Child Support

Child Support

If you are divorcing and have children, or have never married your child’s other parent and are dissolving your household, child support is on your mind. At Colbert Family Law, LLC, we represent both mothers and fathers in child support matters, helping to make sure their children are taken care of and that their own resources are not depleted in the process.

How is Child Support Calculated?

Child support is calculated based on the formulas set forth in Alaska Civil Rule 90.3. Because child support is a duty owed by parents to their children, and not to each other, courts tend not to allow parents to agree on an amount of child support that is inconsistent with the formula.

Although child support is calculated by a formula, that doesn’t mean that the calculation is necessarily a simple one. The formulas are complex, and the child support award that comes out of the formula is only as good as the data that goes into it. Also, changes may have occurred in your life since your child support was first calculated. The law often allows you to ask the court to modify the amount you owe, or are owed.

It’s important to work with an experienced attorney who knows what should be included in the calculations. That way, you can be confident that all relevant income of both parties is being considered, and that all rightful deductions from income are being taken into account. We have dealt with all manner of child support situations, including parents who have seasonal work or other irregular income.

What if I’m Behind in Child Support Payments?

There are many reasons people fall behind in their child support payments. When a letter arrives from the Child Support Services Division (CSSD), their impulse is often to set it aside without opening it until they can do something about it. That approach will only make the situation worse, and could lead to garnishments, loss of licenses, and more.

Instead, contact Colbert Family Law, LLC immediately. Our firm has done a great deal of work with and inside the CSSD. We understand that it can be difficult to find the person within the agency who can help you, and to whom you can explain your situation. We can help you cut through the red tape and resolve your child support concerns before they multiply.

Working to Support Alaska's Children and Parents

We know it’s important to you to be sure your children receive the support to which they’re entitled. Like you, our firm takes the responsibility for a child's well-being seriously, and we strive to see not only that our clients’ children get what they need, but that the arrangement is fair to their parents as well.

Colbert Family Law, LLC serves clients throughout Alaska, from Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley to remote villages. We invite you to contact Colbert Family Law, LLC online or at (907) 279-5001 to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you address child support in a way that works best for your family.

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Common Child Support Concerns

Can the collaborative approach be used for problems other than divorce?

The collaborative approach (for more information on this, go to www.alaskacollaborative.org) is suitable for many legal issues in addition to divorce.  Family legal issues are very sensitive and personal.  Many - if not most - clients would like to address their problems in a way that is less public and less confrontational than going to court.  The collaborative process meets this need.  It can be used to negotiate pre-and post-nuptial agreements; child support; child custody modifications; college support issues; and most other family legal problems you may face.  It is also very useful for negotiating relationship contracts and break-ups for couples who are not legally married.  If you find yourself in any of these situations, we would be happy to try to help you.

I pay support to my ex-spouse. I think he should have to use the support to buy the kids clothes, books, sporting equipment, and all that. He says I still have to buy things for the kids even though I pay support. Do I?

The short answer is yes. The child support formula (used to calculate your support based on your income) assumes that each parent provides things for the children when the children are with that parent. This means that both parents have to buy some clothes, and some food, and pay for some school lunches.

I want to have 50/50 custody of the kids in my divorce so that neither one of us will have to pay child support. Is this possible?

I never like to hear this question. Have you asked yourself what 50/50 means, and whether it would be good for your kids? Perhaps you have. But even if "50/50" would work for your kids, it does not mean that no one pays child support unless the parents have equal incomes. If the parents have unequal incomes, the higher earning parent will have to pay some support.