Louisiana Divorce FAQs – Child Support

This is about child support in Louisiana after divorce, including how child support gets figured, how parents can change child support, when the court orders for child support to be withheld from paychecks, and when the court will deviate from child support guidelines in Louisiana.

This information is from Adam Lambert, the DivorceInfo Network Lawyer for Louisiana. Click here to visit his web site.

How does child support get figured?

Child support is given for the benefit of the child and is figured according to a set schedule set out in Louisiana’s Child Support Guidelines (Louisiana Revised Statute 9:315, et seq.). This schedule takes into account factors such as the expenses of the child and the paying parent’s income. Special issues like private schooling or day care are decided on a case-by-case basis and often come down to the wishes of the parties (expressed either before or after divorce). For example, a court is much more apt to order a parent to pay for the private schooling of a child that was previously enrolled in private school before divorce.

Normally, the parent not having custody of the child (or primary physical custody in joint custody situations) will be required to contribute to the support of any minor children. This could be an obligation of the father or mother, or both if a third person has custody of the child. Under extraordinary circumstances, a grandparent could be required to contribute.

For more information on this issue, start at Louisiana Revised Statute 9:315.

For a copy of the Child Support Guidelines Schedule used by the courts, see Louisiana Revised Statute 9:315.14.

How do you change child support?

Child support can be changed at any time if there has been any “material change in circumstances.” A “material change in circumstances” would include an increase or reduction in income of the paying party or a change in the child’s needs. For example, if a parent is paying support for two children and one child reaches the age of majority, the paying party will move to reduce child support based on the fact that the obligation has ended to the major child. Another example is when the paying parent receives a significant raise, or the child’s expenses have increased. In that case, the parent receiving child support may move for an increase based on those facts.

Does child support get deducted from the payor’s paycheck? How?

Child support can be deducted directly from the payor’s paycheck for any of several reasons. In situations where this occurs, the payor will often pay through the court or family services.

When will the court allow a deviation from the guidelines?

Courts will deviate from the Child Support Guidelines set out in Louisiana Revised Statute 9:315.14 only when a deviation is in the best interests of the child. Additionally, when a court does deviate from the Guidelines, the judge is required to give specific oral or written reasons why the deviation is in the child’s best interests.

Other issues in Louisiana:

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