Child Support

In Louisiana, parents have a legal obligation to support their children financially, emotionally, and medically. Typically, in situations where the parents live separately, the non-custodial parent will be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is the parent spending less than 50 percent of the time with the child.

Child Support Attorney Metairie, LA

How is Child Support Calculated in Metairie?

In Louisiana, child support is calculated based on the statutory Child Support Guideline. The guideline includes a formula that uses an income shares model. The amount of child support is dependent primarily on the number of children and the income of both parents.

The court uses economic tables to estimate the total monthly cost of raising the children if the parents had remained together. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of the calculated cost based on their proportional share of both parents’ combined income. Under the income shares model, if one parent has a higher income, they will be responsible for a greater portion of the support obligation.

When making its calculation, the court will consider income from all sources, including:

  • Salary,
  • Wages,
  • Bonuses,
  • Commissions,
  • Pensions,
  • Severance,
  • Social Security benefits,
  • Workers’ compensation,
  • Capital gains,
  • Annuities, and

If you are unemployed or under-employed, the court may impute income based on what it thinks the parent should be making.

Although the support guideline amount is presumed to be in the child’s best interest, the court can consider relevant factors that would necessitate a higher or lower payment. For example, the court may increase the support amount if the child’s educational needs are far greater than average. On the other hand, the court may lower the support payment if the non-custodial parent’s visitation time significantly exceeds the normal amount.

A Metairie attorney can help you estimate how much child support the court will award.

How is Child Support Enforced in Metairie?

Many parents who are ordered to pay support in Metairie fall behind on their payments. In Louisiana, the Department of Children and Family Services, Child Support Enforcement is in charge of enforcing child support orders. They have the power to enforce payment through various methods, including:

  • Placing the individual on Louisiana’s Delinquent Payors List – a publicly available list of individuals who are under a legal obligation to pay child support and have not made a payment in the last six months;
  • Withholding income (wages, workers’ compensation, unemployment, etc.);
  • Reporting the non-payment to credit report bureaus;
  • Suspending or denying driver’s, professional, hunting, and fishing licenses;
  • Intercepting federal and state income tax refunds, tax credits, and state lottery winnings;
  • Filing liens against real property; and
  • Initiating contempt proceedings that can result in fines or jail time.

The statute of limitations for child support enforcement in Metairie is ten years.

Can You Modify a Child Support Order in Metairie?

Metairie child support can be modified if necessary, but the court must approve all changes. Any agreements that you make outside of court will not be legally enforceable, and you will be held accountable for unpaid amounts.

You are allowed to ask for a child support modification under the following three circumstances:

  1. There has been a material change in circumstances. Examples of material changes include job loss, suffering a permanent disability, or having another child.
  2. The monthly amount of child support differs by at least 25 percent from the child support guideline.
  3. The child support order was established or last modified over three years ago.

The court does not change child support orders retroactively. Even if a modification order is granted, you will still be responsible for any amount that is in arrears. If you cannot keep up with your payments, you should reach out to an attorney immediately.

How Long Does Child Support Last in Metairie?

In most cases, child support ends in Louisiana when the child turns 18. However, the court can order a parent to pay child support past the age of 18 if the child is unmarried, a full-time student, and dependent on either parent. If the child is developmentally disabled, the court can require the parent to pay child support up to age 22.

Your Metairie Child Support Attorney

If you have questions about child support, you should reach out to a local Metairie attorney. The Fisher Law Firm is a full-service law firm dedicated to providing the best legal services to Louisiana residents. Your initial consultation is free, so call us today at 504-304-4944 to schedule an appointment at our Metairie, Louisiana office.

 

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