Child support is financial support given by parents to their children. It is most often required by parents when they separate or divorce, but child support can also be ordered when parents have never married and one parent is not contributing to a child’s support. For divorcing couples with children in Arkansas, there are many critical child support questions that need to be answered and understood. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about child support in Arkansas.
How much will I have to pay?
The amount of child support you have to pay depends on your income, and the amount of children you have. Once you have determined your net income after certain allowable deductions, look at the Arkansas Family Support Charts to see where your child support will be set.
What happens in joint custody cases?
In joint custody cases in Arkansas, there isn’t currently an automatic chart or formula to follow. It can depend on the case and the judge. Commonly, we’ve seen two different scenarios. One, where the child truly spends 50% of the time with each parent, and the parents make a similar amount of income, there is no child support ordered. Next, when there is a significant income difference, each parent determines how much they would pay if they were a non-custodial parent using the Arkansas Family Support Chart, and then the difference in those two amounts is paid by the higher earning parent to the lower earning parent.
What if I don’t want the other parent to pay child support?
It isn’t a parent’s choice whether the other is ordered to pay child support. In the law’s eyes, the child is entitled to the support from their parents. In a divorce or paternity action, if one parent is being awarded custody, it is a safe bet the other will be ordered to pay child support based on the Arkansas Family Support Chart.
How does child support affect visitation?
It doesn’t. Just because someone is ordered to pay child support doesn’t mean they are automatically entitled to visitation. A judge has to order visitation as well. On the flip side, if someone is ordered to pay child support and has court ordered visitation, the parent with custody cannot refuse to allow the parent to visit even if they are not paying child support.
If I lose my job, can I pay less child support?
ONLY IF you get your child support modified by the Court. If you lose your job, you may not stop paying, or start paying less without the Court’s involvement. The most recent amount the Court set child support at will continue to accrue. If you get a significant pay cut, or lose your job, call our family lawyers as soon as possible to help get your child support obligation modified.
Our experienced family law attorneys would be happy to discuss your child support or family law matter with you and answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at (479) 443-1812, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a message below.