Child Support Attorneys in Lake Charles

Child support is often a major point of contention between parents during divorce or child custody proceedings. In Louisiana, both parents are responsible for the financial support of their child(ren). Support is a continuing obligation of both parents- even after a separation or divorce. Although every case is determined based on particular facts and circumstances, the basic premise is that children are entitled to share in the current income of both parents and should not be the economic victims of a divorce or out-of-wedlock birth. Typically, either parent will file a request for child support in the divorce proceeding or custody proceeding via a petition. However, support can be requested at any time and not necessarily in conjunction with the divorce/custody proceeding. Nevertheless, it’s always best to request support along with the divorce petition because any judgment awarding child support will be retroactive to the date judicial demand (aka the date of filing the divorce petition/request for support).

Child support is typically paid by a non-custodial or non-domiciliary parent to the other parent to share in the cost of raising his or her child(ren). Additionally, establishing paternity is often necessary prior to determining each party’s obligations. Every parent going through a divorce or breakup should consult with a family law attorney to learn how child custody and child support work in conjunction with each other.

If you are a parent going through a divorce or breakup we can help you with obtaining an initial child support order, modification of an existing order or enforcement of an existing order. Under Louisiana law, a parent obligated to pay support can be held in contempt of court for failure to pay his/her obligation and can even be punished with jail time. Our attorneys have many years of experience in child support and will provide you with skilled representation in all types of Louisiana disputes.

How is support calculated?

Typically, the parents’ respective incomes determine how much child support must be paid, as well as the custody schedule. For example, a court may adjust an award downward to reflect time spent by the child living in the home of the payor. (Child care costs and any extraordinary expenses associated with the child(ren) are also considered). The state of Louisiana uses a statutory table to determine how much support is owed and is typically paid until a child reaches the age of 18. However, a court can deviate from the states approved guidelines in certain circumstances if the application of the guidelines would not be in the best interest of the child or would be inequitable to the parties.

We can help you understand how your child support will be calculated under the law and assist in devising an agreement that ensures your child receives the support he or she needs.

Modifications and Enforcement

Circumstances can always change and so can the needs of your child. When monthly support payments no longer benefit one or both parents – or your child – child support can be modified through a court hearing or via agreement of the parties involved. It may be increased or decreased depending on the particular circumstances of your case. If your existing agreement is no longer working, you should meet with an attorney to discuss options for a new agreement between each party.

Contact Our Office Today for a Consultation

If you are involved in a child support dispute, we will guide you through the process of pursuing fair and appropriate solutions. Vamvoras Antoon, Attorneys at Law will provide you with skilled representation and the personal attention you deserve. Our goal is to help clients resolve their legal challenges and move on with their lives, while maintaining a healthy environment for everyone.