6 Things You Should Know about Child Support Law

Whether you are going to receive or pay child support, it is always a good idea to find out more about the conditions on which it is provided. Here are some things you probably didn’t know:

1. Monthly Child Support Obligation Can Increase or Decrease

Depending on circumstances of both parents, monthly obligation can get bigger or smaller. The latter may happen if the paying parent can prove substantial financial difficulties caused by severe disability, long-term unemployment or other drastic and provable changes in regular income. And vice versa, if the payer’s monthly salary has considerably and permanently grown above what it was at the moment the order was put in place, one can file a petition to the court to increase the monthly obligation.

2. Not All Types of Income Are Considered when Estimating the Financial Condition of the Payer

One’s monthly obligation is calculated in accordance with the payer’s gross income, which usually includes regular sources like wages, rental income or tips. However, it does not concern all sources, and a number of government benefits like Supplemental Security Insurance does not count towards it. You should contact a good lawyer, like this child support lawyer in Los Angeles, to clarify the matters a bit.

3. Total Number of Children Can Influence One’s Monthly Obligation

Another thing taken into account when calculating one’s monthly obligation is how many children the person in question has in total and how much child support one pays for each of them. In other words, if the payer has another child, the court may consider decreasing their obligation.

4. Obligation May Depend on the Time Each of the Parents Spends with the Child

Many jurisdictions take into account the amount of time each of the parents spends with the child. In other words, if the conditions of one’s visitation and custody undergo a drastic change and one starts providing housing, clothing and other daily necessities for the child, the court may consider decreasing their monthly obligation – and vice versa.

5. There Are Numerous Ways to Force One to Pay One’s Monthly Obligation

Sometimes actually going through with these measures may be tricky and require quite some time and effort to force one’s way through legal proceedings. However, depending on the state, there are many unpleasant ways one may be forced to pay. Some of them include: criminal penalties, driver’s license revocation, interception of lottery winnings, tax refund deductions, passport cancellation, salary garnishment and then some.

6. Court May Deviate from the Guidelines

Guidelines are guidelines, not laws, and courts have a lot of leeway in how they interpret them. Some of the reasons the court may deviate from them are these: educational needs of one or both parents, extraordinary expenses of the noncustodial parent when using visitation rights and some others.

Child support is a complicated and sensitive issue, and taking into account how overwhelmed family courts are nowadays, it is certainly a good idea to learn as much about the subject as possible before doing anything.

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