The current divorce rate in the United States sits at 3.2 per 1,000 married individuals. This is down from several years ago, which means that the divorce rate is declining!
However, it still happens. If you are going through a divorce, it can be difficult. You may be struggling, and that’s okay.
But there’s no point in struggling alone, especially when there are plenty of people, communities, and programs out there to help you through it!
One thing you may need help with is child support. If so, this guide can help you understand a bit more about it and what you need to know. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Child Support?
If you are going through a divorce, one of the most important things that you will need to understand if you have kids is child support.
In simple terms, child support is supplying payments to support a child during a divorce.
There are many different factors to understand when determining who is going to be providing child support. This typically depends on the income of the parents and how much time the child spends with either parent.
In a lot of cases, child support can actually be amicably worked out by the parents without going through the legal system or getting legal help. However, this is not always the case. If it’s not, the court will determine child support payments.
When the court gets involved, these payments are legally binding for both parties. They can either be paid from parent to parent, as part of a wage garnishment or through a state child support agency. This can be decided between parents with the help of the court.
What Does Child Support Cover?
If you are paying child support or about to start paying child support, you may be wondering what it covers. All child support goes towards covering any expenses related to the child. This could be for shelter, food, clothing, transportation, any medical bills they may have, health insurance, transportation needs, education needs, and anything else related to them.
The idea is to provide financial security for the child. The financial security only lasts until the child becomes an adult. Usually, this means that the payments will stop at age 18, but there are times that it can remain in place until the child is 21 or even a little bit older, depending on the needs of the child.
So what happens if a parent misses a child support payment? If a parent fails to pay, this could result in going to jail, intercepting a tax refund, the government seizing property, or something similar. However, of course, there are exceptions to the rule.
If you need to pay child support but there is a major life change, there’s always the possibility to petition the court. You may be able to modify the child support payment if you face a job loss or are going through a serious illness at the time.
Who Gets the Child Support Payment?
If you are going through a divorce, the financial stress that you are feeling is enough on its own. But add in child support, and it can become even more stressful very quickly.
One of the most popular questions is who gets the child support payment during the divorce.
This typically goes toward the custodial parent. The custodial parent is the one who cares for the child on most days or for the most amount of time.
The non-custodial parent will be the one making the payments to the custodial parent. These payments depend on the income of the parents, the expenses of the child, and the time spent with the child.
How Child Support Is Calculated
Calculating child support is not a random process. The federal government requires that each state has their own process to calculate child support. The amount of child support is based on the parent’s income and expenses.
Although there are some other factors, this is the majority of what is taken into account by the courts.
However, the court will also look at the child’s needs and how likely the non-custodial parent is to be able to make payments. By looking at these factors, the state may determine that using the normal formula shouldn’t be done in this case. This is done on a case-by-case basis.More Details
The Income Shares Model is the most popularly used model for child support payments across 40 states. To determine the amount of child support, the states do the following:
- The income of the parents is added together
- Based on this number, a basic child support obligation number is determined
- Based on this number, other considerations are taken into account such as medical care or work-related and child-care expenses
- The child care support obligation is then split between parents based on a prorated rate determined by their income
Understanding Child Support
Going through a divorce is never easy, but having to go through the divorce and figure out your legal obligations as a parent for child support is even more difficult.
Getting used to having two houses can be extremely difficult for you and your former spouse. Luckily, 2houses is a program designed to help make the transition easier so you can focus on your own health and well-being during this difficult time.
With 2houses, you can keep track of finances, calendars, and everything else having to do with co-parenting all in one place.
If you feel that you’d benefit from this, you can start your free trial today to try it out before committing!