When parents decide to separate, a divorce can have as much of an effect on their children as it does upon them. To help maintain a stable environment for the children, parents must put a few processes in place.

Child support is one of the main processes. If you are considering or going through a divorce, there are a few key characteristics of child support that you should be aware of. 

Duration of payments

In most cases, the noncustodial parent makes child support payments until the children become legal adults. Parent may choose to continue providing support beyond this point; however, it is not usually court-mandated unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as the child having special needs. There is also a very slight chance that the parent may not have to pay child support, such as if the court takes away the parent’s rights or emancipates the children.

Calculating amount

The purpose of child support is to ensure that the children continue to receive the financial coverage they need even after a divorce. To ensure this, the courts utilize guidelines for calculating child support payment amounts. This process includes examining the income of both parents and using the numbers in the calculation.

Making modifications

Depending upon the circumstances, a judge may rule to either increase or decrease a child support payment amount. Before the judge makes such decisions, both parties receive a chance to present their side of the story. The court also utilizes any changes in income of either party in the decision. If the court approves a modification, it goes into effect at the beginning of the month following the judgment.

Understanding these aspects may not make the process easier, but it can help you to prepare for it. If and when at all possible, it can be helpful for parents to work together in making decisions throughout the divorce process, especially when it comes to the children.