Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support

Picture: Caleb Woods
Child support isn’t something the average family in the United States has to concern themselves with. However, there may come a time when your family separates, and you’re forced to learn everything there is to know about the subject to take care of your children. Whether you’re the payer or the payee, here are some of the frequently asked questions about child support to ensure you’re well-informed.

How Much Is Child Support in the US?

Talk to any child support attorney, and they’ll tell you that everyone’s child support payments differ based on your unique family setup and earnings. Typically, parent incomes, living costs, the amount of time each parent is with the children, and the cost of bringing up children can determine how much each parent pays in child support payments. According to Statista, the latest average child support received by custodial parents from noncustodial parents was $3,431 in 2017.

How Does Child Support Work In the US?

When you’ve never had to worry about how child support works in the United States, it’s only natural not to know the process for seeking it from a noncustodial parent. Contacting a family lawyer is among the best ways to navigate the child support process. They can answer any questions about how it works and how to ensure your child’s financial needs are taken care of.
You can also contact your state or tribal child support agency and gather the information you’ll need to file an application. Typically, child support offices need some of the following details:
- Noncustodial parent information
- Names and addresses
- Social security numbers
- Current or recent employer details
- Income and assets information, such as tax returns, investments, pay slips, and property selling
- A child support order
- Expenses information, such as health care, daycare, and special needs

How Long Does Child Support Last in the US?

In most states, you will stop paying or receiving child support when your child turns 18, gets married, starts going to college, or dies. However, there are situations where you might receive or pay child support after your children turn 18, such as if they are still living at home and attending high school or your children have special needs.
In some states, child support payments cease when children reach the age of majority, which is the legal age under state law when someone is no longer a minor. In most states, this is 18 or after high school graduation, but it can also be 21 in some states.

Is Child Support Compulsory in the US?

Child support payments can be significant, and you might feel like you shouldn’t need to make payments when you’re assisting your children in other ways. However, child support payments are compulsory.
You are required to support your children financially if you don’t have custody of them and must make payments to the custodial parent by law until your children become adults. In most states, calculations are made based on both parents’ gross incomes after deductions. Courts might also factor in bonuses, commissions, social security benefits, and other payments you receive.
Child support can be challenging to familiarize yourself with when you’re only at the beginning stages of divorce proceedings with your spouse. However, your chosen family attorney can assist with answering any questions you might have about the process.

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Posted - 11/18/2022