Understanding Child Support

Divorce - if you have children, that word brings up a whole list of issues that need to be considered and resolved, one of them being child support for the non-custodial parent. If you have tried to save your marriage but to no avail then you might find yourself in the position of dealing with child support. The amount the parent would pay in child support would be based on specific guidelines, which include the number of children, the specific needs of the children, and the parent's ability to pay. When figuring child support, the judge would take the income of both parents into consideration.

The decisions for child support are typically made during and after divorce proceedings. The amount is what dictates your child's future. However, child support also falls in line with strict rights of the parent and child, as well as circumstances and situations, all based on law. Even so, the final amount of child support paid is usually determined through a serious of negotiations and settlements.

If you were working with an attorney, he or she would draw up the necessary papers to include provisions for registering with the State Child Support Division. Then when all the papers for the divorce have been finalized, you could contact this agency to make sure your ex-spouse registered. If for some reason he or she has not, you should notify the State Child Support Division to make sure the amount of child support is not being disputed.

Keep in mind that the Family Support Act of 1988 requires that all child support payments being made is withheld from the paying parent's paycheck when the support is ordered. That way, you know the correct amount of child support is being held and that the payments are being made. For the paying parent, it means not having to worry about making the payments.

The reason it is so important the payment structure be included in the divorce papers is that if the non-custodial parent were to stop paying, you would have the ability to get an order and then have it submitted to the court. With this, the judge would approve or disprove it. If approved, an order would be put into force for the paying parent's paycheck to be garnished. When this occurs, the order is served to the employer so they know to reduce the parent's income to meet the amount in order.

In addition, federal law requires the state in which you live make child support enforcement available if it is requested. For this, the services would have to locate the non-paying parent, which would be based on you providing his or her name, home address, phone number, work information, and social security number. The services can also take the non-paying parent's taxes but can only hold the refund up to six months.

Other services provided by law include referring your ex-spouse to the various credit reporting agencies, which would discourage him or her from adding more financial obligations to the schedule that might make paying child support payments difficult. If your ex-husband or wife not wanting to play by the rules by paying child support, you can always hire an outside collection agency for a fee to do the work for you.

Just remember that as with all divorce proceedings, things can become scary and confusing, especially for the children. Then if there are custody or child support issues, the child often feels even more overwhelmed and displaced. Therefore, if you are working through child support, we strongly recommend you shield your children, protecting them from as much as you can. After all, even older children do not and should not understand the financial aspects of child support.

Instead, during the divorce, this is the time to protect the children, making sure they understand that there is no blaming. Your children will be going through a tremendous amount of stress, dealing with a variety of emotions, most something they have never dealt with before so you need to avoid adding additional stress into the child's life. If financial things need to be discussed, we recommend you conduct business away from the children.

If you have children asking questions, keep it simple with them. Remember, you do not want to drag them into conversations such as this, which will only add to the stress and confusion. Just keep reassuring the children that everything is okay, that they are okay, mom and dad are okay, and that no one is angry with them. Keeping the children calm will take some time and work but never give up while fighting for what is rightfully theirs in the form of child support. If you need assistance, you can work with a number of professional services, which were created for you and your children's benefits.


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