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Judge reduces Deion Sanders' child support

When New Jersey children are involved in a divorce, the court needs to ensure that its' actions are in the best interests of the child. Generally, this means that the parent who is most fit to raise the children will be awarded physical custody. This parent is known as the custodial parent. The other parent is then ordered to pay child support so that the custodial parent has the financial resources to properly care for the children.

Child support can be very expensive for a parent, especially one who is unemployed or has a low income. Generally, parents paying child support can ask the court for a child support modification if they have undergone financial difficulties. However, as Deion Sanders has illustrated, financial hardship is not always a prerequisite for modification.

According to Sanders, the court initially ordered him to pay child support payments of $10,550 per month to his wife, Pilar. He thought the amount was outrageous, and instead, made payments of $4,500 per month. Now his wife says he is behind on payments in an amount of almost $50,000. His wife is also looking to annul their 13-year marriage and invalidate their prenuptial agreement. Deion, however, wants his monthly payments of $10,550 reduced. So far, the judge has recently agreed to the child support modification request, and has since reduced it to $5,500 per month.

While $10,550 a month for child support may seem like a lot of money to most people, it is important to know how child support payments are calculated. Child support is determined at the state level, but is influenced by federal guidelines. While there can be considerable variation between states, there are some criteria they all follow. For instance, the courts consider the financial needs of the child, the income and needs of the custodial parent, the income and ability to pay of the parent paying child support and the child's standard of living before the parents separated or divorced.

Source: NBC DFW, "Deion Sanders' Child Support Reduced," Randy McIlwain, Dec. 19, 2012

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