To determine how much child support one parent owes the other, Louisiana uses Guidelines for Determination of Child Support, which can be found in La. R.S. 9:315 et seq.
Why do I have to pay support?
The premise of the guidelines is that child support is a continuous obligation of both parents and children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents, and not be the economic victims of divorce or out-of-wedlock birth. The Guidelines are based on an "Income Shares Model" and attempts to simulate the percentage of parental net income that is spent on children in intact families.
How much will child support be?
There are online calculators that can give you a general idea of what an estimated payment would be; however, it is important that you be apprised of all of your rights and responsibilities by an experienced attorney, especially where one parties' income is varied by overtime, commission, or other customary pay structures.
There are also other allowable expenses that can be included in the calculation such as:
i. Net Child Care Costs,
ii. Premiums for health insurance,
iii. Extraordinary medical expenses,
iv. Expenses of tuition, registration, books, and supply fees required for attending a special or private elementary or secondary school to meet the needs of the child,
v. Expenses for transportation of the child from one party to the other; and,
vi. Special expenses incurred for child rearing intended to enhance the health, athletic, social, or cultural development of a child, including but not limited to camp, music or art lessons, travel, and school sponsored extracurricular activities.
Reasonable child care expenses incurred by either parent while receiving job training or education necessary to obtain employment or enhance earning potential may be added to the basic child support obligation unless such expenses unreasonably burden the parent paying child support.
If you have questions regarding the amount of child support you are paying or receiving, contact an experienced attorney at DSG Law Office @ (985) 649-6390.