Perhaps one of the most hotly contested topics we regularly encounter is child support. Child support is a sensitive topic for many people because it is directly related to the welfare and care of the child. Parents often feel that they will be villainized for seeking child support or there are often concerns that one will be seen as a “deadbeat” mom or dad for fighting a specific child support amount. There is so much misinformation regarding the issue of child support that people often are misguided when they make decisions about seeking child support or modifying it. The following tips are a few to consider in the event you are currently co-parenting with your former spouse or former romantic interest.
1. Child support can be put in place EVEN IF there has been no determination of legitimation, or custody. Many fathers and mothers fail to understand that child support can be set for a child against a father even if he does not accept parental guardianship responsibility. A father has the right to contest paternity in the event he questions whether or not the minor child belongs to him, however, if paternity is established and no further action is taken on behalf of the father, a court can set child support against a father who does not have any parental rights to the minor child.
2. Child support can be modified. If a child support award is entered by the court, it can be reviewed every two years for modification from the court. However, if a substantial change occurs in the needs of the child or in the circumstances of the parents involved, a court can review the child support award sooner. This is important information for parents who may see a dramatic drop in their income or a dramatic increase in the needs of the child before two years is up.
3. Courts take into consideration needs of the children first. Often, parents look to a child support amount and seek to question the validity of it. Mothers and fathers alike comment on the amount often as being too high or too low. Many parents show us their bills and other things they do for their children in hopes that their amount can be modified. While it is true that the amount can be lowered due to certain payments like insurance or child care, courts are very reluctant to lower a child support amount simply because a parent has a lot of bills. While a deviation can be made for someone who has low income, most often, courts find themselves looking more at the needs of the children and what is in their best interest.
A lawyer can help you determine if your child support amount is one that qualifies for a modification. Seek the advice of legal counsel if you are in a co-parenting situation that requires the payment of child support.
Disclaimer: The content relayed in this blog article is purely informational and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is created until a retainer agreement is executed by both client and attorney.