A common question that many have is about child support laws. They are important and should be addressed in detail. Unfortunately too many parents are just too quick to disregard the importance of child support and how it affects their lives. There is no simple answer to the question posed, however there are a few things you need to know. These are the basics of child support laws and how they affect you.
Child support is a periodic, fixed amount paid by a non-custodial parent for the benefit of a child after the end of a divorce or separation. It is designed to help pay for the basic expenses associated with raising children. Parents must divide their income equally between the obligor and the child or children. The obligor may be a biological parent of the child or may be someone claiming to be so.
There are two different methods of calculating child support. There is the judicial system in most jurisdictions. The courts take into consideration a number of factors including each parent’s earnings, each parent’s potential income through child support and any other income or assets that exist between the parents at the time of separation. Some jurisdictions use income ranges which mean the higher a non-custodial parent’s income, the lower child support payments will be. Other jurisdictions use a point system based on each parent’s income, which means the higher the non-custodial parent’s income, the higher child support payments will be.
There are a number of factors which can be used to determine child support. These include: each parent’s net income; each parent’s property; each parent’s ability to care for the children; each parent’s ability to make reasonable payments; each parent’s ability to pay for necessary necessities; each parent’s past and present history of abuse; drug abuse; and, the ages of the children. If one of the parents is in the hospital or has limited capabilities, the court may also order temporary child support. The United States Department of State provides a list of child support calculators which may be used online. This is information that can help you decide on the amount of child support that your custodial parent should pay. The child support payment amount is usually determined by an examining judge based on the needs of each child.
Many divorced mothers seek child support assistance from the family court. Divorced mothers may wish to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in family law to represent her in the child support proceedings. This attorney may work on a pro Bono basis, in cases where he or she determines that the other parent is financially able to make child support payments. Some attorneys work only with single parents, while others serve the entire family. Legal aid is available in many areas of the state and in most courts.
There are also child support policies in many states and locations which prevent non-custodial parents from claiming their full legal rights in child support proceedings. These policies can vary by jurisdiction and may even apply to same-gender parents. Some jurisdictions have no provisions for alimony or visitation rights for separated or divorced fathers.