Child support for high net worth families may be handled differently from child support for the rest of the population. Here are three critical things to know about child support if your net worth is considered high:
State Guidelines Only Specify the Minimums
Most states have child support laws that include guidelines on how much a non-custodial parent should pay as child support. The guidelines differ from state to state, but most of them use either the income shares model or the income model. For example, using the income shares model, each parent's income is calculated as a percentage of the combined income of both parents. After that, the total amount needed for the wellbeing of the child is computed, and then each parent pays a percentage of the child support based on their earnings. So, if you earn 40% of your combined income, you will pay 40% of the child support to the custodial parent.
What you may not know is that this calculation only gives the minimum amount you must pay to support your child. The state doesn't specify the maximum child support you can pay or receive. Therefore, if you are in a high net worth family, it's possible that your spouse may be able to afford a higher parentage of the total child support obligation. You can raise this issue during the negotiations if you think there is a need.
There Are Multiple Points of Negotiations
Another thing you should know is that if both of you or one of you is considered high net worth, there may be multiple points of negotiations other than the actual child support money. This is because a high net worth parent is likely to have multiple assets that they may wish to share or should share with their children. This can include things like multiple real estate properties, royalties, and expensive personal properties. It's good to bring all these issues to the discussion table if you want the best for your children.
The State May Grant an Increase in Child Support
Lastly, you should know that you may ask the court, and it may grant your request, for an increase in child support above the specified state guidelines. This is particularly true if you can prove that the children need the expenditures you are claiming, they are used to them, and your partner can easily afford the payments. For example, if the children used to play golf for leisure during your marriage, it may be best to help them continue with the same lifestyle by paying for their golf club membership.
Contact a family law firm like Marlene Dancer Adams for more information.