The Basics of Child Support
The purpose of child support is to provide continued financial assistance from a non-custodial parent. Because that parent no longer has custody, his or her income is not automatically available to benefit the child on a daily basis. Child support awards are not typically made in cases of shared joint physical custody. Courts presume that the needs of the child are being met by both parents.
The legal duty to support
The legal duty to support a minor child belongs to both parents, regardless of whether the parent who has physical custody can provide sufficient care by themselves. The purpose of child support is twofold: to provide for the child’s basic needs and to allow the child to share in the standard of living of both parents. Contrary to what many people think, both fathers and mothers can be ordered to pay child support.
How prevalent is this issue?
According to most reports, 45-50% of all first marriages end in divorce. Forty percent of those marriages have minor children. Statistics also tend to show that 25% of all children are born to unmarried parents. The majority of children who live in single-parent homes have a right to child support. While child support can be completely voluntary, it many cases it is ordered by the court or through the initial divorce decree.
Collection of child support payments
Unfortunately, obtaining a child support award is not necessarily the end. There are some cases where an enforcement action must be taken in order to collect the child support payments. There are several methods available for custodial parents who need assistance collecting child support payments. Contact an experienced family law attorney if you need assistance.
If you have questions regarding child custody, or any other family law matter, contact us online or by calling Brad J. Latta at (251) 304-3200.