As a father, you have a legal duty to support your children, even if you aren’t married to their mother. But how does child support work? Is there a way out?
Curious about child support? Fathers have a legal obligation to support their children, even when they aren’t married to their mother.
If you are a father, it might be your legal duty to provide child support, but how does child support work? Is there a way out? Read on to find out!
Child Support 101
Non-custodian parents are obliged by law to pay child support. That means that you have to pay child support if your child is living with their mother. Child support is a legal right of your child, and the money go directly to the child.
Child support continues until the child is 18 years old, unless the child has special needs. Some states require child support to continue through college.
Child support burdens the non-custodian parent regardless of marriage. If a child is yours, you must provide for them according to the law.
In the event of joint custody, both parents have to pay child support. The monthly amount non-custodian parents have to pay is determined by the court according to several factors. Let’s see them below.
How is Child Support Calculated?
Each state has its own guidelines that determine the amount of monthly child support paid by non-custodian parents. The most important factor in most child support cases is the income of each parent. The court will also examine whether one parent is underemployed while the other works full time.
Another important factor is whether if one or both parents have other children and are legally obligated to support them. If one parent is already providing for other children, the court will adjust child support accordingly for the other parent.
Most child support calculations factor in the number of overnight visits with each parent. Overnight visits are directly tied to financial responsibility, so the more overnight visits a parent has, the less child support will be required to pay.
Child care and healthcare costs are the final important considerations when it comes to calculating child support. The parent who pays for a child’s healthcare and day-to-day needs will receive credit by the court which is factored in the formula.
Determining if you are Legally Obligated to Provide Child Support
Your parental responsibilities begin when you recognize a child as your own, or according to a paternity test. The results of legal DNA paternity testing are accredited and admissible in court. They can be used to establish benefits or eliminate child support depending on whether you are the biological father or not.
Simply put, if the child is yours biologically, you will be required to pay child support. However, if a legal paternity test proves that the child has a different biological father, then you are exempt from child support.
How Does Child Support Work? Now You Know!
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