Raising children is becoming increasingly expensive. The costs for food, clothing, shelter, and education can seem as if they go up on a regular basis. Arkansas law recognizes the fact that both parent must bear responsibility for these costs. Unfortunately, there are times when one parent does not want to take such responsibility. This is why our state’s child support laws ensure that each parent pays their fair share. The calculation and enforcement of support may seem straightforward, but it can involve many complicated issues. It is best to retain an experienced attorney to assist you. Our Little Rock lawyers focus on this area of law so that you may focus on the most important thing – your family. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.
Little Rock attorneys helping to ensure that Arkansas’ child support guidelines are followed
An order for support will typically be included as part of a child custody ruling. Arkansas issues guidelines as to what the monthly obligation should be for a paying parent. The amount of one’s monthly obligation will depend on their monthly income and the number of children involved in the case. If a parent’s income is above what is covered by our state’s guidelines then support will typically be ordered as follows:
- One dependent: 15%
- Two dependents: 21%
- Three dependents: 25%
- Four dependents: 28%
- Five dependents: 30%
- Six dependents: 32%
It is important to understand, however, that there may be disputes as to what constitutes “income” for child support purposes, whether a parent is making a good faith effort to earn a living, and whether there are circumstances which justify a deviation from the normal payment guidelines.
When determining a paying parent’s income, the Circuit Court will typically consider all money which the parent receives on a regular basis. The Court will then subtract the parent’s federal and state tax payments and other withholdings (such as those for social security and health insurance). The Court will also consider whether the paying parent is obligated to support children from another relationship. The Judge will then arrive at a monthly amount. If the Court finds that a parent is choosing to earn less than what they are capable of then there may be a ruling that the individual is “underemployed.” This can result in the Court ordering an amount higher than what the individual is required to pay under the normal guidelines. Also, if the child has special needs (such as a learning disability which requires a tutor) then the Court may also order a higher payment amount.
Our Little Rock attorneys assist those who are going through a child support dispute. We will use your initial consultation to help you determine what a fair payment should be, under our state’s guidelines. We will then take steps to ensure that the Court’s ruling is fair. These steps can include using the discovery process to obtain bank records, employment records, and other financial information. Such information can, in turn, be used to show the actual financial status of each party. We will make sure that your case is properly presented to the Court and that your rights are protected throughout the process. We understand the impact that such cases can have on one’s finances. Our lawyers are ready to assist you.
Arkansas lawyers paying attention to the needs of Little Rock residents involved in a child support dispute
Child support is a topic which often causes tension between the parents. One parent may feel that they are paying more than what is fair and the other may feel that they are not receiving enough. If you are already frustrated with your situation then it is important that you retain an attorney who pays attention to your needs. This is why our lawyers strive to provide a high level of service. We will make ourselves available to answer your questions and work to resolve your matter as efficiently as possible. We are honored to serve those in Arkansas and this is our promise in every case we handle.
We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.