Like any other parent, you want what is best for your children. This means ensuring they have the security and care they need after your divorce, which may include financial support. As a father, it is in your interests to learn about child support, your potential support obligations and what to expect if you pursue custody of your children.
In the past, courts often gave preference to the mother. Fathers, even those who were involved, loving and capable, often had a difficult time securing equitable custody rights. Thankfully, things are different now, but Nebraska dads should be aware they may still have to fight for their parental rights and fair support obligations during a divorce.
What your children need
The intent of child support is to ensure that your children have what they need to maintain a continuity of lifestyle to a reasonable extent. Typically, the non-custodial parent will make these payments to the custodial parent for things such as day care, health care, daily needs, tuition and more. The amount the non-custodial parent may have to pay depends on various factors unique to the situation, including:
- The income of both parents
- Money or assets from inheritances or estates
- Government benefits received by the parents
- Gifts received or prizes won
You may also have the obligation to pay for things your child will need well into the future. This may include college tuition, as well as room and board. If your child has a special need or unique medical concern, the non-custodial parent will also have to assist with those costs as well.
Joint or co-parents
In a co-parenting situation, one parent may not have the kids more than the other, so the issue of child support may be most complex. The final determination will likely depend on the income of both spouses, but you may be able to negotiate terms that are best suited for your kids, the two parents and your ongoing goal to be peaceful co-parents who put the needs of the children above all else.
Whether you are a dad pursuing full custody, the non-custodial parent or a co-parent with equal parenting time, you need to know about child support obligations. This is an issue that will affect you and your children for years to come, and understanding how support determinations are made will help you have reasonable expectations for the future.