Child support isn’t about keeping a spouse in a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. It’s about providing for the children of the divorce.
The raison d’etre for child support laws is to ensure parents do support their kids, no matter where they are living. They don’t have to be married, but paternity/maternity is an issue before paying support is court ordered.
The results of a DNA test will show the courts who the true father is, and from there the courts tend to award support along state-mandated guidelines. There is usually a bit of legal common sense mixed in their decision as well, given the supporting financial documentation.
“Generally speaking, in child support cases, one parent is the designated custodial parent or the primary caregiver,” said Jeremiah Denslow of Denslow Law in Dayton, Ohio. This means the other parent is the non-custodial parent and is obliged to pay a portion of the costs of raising their child. “In instances where there is joint custody (equally split child care responsibilities) many states have laws where one parent must continue to pay support, particularly if there is a large gap between the parent’s respective income,” explained Denslow.
Each state has its own set of child laws and equally as many ways of determining the amount of child support award payments. This is why it is wise to consult with a child custody lawyer such as Jeremiah Denslow of Denslow Law in Dayton, Ohio.
A fair number of the states use many factors to figure out support – parent’s income, basic living expenses, school costs, how many kids are at home and their ages. Children with special needs are a different proposition, and adjustments may be made to ensure these children receive proper care.
“In many cases, if there is a question of accounting regarding the money the non-custodial parent pays, the courts will direct that any monies paid for things such as schooling be paid directly to the school,” outlined Denslow. In other states each parent may have to assume a percentage of the expenses for various need, e.g. medical costs.
In instances of non-payment of child support, most states take a really dim view of the non-custodial parent baling out on their responsibilities and when they are caught, they may get a six-month stint in jail. “Whether a person is in jail or not does not mean they can stop paying child support because they are still required to pay it, no excuses,” added Denslow.
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