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Overview of child support, Part 1

Child support is mandatory payments from one spouse to the other. Under the traditional framework, the non-custodial parent would send the payments to the custodial parent. The thinking was that the non-custodial parent is not spending time or money on incidental expenses. Therefore, child support ensures that the other parent continues to contribute to the raising of the child. This post will go over the basics of child support.

But in contemporary times, custody isn't so black-and-white. Most parents have joint custody over their kids meaning that both parents can influence and control decisions regarding their children's well-being. In these situations, the court will analyze both parent's income. That combined figure will then determine the total child support. Each parent would then owe their proportional share of the support to the parent with primary custody (if applicable).

If neither parent is the primary, then no child support is paid (however this is rare). Child support payments are given directly to the other parent. You cannot place the money into an account for the benefit of your child. If you believe the other parent is not using the money to raise the child, you can submit evidence to the court, and the judge may implement a different payment scheme.

Are you engaged in a dispute over child support? If you are, you may want to contact an attorney. A lawyer can go over the dispute and advise you of the best way to prepare for the issues. As you can see, the court takes into consideration numerous factors, including incomes, expenses, and the expenses for the child (including school and medical expenses). An attorney can ensure that you present sufficient evidence to establish your income, so you aren't trapped in unsustainable child support payments.

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