Protecting children’s rights is the heart and soul of family law. As a result, child support agreements focus on putting children’s needs ahead of everything else. Creating or modifying a child support agreement is difficult, and it needs a skilled child support attorney that is ready to serve you. At The Berger Firm, our attorneys are ready to serve those in Covington, Kentucky, and the greater Cincinnati area, including Newport and Florence. 

What Is a Child Support Arrangement? 

A divorce settlement typically includes a child support arrangement. A child support agreement consists of the non-custodial parent making payments (generally monthly or weekly) to the custodial parent. These payments cover the child’s basic living expenses (i.e., food, shelter, education, clothing, and healthcare). 

It is worth noting that child support only covers a child’s expenses. Child support does not include payments to a former spouse (alimony). When the parties cannot agree on a dollar amount, the court determines how much the non-custodial party must pay. 

Factors Involved in Determining a Child Support Arrangement 

Family law attorneys and courts take the following considerations into account: 

  • The child’s needs (basic living expenses) 

  • The custodial parent’s financial situation (employment, health, other dependent children) 

  • The non-custodial parent’s financial situation (employment, health, other dependent children) 

  • The child’s lifestyle and living conditions before the divorce or separation 

Please remember that the court does not immediately set a child support amount. The court first asks both parties’ family attorneys to discuss a child support arrangement. If the parties cannot agree, the court conducts a background study to determine how much the non-custodial party must pay in child support. 

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What Is Imputed Income? 

It is also worth noting that the court can factor in the non-custodial parent’s imputed income. This income consists of non-salary earnings (e.g., benefits, bonuses, dividends, commissions). Please note that income imputation is not automatic. Including imputed income is up to the judge’s discretion. 

Modifying a Child Support Arrangement 

A child support arrangement may be modified in the following situations: 

  • When the child’s needs change. 

  • When the non-custodial parent’s financial or health situation changes. 

  • When the cost of living changes. 

  • When the custodial parent’s financial or health situation changes. 

Modifying a child support arrangement must be done in court. As a result, getting the right legal counsel is crucial in order to protect the child’s rights. A trusted family attorney in the Covington, Kentucky, area can help modify an existing child support arrangement to ensure the child is protected. 

Termination of a Child Support Arrangement 

A child support arrangement may end under the following circumstances: 

  • The child turns 18. 

  • The child turns 18 and no longer goes to school. 

  • The child emancipates (leaves home and becomes self-sufficient). 

  • The child enlists in the military. 

  • The child’s custody changes. 

  • The child is adopted. 

  • The child is deported from the United States. 

  • The child dies. 

  • The custodial parent remarries or cohabitates with another party. 

Termination of a child support arrangement is not immediate. The non-custodial party must request their family attorney to file a court motion. The court then issues the corresponding paperwork ending the arrangement. The custodial party holds the right to appeal. 

Additionally, a child support arrangement may continue after a child is 18 to pay for college expenses. However, this agreement is not automatic and must be included in the original child support arrangement, or the agreement must be modified to include college education support. 

Child Support Attorneys in Covington, Kentucky 

At The Berger Firm, we are committed to protecting children’s rights. We strive to deliver our best efforts when helping our clients set up, modify or terminate a child support agreement. We strive to make sure your children are protected while also supporting our clients’ specific needs. Reach out to us today. Our family attorneys are ready to come to bat for you when you need it.