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What Is Child Support?

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You surely heard the term “Child Support” a lot before. You probably already know that it is a term for financial support for children. But without dealing with it, it is hard to know about the details. So, in this article, we answer the question “What Is Child Support?” for you.

What Is Child Support?

According to the law, all parents have the responsibility of supporting their children financially until they turn the age of 18. This law applies to birth parents as well as non-birth parents, adoptive parents, and step-parents. Also, in some cases, the child can be considered dependent after the age of 18 too. So far it is OK, but this is not the answer to the “What Is Child Support?” question. This term is mostly used for a more particular practice, which is what you may think about when you hear these words. So, let’s have a look at the meaning of this term, in the way it is mostly being used.

What are Child Support Payments?

The term “Child Support” refers to the payments which typically separated parents are ordered to make for supporting the needs of their children financially. The order can be given even in the cases that a parent has no contact with their children. In the eyes of the law, the responsibility of financial support is not related to their personal relationship either.

So, this is the most basic answer to the question of “What is child support?”. However, there are more details about it. Most people don’t know how Child Support works. So, let’s take a look at some details.

Who Pays the Child Support Payments?

Child support payments can be ordered not only in divorce cases but also for parents who never married. After a divorce or extramarital birth of a child, one of the parents holds physical custody of their children.

Depending on the court order, usually the non-custodial parent who is not living with and raising the child becomes responsible for paying a certain amount of money for the child’s financial needs. We can refer to the parent who pays the child support as ‘the payor parent’.

Even in joint custody cases child support orders are possible. Therefore, the what is child support question has answers that are more complex than supposed. In joint custody cases where the child lives mostly with one parent and visits the other parent at certain times, the parent who will spend less time with the child can be ordered to pay child support. Even when both parents have an equal amount of time to spend with the child, the parent with the higher income can be the payor parent.

The child support orders are only applied to genetic and legal parental relations. This means that although during the marriage a step-parent may be the financial sponsor of the child, after the divorce they are not required to pay child support unless there is an extraordinary situation. However, the stepparent may adopt the child legally, and this makes them the legal parent, hence they would be required to pay child support after divorce if they don’t hold the custody.

Who Receives the Child Support Payments?

Child Support payments are determined by counting in the necessary spending, education, and other needs of the child. In some ways, child support aims to provide a child with the opportunities and joys that can be experienced in a family where the parents are married. No child should miss anything in their life just because the parents could not stay together. Of course, child support payments are only helpful for financial aspects but at least they help the custody holder parent to provide the basic needs and some enjoyment in a child’s life.

For this purpose, the payor parent sends the Child Support money to the parent who lives with the child and has custody. Typically Child Support Payments are made monthly. And the amounts paid are determined by the payor parent’s living standards to reflect that life quality of their child’s life as well.

More Info

There are more detailed aspects of the amount of Child Support payments. You must check the “child support” category of this site for more information. Also, you can find more information on those “what is child support” related articles, on this page.

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