Both parents have an obligation to support their child’s financial needs. This is true regardless of who has legal custody, how much visitation the nonresidential parent receives, and whether a parent is working.
As a parent, you need to ensure that the amount of support you are paying or receiving is the right amount under the law. Delaware’s child support law is based primarily on earnings, with adjustments for a few things like medical care, childcare, other children being supported, and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
If you would like to get a rough idea of the amount of support a child should receive, here is the court’s calculator: http://courts.delaware.gov/SupportCalculator/
In Delaware, the child support process begins with a Petition for Child Support (or to modify an existing order). The parents then go to a mediation, where the mediator will gather information and calculate an amount. This may, and often does, result in a consent order. But if either party is not satisfied with the outcome, the next step is a hearing in front of a commissioner.
Throughout a child’s life, the circumstances of the parents often change. Petitions to modify support are commonly filed. Unfortunately, sometimes a parent does not meet support obligations. This often results in a Petition for Arrears and can lead to a finding of contempt of court.
Contact Us for a free consultation so we can discuss your specific child support situation and answer your questions.