Child support can be one of the contentious areas between divorcing parents, especially if the child lives with one parent most of the time. The other parent may resent handing over money to their ex and question if they are really spending it on their child.
If you are expecting to pay child support to your ex, here are some questions you may have:
How long will I have to pay support?
You need to pay until your child turns 18 or 19 if still at high school, whichever comes last. If your child has special needs you may need to pay it for longer. If a court removes your legal parenting rights, your child becomes legally independent from you, marries or joins the military, then the need to pay child support will end sooner.
What if I cannot pay support?
If you lose your job or suffer an injury that means you cannot work or something similar, you may be able to seek a reduction. Yet typically this would need to be a situation that will last some time. For instance, losing your job would not normally entitle you to apply straight away. A court would expect you to seek other employment.
What if I just stop paying support?
What you definitely must not do is reduce payments or stop paying altogether without a court’s permission. That could have further legal consequences. Besides, courts may decide to take it directly from any wages you earn or impulse you to pay by suspending your driving license or seizing your property.
Clearly, it is vital to ensure the court sets a reasonable amount of support from the outset. Getting legal help to explain how much child support you can afford will be crucial.