Child support is money paid to the custodial parent for the support, and maintenance of the children. The court does not require the custodial parent to account for the support.
Louisiana allows for “add on” extraordinary expenses as part of child support, such as tuition, mandatory school fees, extracurricular activities, health insurance, uncovered medical costs and transportation costs. Child support ceases when a child attains the age of majority (18 years old) or graduates from high school (no later than turning 19 years old). Child Support for mentally, physically, or developmentally disabled children can be ordered for longer periods of time.
Louisiana has guidelines by which courts determine support. The guidelines contain tables that consider the gross incomes of both parents paying support and the number of children. Custodial arrangements with equal physical custody are calculated differently than those arrangements where one parent has more physical custody time with the children than the other parent.
Child support orders may be enforceable by a variety of means, such as wage attachment, execution, liens on the property, or contempt. They are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, but unpaid support may be collectible for only a limited time, by statute. Parents required to pay child support but are habitually late or fail to pay can be subject to jail time or other sanctions as found by the court.
Child support can be a complicated situation that requires expertise in determining and finding income so that a fair and just award can be agreed to or rendered by the court. The experienced family law attorneys at HNK Family Law can assist those parties needing child support or who will be required to pay child support.