If you choose to file for legal separation or divorce in Arkansas, you remain emotionally and financially responsible for your children. Whether the children live with you the majority of the time or you split custody with your spouse, both parents should contribute to your child’s wellbeing.
Child support is a necessary part of any final divorce settlement. However, many states use different models when it comes to determining how much child support each parent should pay. It is helpful to know how child support works so you can create a situation that takes care of your children.
A look at the child support model
Arkansas, along with many other states in the nation, follow an income shares model when it comes to organizing child support payments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This means that the courts take into account the gross income of both parents when determining the child support amount.
Once the income of both parents is combined, the courts use a table to determine the preliminary child support amount.
Factors that play a role
It does not stop at the amount given by the table, however. A judge may look at other unique factors of each case when calculating child support. These include the following:
- Educational costs
- Special medical expenses or ongoing healthcare needs
- How much time is spent with each parent
- Travel distance between parents
- Childcare expenses
Keep in mind that once the child support amount is set, either parent may file for a modification if a major change in life should occur.