If you are a father who is not currently living with your children, there is a strong likelihood that you will be required to pay child support. Unfortunately, the rules and regulations regarding child support can be a little confusing. This guide will break through this confusion and explain everything you need to know about child support.
Who Must Pay Child Support?
In many cases, the mother is granted primary custody of the children. When this happens, the father is considered the non-custodial parent and he can be ordered to pay a set amount of child support to cover his financial responsibility in raising the children. As long as paternity can be established, either through agreement or DNA testing, a father can be ordered to pay child support whether or not he was married to the mother. A stepfather is not required to pay child support in the event of a divorce unless he legally adopts the children.
How Is Child Support Amount Determined?
The rules determining how child support is calculated varies from state to state. Typically, factors, such as household income and expenses, child’s needs, and the percentage of time each parent has custody of the children, are taken into consideration. It is important to gather as much information as possible as to how child support is calculated in your state. Consulting with one of the experienced child support lawyers in your area can provide you with this information.
How Long Do You Have to Pay Child Support?
Fathers are required to pay child support until the child turns 18-years old, is emancipated, or the child is on active duty in the military. In some states, the child support laws state that the father must pay until the child graduates from high school or turns 18-years old, whichever comes later.
Penalties for Not Paying Child Support
It is strongly encouraged not to stop paying child support. Missed payments could result in wage garnishment, seizure of property, or loss of income tax refund. In severe cases, you may even lose your business or driver’s license, or face jail time.
You also should check the child support laws in your state before taking a job with lower pay or starting a school program. Depending on your state and the judge, you may be forced to continue paying the same higher amount of child support, despite having a lower household income.
What to Do If You Can’t Pay Child Support
If you lost your job, were forced to take a lower paying position, have been diagnosed with a debilitating health condition, have mounting medical bills, or you are facing any other type of life change that affects your ability to pay support, you must take action as soon as possible. Start by contacting your local child support enforcement agency and request a child support modification.
It is important to take this step as soon as possible because a judge will not typically make a support modification retroactive. It is advised to seek legal help from one reputable child support lawyer in your area. An attorney can help you gather the necessary information to submit to the courts when requesting a modification.
Now that you know everything important about child support, it’s time to hire the right lawyer. Contact Bedlam Law and we’ll take care of your case!! Click here to visit our website.