Child support is the set amount of money that is paid (usually each month) to the parent who has the primary control of the child. The sum is established by the custody arrangement and is mandatory according to legal regulations. The child support amount is set to be for to benefit the children and is usually used to pay for essential necessities, such as:
- Clothing, food, and housing;
- Medical insurance and health insurance as well as
- Education costs.
The purpose of child support is not to be utilized for the benefit of one parent or another but rather, it’s those children or the kids that will benefit the most from child support amount. Additionally, the child support amount is designed to help provide the basic necessities, not luxury products or things that aren’t essential to the child’s education.
Child support determinations are an extensive process that looks at many factors pertaining to the child. The decisions are made with the child’s greatest interests in mind. The process includes standards that vary between states.
Whose Obligation is it to Pay Child Support?
The payment of child support may be expected of every parent regardless of whether they’re engaged or not. In cases where there is a conflict regarding the biological father of a child, it may be necessary to mandate a paternity test. Step-parents aren’t obligated by law to support their children unless the step-parent legally adopted a child.
In many cases (though there are exceptions) the child with custody will be the sole parent for most of the duration. The custodial parent is recognized as the parent with primary custody while the other parent is denoted as the non-custodial parent. In a lot of cases, the parent who is not custodial is ordered to pay child support.
This is due to the fact that the parent who is custodial will generally be entrusted with more responsibility in the raising of their child compared to the parent who is not custodial which means that they will incur greater expenses related to the child. Every situation is unique, and courts will determine the child’s support obligations in accordance with the arrangement that is most favorable to the child and is in line with the needs of the child.
What Happens If Child Support Payments Are Not Being Made?
The inability to make child support payments is an atypical problem that a lot of families have to deal with. In these cases, the court could have intervened in order to collect the number of payments that are not being paid, also known in the context of “child support arrears”. Parents may be required by the court to make payments through a court order. Failure to comply with child support payments can result in legal consequences, such as being held in contempt of court, wage garnishment, or even facing criminal charges.
The wage garnishment process occurs when the court permits the employer of the parent paying reserve a portion of the wages earned by the employee, in order to pay the child support that is not paid. The money is taken straight from their pay and then processed by the court to be used to pay for the child’s costs.
How Do You Determine the Amount of Child Support?
Courts typically require each parent to prepare an accounting before taking an announcement regarding child support. On the statement of finances, the parent is required to be able to detail their monthly earnings and expenses.
Based on financial data and the length of time each parent has with their child Based on the financial information and time spent with the child, the Court utilizes a common formula to calculate the amount of child support. Typically, the court takes into account multiple factors when determining the monthly amount of child support. This could include:
- The child’s age, gender, and background.
- Whether the child has special needs in the academic field.
- If the child has special medical or physical requirements.
- The parental income and educational history.
- There are many children who are involved in the arrangement for custody.
- The court takes into account the parent’s previous child support payment record, along with other pertinent factors.
Can Child Support Payments be Adjusted?
Although most child support arrangements are set for lengthy durations they can also be modified or altered, based on the circumstances. This usually happens through a process referred to as child support modification. During this procedure, the court has the ability to adjust or amend the existing child support order. For instance, the court could permit the amount of support to be reduced in certain instances. They typically require major lifestyle changes like:
- Changes in the place of a home of any of the party
- The loss of employment
- Reduced salaries or
- Other major life events can affect the child’s support payment.
Modifications to child support aren’t offered in every situation. The decision to grant these modifications is largely based on the discretion of the judge and the requirements for the children or child in question. If a modification of child support is not beneficial to the child and is not in the best interests of the child, the court will not permit a change to the amount of support that is required. Most modification requests ask the court to decrease the amount of support; however, in some cases, parents may need to request higher support in order to meet the changing needs of the child.
Where Can You Find a Child Support Lawyer?
Child support laws are complex and making a decision on child support may require numerous steps. It is possible to engage an attorney for child support if you need help with all aspects that involve child support. Whether that is the collection of child support, getting an order to support modified, or any other concerns. The lawyer can offer advice and assistance to settle the matter.