Child Support Calculations Are Based on How Many Days Per Year the Children Are with You, Not How Many Days Per Month
A parenting plan is a legally binding agreement. If you wish to make any but the most minor changes to your parenting schedule, you must go through the courts to modify it officially. Former couples who get along well as co-parents might be somewhat flexible if, for example, one parent increases or decreases their scheduled holiday parenting time by a day or two because of travel plans, but making changes that are any bigger than that is a recipe for trouble. The reason that you should not adjust your parenting time unofficially is not that the court wants to micromanage or interfere in your personal business. Rather, parenting plans are one of the bases on which the court calculates child support. If you wish to modify your parenting plan, or if your ex-spouse is not abiding by the parenting plan that the court approved, contact a South Florida child custody lawyer.
The Relationship Between Parenting Plans and Child Support
The parenting plan and the child support order are two completely separate court documents. The parenting plan does not say a word about money. It goes into detail about almost any kind of decision the parents would need to make about parenting, except financial decisions. These are some of the decisions the parenting plan will ask you to address:
- Who transports the children from one parent’s house to the other
- The circumstances in which one parent must notify the other about non-emergency medical treatment for the child
- Which parent has the final decision about the children’s participation in extracurricular activities
- Parenting schedules for major holidays
- If one parent has the children on weekdays and the other on weekends, who has them on Friday teacher planning days and Monday federal holidays?
It is not possible to calculate child support until the parents have agreed to a parenting plan. The child support guidelines take into account each parent’s income and necessary expenses, as well as the number of days per year the children are with you. Then the court calculates the amount per year that the wealthier spouse must pay the financially disadvantaged spouse so that the children can enjoy the same standard of living with both parents. If your income is much higher than your ex-spouse’s, you might still have to pay child support even if the children spend more days of the year with you than with your ex. Typically, the paying spouse pays this amount in monthly installments, even if the children spend some days with him or her in some months than in other months. The installments should be equal, even if the children spend only four days with you in April but 31 days in July.
Let Us Help You Today
It might have been easy for your spouse to break verbal promises about parenting and money when you are married, but in a parenting plan after divorce, those promises are in the form of a legally binding agreement. Contact the Boca Raton divorce lawyers at Schwartz | White for help with your case.