Parents living in Hays are obligated to financially support their minor children. For parents that are not married or co-parenting together, this typically comes in the form of a child support order. Child support orders involve one parent making monthly payments to another to cover some of the costs of raising the child.
Unfortunately, issues surrounding child support can quickly become contentious. If you are facing a child support dispute, it may be beneficial to seek guidance from a skilled family attorney. Let a Hays child support lawyer review your circumstances and advise you on your rights and duties.
Using the State Child Support Guidelines
Like in most jurisdictions, Hays judges base their child support awards on a set of guidelines. These child support guidelines are created by the state of Kansas, and they take into account a wide range of factors. A knowledgeable Hays child support attorney could advise on how these guidelines work in more detail during an initial consultation.
The guidelines begin with a calculation of the gross income of each parent. This involves a review of each parent’s wages, commissions, and other income from the previous three years. Once this income is calculated, certain deductions are made from the total amount of earnings.
These numbers are then entered into a formula. These calculations provide a recommended monthly payment amount. The judge can accept this payment amount or modify it, depending on the circumstances. In many cases, both sides can dispute the amount suggested by state child support guidelines.
Modifying a Child Support Order
Once the court creates a child support order, it is considered final. That does not mean an obligation cannot be modified; only that modification requires an order of the court. Modifying a child support order could be possible with the help of an experienced lawyer in Hays.
A judge will not agree to modify a standing child support order without reason. The parent seeking the change must show a material change in circumstances. A material change in circumstances could involve a sudden change in income for either parent. It could also involve either parent or child developing a serious medical issue.
When circumstances change in a material way, the judge can modify the order. This could include reducing or increasing the amount of monthly support.
How Long Do Child Support Obligations Last?
The length of time that a child support order lasts can vary depending on the circumstances. In general, a parent is obligated to pay child support until that child reaches the age of 18. However, there are some exceptions that could extend that obligation.
The most common exception involves children that reach the age of 18 before graduating high school. In this situation, most courts extend the obligation to prevent high school students from suddenly losing their financial support. Judges typically extend a child support obligation until a child’s 19th birthday if they are still in high school. Both parties also have the option to voluntarily continue these payments beyond the child’s 18th birthday as well.
Reach Out to a Hays Child Support Attorney Today
You have an obligation to provide for your children, and the same is true for your co-parent. When dealing with child support proceedings, it is best to have the counsel of a seasoned legal professional.
A Hays child support lawyer could advise you on your rights while helping you navigate the legal process. Call for a confidential consultation right away.