Your Value is Law

Divorce Lawyers Calculating Child Support in Louisiana

Divorce Lawyers Calculating Child Support in Louisiana

Divorce Lawyers Calculating Child Support in Louisiana

Obviously, children are going to need to be taken care of. The two major determinations which are typically made in these situations are regarding the financial support of the child and the custody arrangement of the child. Today’s article deals specifically with the financial support of the child, also called “child support.”

So how do divorce lawyers calculate child support? Well, the process can be pretty in depth. While many of the laws in Louisiana are dictated by the Louisiana Civil Code, child support provisions are different in that the bulk of them can be found in the Louisiana Revised Statutes. If we turn to this resource, we find that there are a few different things for divorce lawyers to look at. One major source of authority is RS 9:315.2.

For one, divorce lawyers will typically consider gross income. This can mean the money that each spouse was making during and after the marriage. Furthermore, if one or both of the spouses has an ownership interest in a business, then they may be required to show “the last three personal and business state and federal income tax returns, including all attachments and all schedules, specifically Schedule K-1 and W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and amendments, the most recent profit and loss statements, balance sheets, financial statements, quarterly sales tax reports, personal and business bank account statements, receipts, and expenses.”

Spouses may also have to reveal the source of household expenses paid during the course of the marriage. Also, if one spouse is earning less than they are truly capable of earning (sometimes called “voluntarily unemployed” or “underemployed”) than their gross adjusted income might be calculated according to how much they could otherwise be earning.

After compiling all of this data, divorce lawyers will often combine it into one sum and divide it according to the relative worth of each spouse’s income. This division will result in a “percentage share” for each parent.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, keep in mind that a child support determination is contemplated in light of the other major decision vis a vis the children: custody. If one parent is named the sole custodial parent, it is unlikely that they are going to owe the other parent child support. The idea behind these laws is to ensure that both parents work together to support the children as though they were still married. Some people may grumble to divorce lawyers about the necessity of child support, but the fact remains that the kids from a broken marriage are often, sadly, an afterthought. In particularly bad situations, children may exist mainly as a reminder to the bitter or vindictive parent of that parent’s ill will towards their ex-spouse. Child support laws force parents to keep paying for their children or face legal penalties, which in Louisiana can be quite severe.

This above is informational only, not legal advice. Will Beaumont. New Orleans.