In Louisiana, most parents in a divorce context are awarded joint custody of their minor children. “Joint custody” means that each parent must have “frequent and continuing contact” with their minor children. Child support is awarded to the parent deemed the “domiciliary” parent, or the parent with whom the child stays the most, unless there is an award of equal or nearly equal “shared custody.” It is important for Louisiana residents to know what child support is and what it may be used for in the context of providing for a child.
Child support may be established through an agreement between a child’s parents or through a court order. It is generally based on certain factors that may include the incomes of the child’s parents, the number of other dependents that the parents must support and the special needs of the child who will benefit from the award of support. It can be used to provide a child with their needs or it may be used for extra expenses and costs.
For example, child support may be applied to rent payments or home mortgage payments to keep a child in a residence. It can be used to buy groceries for a child or to get them new clothing. Child support can be applied to the costs associated with a child’s schooling or medical needs, as well as to child care costs a parent may incur if they need to place the child in care in order to hold down their own job.
A parent may use child support to take a child on vacation or to enroll them in extracurricular activities. As readers can surmise from this post, child support may be used for an extensive list of child-rearing costs. Readers who wish to learn more about child support and their own obligations can get more information about family law options.