All dependent children under the age of 18 have a legal right to be financially supported by their parents. When parents live together in the same household, both parents support the children. People that do not live with one another often have an arrangement where the child lives with one parent for the majority of the time and the other parent contributes financially. The parent that has the child living with them is known to have child custody, and the other parent helps out with the finances on a monthly basis. Below is a closer look at this and various reasons one should consider filing for child support.
Who Pays Child Support
According to adzlaw.com, all parents have a legal responsibility to support their dependent children to the best of their ability. The parent who has legal custody of the child takes care of the day-to-day expenses, but financial support from the other parent is useful. It is important to note that, if the spouse remarries, the parent is still responsible for making those payments at the pre-determined times.
Child Support Ends
Child support payments must be made until the child reaches the age of 18 unless the child has decided to get married or is 16 years old and voluntarily withdraws from parental control. Reasons for child support to continue beyond age 18 include disability, illness, or the child going to school full-time. This usually continues until the child turns 22 or earns one post-secondary diploma.
When to Apply for Child Support
Parents who have had their children living with them after separating from their spouse can apply for child support at any time. Usually, parents apply right after they decide to separate so the payments can be decided on during the divorce proceedings. Sometimes, a parent does not want any financial support from their spouse at first but their situation changes. If this occurs, they would be able to file for support at a later time.
How Child Support Is Paid
Many parents work out an agreement on their own regarding child support payments. Both parents should have a lawyer write down the information and another to check it. Other parents need assistance to work out the support agreement. In such a situation, both parents work with a mediator who will meet with both of them and help work out an agreement that both parents will accept. Finally, parents who do not agree need the assistance of a lawyer.
What Happens When Child Support is Not Paid
It happens too often that child support does not get paid as required by the settlement. However, this is not a case where the custodial parent should keep the child away from the other parent. The child must have the opportunity to see both parents and should not be punished by denying visitation. There are other ways of ensuring a parent pays the required child support.
Enforcing Child Support Payments
Most court orders regarding divorce are filed with a family readiness group through the court system, and this includes child support payments. The parent paying child support sends their payment to the group, and that group then pays the amount to the spouse with the child. When a payment is missed, the family readiness group will take care of the problem and get things back on track.
Paying child support is an important responsibility. Taking care of children should be a priority for both parents, regardless of how they feel about one another.