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What factors determine how much child support you will pay?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2023 | Child Support |

Your financial interests are one of your main priorities during your divorce. It is critical to make decisions and negotiate terms that will allow you to have financial security and stability long-term. However, you will also want to ensure that your children have the support they need, even if you are not with them. If you are the higher-earning parent or the non-custodial parent, you may have to pay child support. You will benefit from learning what you can expect to pay and how you can seek terms that are fair and sustainable.

As a parent, you want to ensure that your kids have stability and security, but you also want to ensure that you are able to support yourself and adjust to your post-divorce financial realities. It is reasonable to seek support terms that make sense and will allow for every member of the family to move forward. While the court could order you to pay a certain amount, it is possible that you could also negotiate a child support order with the other parent.

The needs and best interests of the children

Any child support decision made by the court will be with the intent of protecting the best interests of the children above all else. When making a decision about the amount of support one will pay, the court will consider various factors, including the following:

  • Financial capabilities of the paying parent
  • Special medical needs of the children
  • Income of both parents
  • Kids’ standard of living before the divorce
  • Financial resources of the custodial parent

The intent of child support is to ensure that the kids have what they need for as much continuity of lifestyle as possible. It also reduces the burden on the parent who has the children for the majority of the time. Even a negotiated settlement for child support is subject approval by the court.

Seeking beneficial terms

The terms of your child support order and other aspects of your South Dakota divorce agreement will impact you for years to come. It is in your interests to seek an agreement that will make sense long-term. You have the right to pursue a child support order that allows you to address your child’s needs without compromising your financial security. Before you agree to terms or pursue a specific outcome, you may benefit from an understanding of your rights and legal options.