Child support

From ArticleWorld

Child support is practiced in many countries; it involves the obligation of a non-custodial parent to make periodic payments to the custodial parent (or guardian) to offset the expenses related to the care and support of the children.

In family law

Child support is often something agreed upon as part of a divorce, separation, annulment or dissolution of a civil union or a marriage. Child support is separate from alimony and may be received in addition to this spousal support.

Paternity or maternity must be proved for a child support obligation to be founded. Courts determine the commitment length and payment of this support, which often will continue until a child is 18 (or beyond and will account for college expenses).

It is founded on the ideal that parents are obligated to support their children, even if the child does not reside with them. In a divorce case, the non-custodial parent may be granted visitation rights, but will have to pay a portion of the costs associated with child rearing.

Visitation varies by jurisdiction but in many it is tied to child support: If the custodial parent refuses to allow visitation, then the court can stop payments. In some cases, however, the court may order visitation to occur.

Laws related to child support vary around the world. Some involve the state collecting the payments; others allow the parents to sort the matter out themselves. In fact, 11 states allow courts to demand an accounting from the custodial parent that details how each dollar of child support funds have been spent.

When parents don’t pay

A “dead beat parent” is one who doesn’t pay child support. Some parents say the payments are too high, others say that it’s because they don’t have fair visitation rights. In the U.S., many states have the right to suspend an individual’s licenses if he or she is late on payment.