The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 considers it a major legal responsibility of all American parents to provide support to their biological children even after divorce. It also lists down the factors that should be considered when making decisions concerning child support.
Child support is a monthly financial assistance paid by the non-custodial parent (or the obligor) to the custodial parent (or obligee). It is intended to cover the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, healthcare, shelter and education, and is usually paid until the child’s 18th birthday. Although some states consider factors (in determining child support issues) that are not considered in others, there are constant factors like the age and the needs of the child, the cost of these needs, the parents’ income, which includes salary, commissions, overtime pay, dividends, and so forth, the age and health of both spouses, and the parent’s capability to pay child support.
Sometimes, besides the child’s basic needs, the court may also require the obligor to contribute to his/her child’s distant financial activities and needs, like college education, dental and/or medical needs, vacation and others.
There are instances when the custodial parent would see the need to ask for an increase in child support payment due to the obligor’s improved financial situation; in like manner, the obligor, due to reduced financial capability, maybe because of loss of job or poor health condition that requires regular medical treatment and medication, may see the need to ask for a reduction in the amount of child support. Any changes, however, will have to be decided by the court as the issue is a legal matter. Any attempt of the obligor to negotiate directly with the obligee (or vice versa), can result to contempt of court.
It is no doubt that child support can be a very difficult issue for divorcing parents to resolve. But before the court takes the matter into its own hands, divorcing parents should know that they have all the right to settle the matter amicably, peacefully and privately.
The most commendable way to resolve the issue is through the help of The Woodlands child support lawyer. He or She would be able to assist divorcing spouses to come to an agreement that will work well for both of them, saving them at the same time from the time-consuming court appearances and costly court fees.