Child support can sometimes seem complex but is based on a few important considerations, including the best interests of the child.
Former Phoenix Suns basketball player, Steve Nash, may be facing increased child support payments to his ex-wife. The Arizona Court of Appeals recently ruled that the trial judge in the couple's divorce should not have only considered the children's "minimal needs" in making a child support determination. Nash has argued against more child support because he does not want his children to be "spoiled." The ruling said that this could be a consideration. Child support guidelines generally seek to allow the children to enjoy the same lifestyle they would have enjoyed had the parents remained married. Nash is scheduled to earn around $30 million in 3 years. The case now returns to the trial judge for determination.
Child support determinations are governed by the best interests of the child. While determinations are based on child support formulas that consider income, expenses and financial needs, other considerations, such as extracurricular expenses, can also be factors in the determination of a support amount. Every day expenses, but also medical needs and sometimes child care and education costs, can also be considered.
The income and financial needs of the parent who is receiving child support payments (who also typically has custody of the children), the ability of the non-custodial parent to pay child support and the child's standard of living before and after the divorce, will also be important considerations in arriving at a child support amount. Changes to child support can be requested by either party; if the party agrees to a change, it will commonly need to be approved by the court.
An experienced family law professional can help guide a parent through the various considerations, and what to expect, of the child support process. Knowledgeable advice can help ensure the parent is able to remain focused on the best interests of the child.
Source: The Bugle, "Appeals Court says Nash child support should meet more than 'minimal needs'," Howard Fischer, July 26, 2013