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Child Support

How much can you expect?
How long does it take to get it?
Is child support modifiable?

How much child support can you expect?

Child support in Louisiana is calculated by the use of a numeric table. The table looks much like an income tax table. Both parties' incomes are added together and the chart is applied to that figure in order to arrive at an initial child support amount based upon each party's percentage of the total income earned. To that figure other costs are added such as child care costs, medical expenses, and medical insurance payments and the like, and each party shares in those costs based upon their respective earnings.

The Court will utilize the parties' most recent income information to establish the gross monthly income of both parties.

All these figures can be arrived at very simply by having a consultation with an attorney who has access to the tables and knows how to calculate the amounts. The Court may deviate from the guidelines under extreme circumstances, but generally the guidelines provided by the legislature in the child support tables will be followed by the Court.

How long does it take to get child support?

Child support is obtained by filing pleadings in the Family Court requesting that child support be established. That request can be part of a divorce proceeding, or in a proceeding to establish paternity, if the parties are not married. The Family Court will set a hearing date, usually within 4 to 6 weeks, so that the parties can appear and provide their income information to the Court so the child support can be established.

Louisiana law changed in the last couple of years regarding how child support is calculated, and now the amount of time the child spends with either party can be taken into account to either increase or reduce child support accordingly. Again, there are several complicating factors regarding the final calculation of child support, but an experienced family lawyer can estimate what you can expect and arrange a child support evaluation during a free consultation.

Is child support modifiable?

Child support is based on the current income of the parties on the date that the hearing is held, coupled with other factors such as the length of time the child spends with either party. Once it is set, the Court will not change it unless there has been a significant change in circumstances.

In order to attempt to modify child support, there has to be a material change in circumstances of the income or expenses of the parties so as to revisit the issue in Court. The Court is not going to entertain the same facts again, but if there has been a significant change in either party's income, through no fault of their own, then the child support may be modifiable


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