Child support laws are a set of laws that govern and regulate child support arrangements between parents. These are payments that are made from one parent to another in a divorce or legal separation, and are intended to benefit the child and their upbringing. Child support laws often interact with other laws, such as divorce laws, spousal support laws, and child custody/visitation laws.
What Do Child Support Laws Cover?
Child support laws cover various topics including:
- Obtaining a child support order
- Modifying child support
- Terminating child suport
- Consequences of not paying child support
- Obtaining retroactive support or back child support
Regardless of the topic or issue, all child support determinations are made according to the same standard, which is called the "Child’s Best Interests" standard. This means that support determinations are always intended to benefit the child and not the parent.
Are Child Support Laws the Same in All Places?
No- child support laws are different in every state. In addition, child support determinations can often differ from case to case, even within the same area. This is because there are several factors that go into determining the amount of child support (such as income, number of children, earning capacity, etc.).
Therefore, there often no real formulas for determining child support. Instead, every state usually maintains child support guidelines that provide a basic outline for judges to follow when issuing child support.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Child Support Laws?
Dealing with child support laws and guidelines is much easier with the help of a qualified lawyer. You may wish to hire a family law lawyer if you need help with the child support laws in your area. Your attorney can assist you with many different types of tasks, such as filing a request with the court, or representing you during a family law hearing. Also, your attorney can advise you on the details of a child support order if you have questions or concerns.