Child Support – What is it all about?

Child support payment – Both parents have a continuing legal duty to provide financial support for all their children. The court may order either or both parents to make regular payments to cover a child’s living and medical expenses.

How do I arrange for my support payment?
If you would like to arrange for supporting payments, you should contact the local support agency in your county or country of residence and request an application for services. The local support agency provides services at no cost, whether or not you receive any form of public assistance.

How is the amount of support determined?
The amount received is determined using guidelines established by law. Supporting guidelines are based on each parent’s monthly income and the amount of time the child is cared for by each parent.

For the purpose of deciding the received amount, the support agency or court will consider income from all sources, whether or not it is reported or taxed under federal law. The income can be in the form of money, property, or services and includes:

  • Wages from a regular employment (Job)
  • Tips received
  • Commissions received
  • Bonuses received
  • Self-employment earnings (Job)
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Disability and workers’ compensation
  • Interest from bank deposits
  • Dividends from shares
  • Rental income from other property
  • Social Security or pensions
  • Any payments or credits due or becoming due, regardless of the source, including lottery and prize winnings.

The child supporting agency or court will deduct certain payments from each parent’s gross monthly income to determine the net disposable income. Payments that may be deducted includes taxes, mandatory union dues, mandatory retirement contributions, health premiums, child or spousal support actually being paid, and costs of raising children from another relationship. The court will use the net disposable income of each parent, and the percent of time each parent spends with a child to set the support payment amount.

How do I collect payments from a parent who lives inter-state?
Even when parents or guardians live in different states, a support case can be opened at the local support agency. The local support agency can work with the other state to establish or enforce the payment order.

What if either parent losses a job or is earning more money, will the support automatically be changed?

A child supporting order can only be changed by a new order approved by the court. Your local support agency will not automatically review a support order for modification. Either parent must request a review of the support case if there is a change in any circumstances. Support orders may be changed if there has been a substantial change in earning circumstances, such as, an increase or decrease in either parent’s earnings, a change in custody, or a change in the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

You must contact the local child supporting agency who is handling the support order to request a change of the order and then provide the requested new financial information.

You may also file a motion directly with the court regarding the modification of a support order. You may contact the local Family Law office in your county of residence for help in filing this motion.

How long do I have to pay child supporting payments?
Supporting payments generally continue until otherwise noted in the supporting order. A parent’s obligation to pay usually continues until the child becomes 18 years old. However, the current obligation may continue until the child is 19, if the child is unmarried and attending high school full time. A court may order current support to continue because of special circumstances.

Please contact your local support agencies for more information. There are considerable differences in the many various countries around the world.

The information on this webpage does not constitute legal advice it is given to provide a general overview of the subject matter only.

Leave a Comment