What Is Child Support?
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What Is Child Support?
Child support generally involves monthly payments that are made from the parent of one child to the other parent. This usually occurs in situations where the parents have been divorced, legally separated, or temporary separation. Child support may be needed in cases where the parent who has physical custody of the child does not have enough financial means to support the child's needs.
How Is Child Support Determined?
Child support amount calculations are based first and foremost on the child's needs. These take priority over any requests or needs of either parent. Thus, child support is often based on the child's:
- Basic living expenses, such as food and clothing
- Educational expenses
- Certain extra-curricular expenses
- Special medical needs, if any
In addition, child support depends on some factors that are related to the parents. These include:
- Each parent's income level
- Their educational background and potential earning capacity
- Any history of prior convictions or unpaid child support
- The current marital status of each party
What Is a Child Support Order?
Child support orders are official documents that are issued by a court regarding child support arrangements. They finalize all the details of the payments into legally enforceable instructions for both parties. They contain information such as: the parties involved; date and manner of payments; the amount of payments; and uses for the money involved.
This type of order is often issued during a divorce or separation trial, but it can also be requested outside of any legal proceedings. The parties may also choose to come together outside of court and negotiate a child support arrangement on their own. They can then present their arrangement to a judge to have it converted into a child support order.
Violations of child support orders are serious and can lead to various legal consequences. These can include garnishment of wages, loss of certain rights, and other efforts to collect payments. Thus, it's important for the parties to have their support agreement finalized into a child support order to make it enforceable under state and local laws.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Child Support Issues?
Child support is often a necessary aspect of a child's growth and development. You may need to hire a child support lawyer if you need help with child support matters. Your attorney can help when it comes to obtaining, modifying, or terminating a child support order. Your lawyer can also provide you with legal representation in the event that you need at attend a court hearing or meeting.
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Last Modified: 04-22-2015 11:51 AM PDT
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