Delaware Child Support Lawyer

If you and your spouse are divorcing or separating or you already have a parenting plan that needs to be adjusted, a knowledgeable Delaware child support attorney can help you make the changes you need without rocking the boat at home.

When the parents of children have split up and are discussing child support arrangements, both sides often find themselves upset when one side is asking for more than the other thinks is appropriate or an agreement can’t be reached.

The needs of your children are going to change as the kids grow up. Modifications will need to be made. When you need someone on your side to ensure that the needs of your children are the top priority, reach out to a qualified Delaware child support lawyer with Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor.

How Does Child Support Work?

When the parents are no longer going to be in the same home together, whether that’s because of a divorce or a separation, both parents are expected to continue to provide monetary support for the children’s wellbeing.

Delaware uses a complex method known as the Melson formula to determine how child support should be divided among the parents. Essentially, the formula calculates how much it would cost to support the children in question if the parents had remained together and then divides this equally between parents.

Then, both the amount the parents will need to support themselves, known as a “self-support allowance,” and the “standard of living adjustment” are examined after establishing the needs of the child. These needs include the following:

  • Child care expenses so the parents can earn a living
  • Expenses like private school tuition or money for children living with special needs
  • The monthly cost of health insurance for the children

This formula ensures that both parents are still able to live within their means and support their children. Whether you’re paying child support or receiving it, a child support lawyer in Delaware can act to protect your interests.

Obtaining a Child Support Order

The Division of Child Support Services works with the Delaware Family Court system to enact a child support order when one doesn’t currently exist. Generally speaking, the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent based on the Melson formula calculation discussed above.

In some cases, a parent may feel the need to request that the paternity of the children be established prior to the execution of a child support order.

Once paternity is proven, the parents will need to attend mediation, where the monthly child support payment will be calculated, and other costs, such as extracurricular activity expenses, unexpected needs like glasses or class trips, and school supplies and clothing, will be divided between the parents.

Once mediation is complete and an agreement has been reached, a judge will review the child support order and make it official and legally binding. These court dates can take three months or longer to occur following your mediation date. Throughout this process, a child support attorney in Delaware can advocate for the best interests of you and your children.

When You Need to Modify an Existing Child Support Order

Either parent can petition the court for a modification to an existing child support order within two and a half years of the current order. You will be allowed to do so within two years if there has been a significant change in the income of either parent or the needs of the children, which might include the birth of additional children or changes in the cost of health insurance.

Modifications to Delaware child support orders will not be approved when the parent who pays child support has been incarcerated for a crime or failure to pay child support or if he or she has lost a drivers license.

Parents who are behind on their child support payments can have a reasonable payment arrangement included in their modification plan so they are able to get up to date on their support in an acceptable amount of time.

Reach Out to a Delaware Child Support Attorney

Whether you are interested in enacting a child support order or need to dispute an order that is already intact, an experienced lawyer at Barros, McNamara, Malkiewicz & Taylor can help you and your family come up with a workable plan that meets everyone’s needs and is in the best interests of your children.

We are pleased to offer case assessments to our prospective clients. To schedule yours, simply give a Delaware child support lawyer a call at 302-734-8400 or fill out the contact form we’ve provided below.