Child support is where the non custodial parent pays the custodial parent a certain amount of money each month for the care of the child they share. Child support is generally based on a percentage of income per each child and is intended to help offset the financial burden of the custodial parent. The non custodial parent usually pays a third party the allotted sum which is then forwarded to the custodial parent.
Child support can be paid by any parent of a child. There is no restriction on having to be married in order to pay it. It also is not bound by gender roles. Whoever does not have custody of the child pays the support. This does not have to be the father in all situations. Very often, especially these days, the father has custody of the child and the mother pays the support.
Child support laws vary from state to state. Often visitation privileges are tied to child support. A non custodial parent who is not on time on payments may forfeit their visitation rights. There may also be restrictions placed on the custodial parent as to how the money is used. Although indirect expenses such as housing are usually valid, the courts may look at other spending habits to ensure the child support is going toward the welfare of the child.
Parents who regularly do not pay child support are known as deadbeat parents. Some parents do not pay because they feel the amount of money ordered was too much and not justified. Other parents may not be able to afford the payments with their existing financial obligations. Some parents may be angry at the other parent and choose to withhold child support as a way to get even with the other parent. Regardless of the reason, not paying child support hurts the child and may also have legal implications for the parent who is not living up to their obligations.
Some states have laws that will revoke the driver's license of parents who are severely behind on payments. Other states can issue court orders to have wages automatically deducted from paychecks. Any federal or state earnings such as tax refunds or lottery winnings can be held and applied to child support payments that are in arrears.
If you are a parent who is having trouble with the child support system, it is advisable to seek assistance from an attorney who specializes in family law. Whether you are a parent who needs a reduction in child support payments or a custodial parent who needs collection assistance, an attorney can help. They are familiar with the individual laws of the state in which you reside and can advise you on the best route to take.
Child support is an important function in society to help care for a child. It is difficult for a single parent to have sole financial responsibility for the care of a child, especially if the other parent has the means and ability to help. Ensure that your rights and the rights of your child are properly cared for by pursuing child support; using the money to benefit the child; or paying child support if you are the non custodial parent.