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Everything you need to know about child support

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 18-05-2007

Child support refers to the obligations, following divorce, of a noncustodial parent towards the upkeep of the child. Typically, child support takes the form of regular payments made by the non-custodial parent to the parent who has custody of the child.


What is the justification for child support?
In a sole custody, one parent is awarded the custody of the child. The custodial parent keeps the child, this being his or her contribution towards the upbringing of the child. The noncustodial parent, who usually has visiting rights to the child, fulfills his or her responsibility by contributing to the financial cost of maintaining the child.


What happens in case of joint custody?
In case of joint custody, child support is usually divided between both parents, usually based on how their individual incomes measure against the sum of their joint earnings, and on the amount of time the child stays with each parent.


How is the amount of child support decided?
Child support is typically calculated by taking into consideration the requirements needs of the . Individual states have, however, have formulated their own guidelines to calculate the amount, so that the actual amount may vary widely even in similar circumstances.
These factors are generally taken into consideration while calculating child support:

  • The child’s needs

  • Ability of the parent to pay

  • Standard of living of the child before the parents’ divorce

  • The custodial parent’s needs

What happens if a parent cannot pay child support?
Usually a parent is expected to pay the sum due as child in keeping with the dates decided upon by the court. In case of a valid reason, such as altered financial conditions, a parent may approach the court with a request to modify the amount of child support. If granted, this will be applicable only to future payments. In this case, the judge will also order the parent to pay in full, any arrears, or overdue payments, immediately.