Child support was created as a method for making sure that no one walks away from their financial responsibility toward their children. Unfortunately, the system is not perfect, and so-called deadbeat parents are able to get away with shirking their responsibility far too often. Additionally, there are certain rules about child support that many people are unaware of, and breaking one of these rules could result in the resolution of the support order. In other words, even if you believe that you are doing something that is in your child’s best interests, you could end up losing important financial assistance.
Four Things You Need to Know About Child Support
1. You Must Stay in the U.S. – Taking a vacation to another country is not an issue, but if you decide to move with your children outside of the U.S., you will no longer be able to collect child support. Although this might seem nonsensical when you consider that your location has no bearing on the needs of your children, it is a rule that is in place to simplify things for Friend of the Court.
2. You Still Need to Pay Even if You Lose Your Job – If you have been ordered to pay $430 a month in child support, you will still need to come up with this money even if you are unemployed. The only way that this can be altered is if you get a court approved child support modification order. Unfortunately, this is not common, so it is vital to remain employed. As expressed by one group of child supports attorneys in Riverside County, California, “The money involved in these payments is often used specifically for living expenses, which make the payments extremely important. A missed payment or reduced rate may directly affect the quality of life of your spouse or child, at least if the system is working.”
3. Child Support Does Not Always End at the Age of 18 – If a 16 or 17-year-old leaves home permanently, the child support order can be terminated. It is also possible to keep child support in place until the age of 22 if the child is attending school full-time or has a disability that keeps them from working.
4. Failure to Pay Does Not Eliminate the Parent’s Right to See their Children – Even if a parent has refused to pay child support for the past year, it is illegal to prevent them from seeing their children if they have court ordered visitation rights.
Because there are so many specific rules that you need to know about child support, it is important to discuss any questions that you have with a child support attorney. These specialized lawyers can also assist you if you need to file a case against a parent who has stopped making payments.