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 October 21, 2016 |

Depending on whether you are a custodial parent or a noncustodial parent, child support can either be a strong financial support or a heavy burden. In an attempt to reach a happy medium, the family law system in Louisiana seeks to establish child support that ensures that each parent is paying his or her fair share. Yet, this “fair share” is determined based on several factors. By knowing what can affect a child support obligation, Louisiana parents can take action, including seeking a child support modification, when warranted.

The best way to figure out a child support obligation is to fill out a child support obligation worksheet. This document collects some basic information on income and expenses to reach a recommended amount of child support to be paid by the noncustodial parent. First, the worksheet asks for each parent’s income and assesses what percentage of the total family income their portion makes.

Then, the worksheet asks for the basic child support obligation amount to be combined with other costs. These costs can be related to child care, healthcare and insurance and other expenses that have been agreed upon by the parties or ordered by the court. The worksheet also takes other factors into account that may offset the amount of child support owed, such as income earned by the child.

If you fill out this worksheet for the first time, or you revisit it later, and find that you are either paying too much or are receiving too little, then you may want to seek a child support modification. If child support has been established but it is not being paid, then you may need to take enforcement action. To learn more about how to take these legal steps to ensure the best interests of your child, you may want consult with a legal professional.

Source: Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, “Obligation Worksheet A,” accessed on Oct. 14, 2016

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