A parent should support a biological child whether married to the other parent. This support is referred to as child support. Each state has a different and specific set of guidelines on how to calculate the funds. For that reason, the guidelines will vary from one state to another. Nevertheless, they rely on certain factors which are somehow similar to ones used when determining the spousal support as well as child custody.
The net income of each parent, time the child is to spend with every parent, age, and needs of the child, which include the daycare, health insurance, special needs, and education. Other factors include the family’s pre-divorce living standards and the hardship factors affecting the parents’ capability to pay the support. Parents need to negotiate and come up with an amicable separation agreement determining their children’s support. If they find difficulties making the decision, they might involve a lawyer or mediator, which might cost them less than that of the court.
Who must pay the children’s support?
All parents, either married or not, biological or adoptive, should support their children. In most instances, the courts are never involved with how parents ought to support their children. They only intervene after issues of neglect or abuse of children arises. On the other hand, when couples wish to divorce or separate, or when a single mother requests the social service agency for financial assistance, now, the court is likely to step in. The court looks into the case and decides what the parents ought to contribute to support the children.
How long must support be paid?
Children’s support is paid until the children turn 18 years of age. In some other cases, the children’s support payment may extend to that age when they live at home and depend upon their parents. For a child who is a student, the support may last through age 23. However, for children living with disabilities, the support is likely to be ordered to be paid throughout their life.
How is the payment used?
It is the role of the parents to determine how to use the funds. A parent may use it for school-related expenses, housing, purchasing toys, clothing, and food. The payment may as well enable children to engage in activities they wish to try. Custodial parents ought not to spend the amount on themselves. Using the support payment may run the custodial parent into trouble with the law and their co-parent.
How is the payment calculated?
There are no specific guidelines on how much a parent should pay. It means that states will have different guidelines varying from others in some ways. The common factors you might find in all include child-care costs, education expenses, and child’s medical bills. There is a need to consult an experienced attorney to help you calculate the payment while in such a scenario.
Failure to pay children support
Failure of a parent failing to pay can land a parent into trouble. The non-paying parent might likely face wage garnishment or asset seizure, leading to bankruptcy. When the court orders support, a parent might face a jail term after failing to pay or lose a driver’s license. It is necessary to note that the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act is mandated to provide interstate enforcement of the support payment for a child across the United States of America.
Modifying the support payment
Just like alimony, this type of support can undergo some modifications. Before the modification process, some substantial changes must be taken into consideration to modify an existing support payment order. For example, a child with disabilities and needs tutoring, a parent might need to pay more.