Understanding Child Support Issues In A Divorce Case
Supporting the children is the primary duty of both parents and its importance remains the same whether the parents are living together or not. A blessing such as a child should be taken care of and raised in an appropriate manner until they reach adulthood. However, not all families survive due to factors such as irreconcilable differences and the children’s lives are deeply impacted as a result. The dissolution of a family usually begins with a separation of two parents. Although this an extremely trying time for both spouses they can usually count on the support of family and friends to help them get by or they could additionally seek professional support from family therapists or marriage counselors in reconciling themselves with the changed circumstances they are confronted with.
Generally in a situation where a marriage is being dissolved and children are involved, the parent having lesser physical custody of the children, is typically required by the court to pay financial child support to the primary custodial parent for the benefit of the children. Although the procedural intricacies involved may vary from state to state, child support usually entails periodic payments either monthly or as mandated by local law to the primary custodial parent. The amount of child support is determined using the Child Support Guidelines adopted by the legislature and is typically based on percentages of the payor of child support’s net resources and it takes into account other factors such as the number and ages of the children. For instance, the guidelines may require the support payor to pay twenty percent for one child or 30% for 2 children. In the absence of any unusual circumstances the courts generally adhere to the guidelines in determining child support.
The percentages in the guidelines, however, may be modified if the payor owes a duty of support for other children not in front of the judge. A top net resource of $7,500 occurs at an income level around $120,000 per year. In order to receive child support above that amount, one has to show what the actual needs of the child are. Another expense that generally necessitates child support is health insurance for the children and the payment of non-covered medical expenses, etc. Child support is paid until the child reaches maturity or turns 18 years of age or in some cases, until the end of school year in which the child graduates from high school. However it is important to note that if a child is mentally or physically impaired to the extent of requiring continuous ongoing care, then child support may be ordered to be paid indefinitely past the child’s 18th birthday.
If someone neglects or fails to pay child support as ordered by the court then Family Code requires that if the payor is a salaried employee, the amount of child support be withheld from their wages by their employer and paid directly to the custodial parent. In some instances, a county agency is charged with receiving and recording the child support payments and keeping a record of all payments received and forwarding the payments to the child support recipients. A major benefit of doing so is if the payor fails or neglects to pay support as ordered, the agency has legal counsel that represent the payee free of charge in any contempt hearings. If you are faced with child support issues then it is imperative that you retain the services of an experienced and competent family law attorney immediately.