Child Support Attorneys in Kenner & Covington, Louisiana
Child Support Lawyers in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish and Surrounding Parishes in Louisiana
Whether you are seeking an award of child support or you dispute payment, the child support lawyers at Rue Law Firm can assist you in understanding your rights. They provide comprehensive child support representation to clients who have support issues within the context of a divorce or between parents that have never been married.
Stephen Rue twice has been voted the “BEST DIVORCE LAWYER” in New Orleans by Gambit weekly Readers Poll (2002 and 2003). In 2012, Stephen Rue was voted “BEST ATTORNEY” by Gambit weekly’s Best of New Orleans Readers Poll.
Stephen Rue also is the author of three books on Louisiana Family Law, Divorce, Custody, Visitation Child Relocation, and related matters including the Louisiana Best Selling “LOUISIANA FAMILY LAW GUIDE.” (Found at Amazon.com) Rue has litigated over 2,000 divorces and family law cases throughout the Greater New Orleans Area (All Surrounding Parishes!)
What Is Child Support?
The concept of child support is premised on the principle that children should not be financially prejudiced by their parents’ divorce. Fathers and mothers, by the act of marriage, contract together the obligation of supporting, maintaining, and educating their children. Biological paternity or maternity obliges each parent to support children as well.
When the parent paying child support can no longer give the support, or when the child receiving it is no longer in need of it, an action may be commenced so that, if granted, the support required will be discharged or its amount reduced. Once child support has been set by court order, there must be a material change in circumstances in either party’s financial position or in the children’s needs to modify the award.
Louisiana has established presumptive Guidelines to be used in any child support proceeding. The Guidelines were enacted to address two problems: inconsistency in support awards and inadequate awards. These guidelines have been in place since 1989 and are well-recognized by the Louisiana courts. The Guidelines are essentially a mathematical formula that calculates the amount of child support. The amount of support determined by the Guidelines is presumed to be in the best interest of the child. Although the formula is not difficult to calculate, there are complex rules on what constitutes income for purposes of child support calculation.
The child support lawyers at Rue Law Firm know the rules inside and out. They make sure clients receive the proper amount of child support or ensure they pay only their appropriate amount.
New Orleans Child Support Lawyers
Whether you are seeking an award of child support or you dispute payment, the professional staff at Rue Law Firm can assist you in understanding your rights. Their child support lawyers provide comprehensive representation to clients who have support issues within the context of a divorce or between parents that have never been married.
The following is an excerpt from Louisiana Divorce Handbook (Available on Amazon.com), with Express Permission of Author Louisiana Family Law Attorney Stephen Rue. @ All Rights Reserved, Stephen Rue 2014.
1. Background and Statistics
The purpose of a child support award is to provide financial assistance for a child based on the average monthly expenses associated with that child. The child support award should be based on the proportionate income or earnings capacity of the parents.
Each state has implemented child support guidelines to assist the courts with a means of calculating what is legislatively presumed to be sufficient for the child’s needs and which is fair relative to the parents’ earnings.
Only 6.2 million (approximately half) of the 11.5 million custodial parents have a child support award or agreement. Mothers receive child support awards at a higher rate than fathers. Annually, over 5 million custodial parents live without any award of child support from the other parent. Reasons for not seeking a child support award include that the custodial parent does not want child support and that the other parent can not afford to pay child support. Approximately one-third of the 5 million parents without child support awards decided not to seek child support. 1996 statistics show that a mere sixty-seven (67%) percent (or $11.9 billion dollars) of the $17.7 billion dollars of child support due to custodial parents is paid. (U.S. Census Bureau).
Only half of custodial parents that have an order or agreement for child support receive payment in full. Unfortunately, approximately 25 percent of all custodial parents receive only partial payment. Worst of all, another 25 percent of custodial parents don’t receive any child support at all.
Approximately, 90 percent of fathers who have joint custody pay child support, while 80 percent of fathers who receive visitation pay child support. (The U. S. Census Bureau; American Bar Association).
State prosecutors report that approximately 2 to 5 percent of their child support cases involve mothers who owe past due child support. (American Bar Association).
Before a child support order can be made, paternity/maternity must be established. Paternity is discussed in a separate chapter.
2. Standard of Living
Mothers who receive child support have a lower annual income (Average $18,144 per year) versus their male counterparts receiving child support who have an average income of $33,579 per year. Less than 5 percent of divorced or separated women raising children of the marriage receive alimony. Approximately 42 percent receive child support, and the average amount received by them is approximately $125 per child per month. (U.S. Census Bureau)
A widely cited study discovered that a year after a divorce, the standard of living of women and children drops by an average 73 percent, while men’s standard of living actually increases an average of 42 percent. (Lenore Weitzman, “The Economics of Divorce: Social and Economic Consequences of Property, Alimony, and Child Support Awards,” UCLA Law Review 28:1181, 1245 (1981). ) Approximately one-third of all female headed families with children live in poverty.
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