Child Support Payments

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When parents part ways and have to negotiate the terms of child support, things can get tense very quickly. Not only may both parents be affected, but the children as well. In most cases, one parent makes payments to the other, in order to help the custodial parent afford the children’s necessities of living. For parents who have never had to dispute child support payments, may want to know more about the process. Here in the article below, we have talked further about child support and have offered information through a question and answer format.

How is child support determined?

Child support is often calculated based on a computer program used by the court system, and takes into consideration a variety of factors. Even if the parent is not currently employed, he or she may still have to make payments based on earning potential. Here are a few of the main factors that can determine how much child support must be paid:

  • The number of children the custodial parent is taking care of
  • How much time the non-custodial parent spends with the children
  • The income level of both parents
  • The amount the custodial parent is requesting, and the ability of the paying parent to support these needs

Can child support ever be modified?

In some cases, child support amounts may have to be modified. This may happen if the parent making child support payments has lost his or her job, or had a large increase of income. The paying parent can file for an update of amount unless stated otherwise within the child support terms.

How long does child support last?

In the majority of states, child support halts once the child has reached the age of 18. In other states though, child support may continue after turning 18 if the child is still living at home and in high school, or has a disability. Any child that has a permanent disability in which making one’s own income is not possible, must be supported financially throughout his or her lifetime.

What happens if a parent is late or has stopped paying?

A parent that is not paying child support as ordered, is often frowned upon by the court system and may face several consequences. He or she may have license revoked, wages garnished or bank accounts seized. A parent that continues to not pay despite being able to financially, may even serve jail time for not following court orders.

When would it be a good idea to get help from an attorney?

A parent going through a child support negotiation may want to know how to find a child custody lawyer who is familiar with such cases, as soon as possible. Disputes regarding child support can be filled with intense emotions, and sometimes it takes the representation of an attorney to ensure a client’s rights are being protected. A parent may become hostile or even threatening towards the other for having to make such payments. An attorney can offer guidance and recommend legal action as needed.