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Child Support, Who Pays and How Much?

"Everyone has to pay their child support, and no matter if you're a Hollywood actor or anyone else, it's always a little bit more than you want to pay." - Ethan Hawke

Child support is a concept that is often thought of as a negative, and while some parents do abuse the money they receive as support, it must be remembered that child support payments are funds that are to be used for the best interest of the child or children born to the parties. Nobody asked or forced anyone to have a child together, and like other actions in life, there are obligations that follow those actions. It just so happens that children require a substantial financial investment to raise and provide for, and thus, child support exists.

A misconception about child support is that it is always the father who bears the burden of payment to the mother. This is simply false, and the obligation to provide child support can fall to either parent of the child or children. The determination of who ends up paying the support amount will be decided on a variety of factors, those factors will include, but will not be limited to, the incomes of the parents, the timeshare of each parent, the amounts each parent pays in child care for the child(ren), and who pays the child(ren)'s healthcare, etc.

These factors are each given individual consideration alongside evidence presented to the Court, and from there a child support guideline will be created. That guideline will show each parent's financial obligation to the support of the child or children, and will ultimately show if one parent will owe the other a set amount per month. Now, if the parents come to a mutual agreement to the amount of child support one parent will pay that differs from the child support guidelines, the parents can jointly request the Court to deviate from the guidelines. However, this deviation will need to be presented with testimony and evidence showing that the deviation will not be detrimental to the child or children, and is being made in good faith. The granting of a Motion to Deviate is not easily accomplished and is something a qualified attorney in family law will be able to discuss with you.

Additionally, when discussing child support you must also consider when the child or children were born to the parties. If the child or children were born during a marriage, and the parties divorce, then the Court will adjudicate the child support at the finality of the divorce proceedings. On the other hand, if the parties were not married at the time of the child or children's birth, then the father or mother will need to establish paternity of the father in order for him to be given legal recognition as a parent. Once paternity is established, the Court will order child support based upon the guidelines to be paid by either parent to the other depending on those guidelines. Paternity is also required to protect the father's rights when it comes to his timeshare and parental responsibility of the child or children. This however is another topic entirely, one that we will certainly cover.

If you or someone you know would like to further discuss child support obligations and related issues please do not hesitate to reach out to The Hosner Law Group for a consultation regarding the ordering, modification, or enforcement of child support.

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