child support paid in any given situation depends on a variety of factors, including the income of both parents and any special needs of the child. Every state has its own formula for calculating how much child support will be paid, but it’s common for the paying parent to balk at the ordered amount, especially if the paying parent has a very high income.

Child support factors in both parents income because, in theory, it is supposed to ensure that the child gets to maintain the same standard of living as if the parents had not separated and continued to combine their incomes. However, this can mean that a very high-income parent can end up paying tens of thousands of dollars a month in child support. We see this often in cases of celebrities and professional athletes.

While what child support should be used for continues to be debated in the public forum, the courts are only concerned that the noncustodial parent continues to uphold his financial obligation. However, it may be possible in some cases to ask the courts to consider lowering the amount of monthly child support paid directly to the custodial parent, and instead, funneling the rest of the money into a trust for the child. This ensures the funds can be used to pay for things such as college, extra curricular activities or private school tuition.

If you are going through a high-asset divorce or have a very high income, it is important to discuss the issue of child support with your attorney. Once you have an idea of how much you would be expected to pay, you can begin to explore and consider any other available options.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Do Wealthy People Go By Different Standards When it Comes to Child Support?,” Stann Givens, Oct. 29, 2015