Do You Need to Set or Amend Your Child Support?
The amount of child support the noncustodial parent pays each month is determined by the court following state guidelines. They include each parent’s income and assets and the amount needed to maintain the children’s pre -divorce standard of living.
How a Child Support Lawyer Can Help
Whether initially setting the amount of child support or modifying the court order, the services of a Kalispell child support attorney well versed in family law and child support issues can be of great help. The attorney can help you gather documents and personal information to support your contention and advocate your position to the court.
What does child support cover?A judge will order child support payments to make sure all of your child’s needs are met when you and your ex are no longer together and spending money. These payments can help cover expenses for your child like school, health care, food, clothing, housing, and more.
How much is child support?Each state calculates child support according to its formula. This formula will take into account your earnings, your ex’s earnings, and your child’s financial needs for things like school, health care, food, and other necessities. A child support lawyer will be able to better help you anticipate what you expect to either owe or receive in child support payments.
How does child support affect my taxes?Because child support payments are solely for the child’s benefit, they do not affect tax filings. If you pay child support, you cannot deduct those payments from your income, and if you receive child support, those payments will not count toward your taxable income. If you are late on child support payments, your state may intercept your tax refund to help pay off those debts.
How can I change my child support payments?If you feel you pay too much child support or receive too little, you must prove a “substantial” change in circumstances to change your child support obligations. This means major changes will need to happen to either your or your ex’s income or your child’s financial needs. Some changes that can bring about a modification of support could include a raise, losing a job, or a serious illness.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
What to Expect from an Initial Consultation
- Seek to determine whether the attorney can represent you. There is no one-size-fits-all legal solution and it may turn out your needs are better served by an attorney in a different specialization.
- It’s important to find a legal ally who is both competent in the law and someone you can trust to protect your interests.
- Discuss how the practice’s billing works and discuss possible additional charges or fees that may arise during or after the resolution of your case.
An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.
How to Find the Right Attorney
- Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
- Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
- Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.
Common legal terms explained
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.