How Does Child Support Work? What Single Parents Should Know

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Did you know about $10 billion in child support payments go uncollected each year?

If you have reached the unfortunate end of your relationship or marriage, then you know you will have to reach the point of obtaining child support. Fortunately for you, you have put together a simple guide with the basics.

How does child support work? Read on to get started. 

What is Child Support?

As the name suggests, child support is a financial obligation a parent has to support their child. When you have custody of the child, the court assumes you will take care of all of the financial needs. However, if you will not live with the child, the court will ask you to pay support to the other parent. 

Once the court settles on a child support amount, you will have to pay child support until they legally become adults, they serve on active duty, or they become emancipated. 

It’s up to the court to determine the amount of child support the non-custodial will pay for in child support. The judge will consider several factors when determining how much the non-custodial parent should have to pay for. 

Unmarried Parents

Even if the child’s parents were never married, the parent the child doesn’t live with might still owe child support. 

Before determining how much child support unmarried parents will have to pay for will depend on whether or not the child lived with the parent, parents’ financial resources, and how much time each parent spends with the child. 

How the Court Determines Child Support

The judge will take several things into account when determining how much the non-custodial parent has to pay for child support. Most courts look at the following factors before making a decision:

  • Salary or Wages
  • Tips
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Self-employment wages
  • Disability payments
  • Social security benefits
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • Pensions
  • Interest
  • Annuities

Once the judge takes all of those factors into account, they will be able to make a decision. 

Other Factors the Court Takes Into Account

Aside from taking the income into account, the courts also consider the child’s needs before making a decision.

The court will take a look at the quality of life of the child before the split. If the child had a high quality of life, the court would aim to help the child maintain the former lifestyle. 

Also, the cost of living will also play an important factor; living in the city is more expensive than a suburban setting. 

Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

Once the judge has determined a final amount, the non-custodial parent will have to keep up with the payments. The only way to challenge this amount will be to take legal action. 

If the parent refuses to pay child support, the consequences will be severe:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Tax refund interception
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Jail time

If the non-custodial parent refuses to pay for child support, check out Lawyer One for legal resources.

How Does Child Support Work? Now You Have a Better Idea

If you ever wondered how does child support work, now you have a better understanding. 

Remember that the court takes several things into accounts, such as income, custody of the child, and the child’s overall well-being.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more, check out the rest of our blog. 

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