What is Child Support?
Child support is a government-mandated program that enforces a parent, in a recently terminated relationship, to provide payments to the custodial parent to help support their offspring.
Child support laws are passed down from the state family court and the amount of payment is determined by a variety of social, economic, and professional factors. A child support payment is monies paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent acting as the primary care custodian – or the custodial parent.
All child support issues are administered through the local system (family law division) in which the parents resided. The relationship, meaning who receives and who pays the support, is based on the custodial rights of the case. The parent who maintains the caring rights of the child is awarded child support payments.
The amount of money involved in the payments is based on a case-by-case basis and typically involves a review of the net-incomes of both parties as well as the costs associated with caring for the child.
Child Support Enforcement
If an individual is obliged to pay child support they are mandated by law, to fulfill the requirements established in their particular payment plan. A failure to satisfy child-support payments will result in an investigation and a subsequent penalty in the form of fines or incarceration.
Both the state and federal governments have a variety of techniques for ensuring the delivery of child support payments. The most common of which is a wage deduction placed on the obliged party. When this occurs, the obligor’s employer will send a portion of the individual’s salary to the coordinating state agency and the receiving parent. Federal law requires that all child support orders must provide for an automatic wage deduction unless the parties have agreed otherwise.
Additionally, the state can also intercept both federal and state tax refunds of persons who have not fulfilled their child support obligations.
In the event that an individual experiences difficulty completing – or understanding – the requirements of child support, they are encouraged to consult an attorney specializing in family law, child law, child support payments, and custodial law.