Child support is a court-ordered amount that the non-custodial parent must pay to the custodial parent to cover a proportionate amount of the child's expenses, including housing and utilities, food, clothing, and education expenses. Both parents have an obligation to support their children after a divorce.
State laws differ greatly as to how courts calculate child support payments. Louisiana long has recognized and credited the custodial parent's day-to-day care as a significant portion of the support obligation. Child support orders may be modified only by another court order.
In Louisiana, the Department of Social Services, Office of Family Support, and Support Enforcement Services administer the child support program. As an experienced child support lawyer, Layne M. Adams will be able to answer any child support questions, including those involving the Child Support Guidelines.
Courts that hold child support and visitation to be independent obligations and rights frequently use the rationale that both are ordered primarily for the child's welfare. Meeting a child's material needs is viewed as the primary reason for ordering child support, and the main reason for ordering visitation is the benefit the child receives from associating with the non-custodial parent. The right to child support is so nearly absolute that the duty to pay it cannot be made dependent upon the exercise of custodial rights. Indeed, the amount of time that a parent spends with his or her children should have no bearing whatsoever on that parent's obligation to pay support. As a result, even when a custodial parent moves and fails to inform the other parent of the child's whereabouts, courts have held that the obligation to pay support continues. That being the case, when interference with visitation is not as drastic, courts adopting the majority rule do not permit reduction or termination of the support obligation.