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New Orleans joins others in maximizing child support benefits

Louisiana has taken action to collect some of the extensive back child support funds that are owed to children across the state.
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    January 24, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While filing for divorce may lead to the dissolution of a family, the children involved still require two parents, emotionally and financially in order to receive the best rearing possible. Unfortunately, many Louisiana children don't receive the funds they need in order to thrive in their home environment. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-third of court-ordered child support benefits remain to be paid to the children that need them. This equates to over $14 billion in non-paid funds. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services reported that over $1.26 billion of these funds stem from Louisiana. As this nation-wide issue gains attention, more and more states are attempting to remedy this problem.

Collecting lost funds

Louisiana has taken action to collect some of the extensive back child support funds that are owed to children across the state. While wage garnishments have always been a popular form of retrieving lost funds, Louisiana is taking them to a new level. They have started intercepting casino winnings for those who have failed to make their child support payments. Approximately eighteen casinos across the state are required to perform a back child support check for those who win $1,200 or more. The program has proven to be extremely successful as millions of lost child support funds have been reclaimed.

Determining paternity

Before child support can be calculated, paternity must be established. In some instances, there is no question of paternity as the father's name is appropriately listed on the child's birth certificate. Other situations, however, may require a paternity test in order to verify the true father of the child. This will help to name the responsible parent so they can be held accountable when a child support payment is missed.

Calculating child support

In Louisiana, child support is calculated based upon the income-shares model, which allows the child an equivalent income based upon what their parents made when living together. Although the amount is based largely off of the gross income of each individual parent, the presiding judge may use other important details when determining the amount of child support to be paid. These considerations include the following:
- Documentation of past and current earnings, as well as former tax returns are used to determine the financial status of each parent.
- Household expenses.
- The number of children involved.
- Any additional coverage, including schooling, medical care, insurance and childcare expenses may be added on top of the initial child support obligation.

The amount of child support that is rewarded to the custodial parent is always up for renegotiation later if a change of income, job or financial status occurs. This is just one of the reasons why establishing a solid relationship with a reputable divorce attorney now will help you throughout the entire course of child support benefits.

Parents who become financially unable to afford their court-ordered child support amount may stop paying their child support payments altogether; however, there are ways that you can have your child support recalculated to ensure that it fits within your living budget.

Finding a divorce attorney

Whether you want to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate amount of child support in order to boost your child's financial situation or you want to make sure that your former spouse isn't requesting an excessive amount of child support funds, an experienced divorce attorney can help. With a thorough knowledge of the laws surrounding child support in New Orleans, an exceptional divorce attorney will increase your changes for obtaining a favorable outcome.

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