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Every day, tens of thousands of parents across the nation struggle to make court-ordered payments for child support. In some cases, these payments seem unmanageable. Whether you owe a large debt, are struggling to meet the requirements of your obligation, or have been having trouble with your ex-spouse not paying their own court-ordered payments.
Paying child support is a court-ordered financial obligation. If you do not pay the required amount of money to your child’s custodial parent on time and in full, that parent can petition the court for a support payment order. The court will then be able to garnish your wages and take other collections steps as well. This court-ordered collection process can be very difficult and upsetting at times, especially if you are not used to making regular payments in a timely manner.
What is Child Support?
Child support is typically a court-ordered financial obligation. It is an amount of money that you must pay in order to financially support your child. Court orders are typically issued by family courts and state courts. If you have children, then you can be required to pay child support if required by the law. Child support typically begins when you divorce your spouse or if a child is born out of wedlock. Though the parents are no longer married, the financial obligation to provide for your children continues to exist until your children turn 18 years old. Child support can be ordered in any case where paternity has been established, and the court enters an appropriate order. Each state may require that you pay a different amount of money, but they all have their own set of guidelines that must be met within each specific state.
What Factors Are Considered When Granting Child Support?
In cases where a child support order is awarded, the amount of the court-ordered payment depends on many different factors. As with any case, it is important to review the specific facts of your case in order to determine what kind of support payment you must pay. However, the law generally provides certain requirements that must be met. Depending on the state in which you reside, support payments are typically calculated using the following factors:
- The number of children that you have with your child’s mother or parents
- Your income and ability to provide financial support for your child
- The amount of money you already pay for other children or dependents, as well as your actual living expenses and reasonable debts such as credit card payments and car loans.
A court can determine the specific amount you must pay for child support based on the above factors, as well as other considerations. You should review your situation carefully and talk to an experienced attorney who can help you understand your obligations, rights, and remedies available in your case.
How is Child Support Calculated?
Child support can be based on a set amount of money each month, or it can be calculated by applying a percentage of your gross income. In some states, courts may attempt to calculate the minimum support payment that is deemed appropriate based on the above factors. In order to avoid paying too much in child support payments, you should review your financial obligations and the state laws regarding child support guidelines with an attorney who has experience handling such cases. If your circumstances change, you may be able to have the amount of child support reduced. In most states, this can occur by filing a motion with the court that issued the original order. If you can demonstrate circumstances that significantly changed from what was originally ordered, a judge will likely reduce your order.
When Can You Apply For a Child Support Modification?
In most states, child support is not automatically modified just because circumstances on the part of one parent change. This includes the custodial parent who has a new job that may require a significant pay increase, has gone through life-changing events such as a divorce or death of a spouse, or simply experiences financial difficulties with supporting their children. However, there may be situations in which you may be able to apply for a modification. While you should review your case with an experienced attorney who can help you build a strong defense, there may be circumstances in which you can apply to the court for modification of your child support order. In some cases, a child support modification may be appropriate if the amount of support ordered is too low or if it has not been paid for many years.
Child support is a monthly financial obligation that you may be required to pay as part of your divorce. If child support has been ordered, then you will be responsible for meeting the requirements of your order, such as making regular payments to your child’s mother or father. If you have issues with making these payments on time or at all, contact an experienced attorney helping clients with child support cases that can review your situation and help you explore all possible options.