Child support can be a tricky issue to understand. Because child support laws can vary by state and are impacted by the divorce agreement, it's important to know what to expect if you are going through a marital dissolution and have a minor child or children with your ex-spouse.
Child Support for Special Circumstances
Child support rulings can vary if there are some special situations or circumstances that take place. If a child has special needs, some courts will rule that payments shall continue even after they turn 18 years old. If the parents reunite, if wages shift, or if the primary caregiver waives child support, then the court may rule differently. Those in the military are under strict rules to pay child support in a timely manner, and if not an automatic deduction can be made.
While the amount of child support that must be paid varies according to factors such as the parent's income, cost of providing health insurance to the child, and obligations to children from previous marriages, there are many child support calculators that can be used to estimate how much support a parent might be expected to pay. Non-custodial parents are encouraged to check child support payments to ensure that they are being credited appropriately.
Child support laws vary by state, so it's best to contact a qualified divorce attorney for information regarding your particular case. However, it's important to realize that all states take child support enforcement very seriously. A parent who fails to make the legally required child support payments faces losing his/her driver's license, income tax refund, and/or property. In some cases, criminal charges may even be filed. Not making payments can create a stressful environment for the child and primary caregiver as well. Maintaining consistency after a divorce is critical for a child's mental health and wellbeing.
Supporting Your Child
Divorce can be really hard to go through for a child, even if they are in their teens. Maintaining consistent child support payments and speaking with them about the shift in the family dynamics can help them understand the situation and know that they have reliable and supportive parents who love them even if they are unable to stay together. Maintaining an amicable relationship with your ex is ideal for your child or children, but if not making sure that the court orders are followed is crucial for everyone's wellbeing. If you are owed child support, or feel there is an issue with your child support payments, be sure to consult with a lawyer to remedy the problem as soon as possible.