divorce and child support

Aug 8, 2012 by

Question: 

If my wife had an affair and she has one son and I have the other – should I still have to pay her child support?

State: 
Louisiana

Answer: 

Even if you and your wife have agreed that each parent will have custody of one child, you may still be liable for child support if you have not agreed on how costs are to be divided and the issue is brought to court. Fault of the parents in the divorce or separation does not have any bearing on this issue.

In determining how much child support, if any, that a parent must pay, you and your spouse will be required to complete financial worksheets in order to establish the appropriate child support level and the apportionment of support. The court will use Louisiana’s child support award guidelines to determine the amount of the basic child support obligation based on the combined adjusted monthly income of both parents and the number of children. The court will then allocate the obligation proportionally with each parent’s income. In certain cases, the court may deviate from the standard calculation when it considers other factors like an extremely low or high combined gross income, obligations to care for children from other marriages, outside extraordinary medical expenses, extraordinary marital debt, the need for immediate and temporary child support, and the total disability of a spouse that affects his or her earning capacity.

It is important to note that the total child support obligation is determined by adding together the basic child support obligation, the net child care cost, the cost of the children’s health insurance premiums, the children’s extraordinary medical expenses, and other extraordinary expenses that your children may otherwise incur. When apportioning the shares of the child support obligation to you and your wife, the court may consider the unique expenses of the child that you each have custody of. Therefore, whether you need to pay child support and the amount of that support will depend on you and your wife’s total income, your proportion of the total income, and the special needs and expenses of the child in your custody.

When issuing its child support order, the court will be required to give oral or written reasons for any deviations from the child support guidelines, including the amount of child support determined using the standard calculation and the particular facts and circumstances that warranted a deviation from the guidelines.

It is always highly recommended that you at least consult an attorney to ensure that you have all the information applicable to the specific facts of your situation so that you can choose the best course of action. – The Divorce.com Team

Wendy Jaffe and Divorce.com can only provide general information about divorce. DO NOT RELY ON MS. JAFFE’S ADVICE ALONE. Before acting on information provided by Ms. Jaffe or by Divorce.com, talk to an attorney first about your particular facts and the law of your state. By submitting your question to Divorce.com, you are not creating an attorney/client relationship with Ms. Jaffe or with any of the other attorneys listed on this site.

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