Understanding Child Support
Divorce can sometimes be hard, and when children are involved, it becomes even harder. Apart from being separated from the house and some material things, it also leads to emotional turmoil. Divorce and the discussion about child support can be very stressful for both the primary caregivers and the children, so you should get it right.
Your children’s welfare is at stake, and sometimes their level of attachment to you may depend on it.
What is child maintenance?
Child maintenance is a sum of money paid by one parent to the other. This money is for the maintenance of the child. The amount of child support is not static but varies from state to state, and sometimes dealing with child support can be confusing if both parents live in different states. First of all, a custodial parent is defined as the parent who has primary custody of a child most of the time. The definition of a non-custodial parent, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. Generally, the parent does not have physical custody of a child, although they may have legal custody.
In most cases, the non-custodial parent is the one who pays child support. It is important to know that parents do not have to be married for the non-custodial parent to pay child support – and the non-custodial parent can still be very involved in the child’s life.
Put simply; child maintenance is the financial responsibility you have to take on when you have a child. In most cases, the courts order child support to be automatically deducted from the parent’s wages each month.
Use of child support
The money from child support is not for the custodial parent’s own expenses. When it comes to how the money from child support is to be spent, many conflicts can arise.
The money is meant to support the child and provide them with an adequate standard of living. This includes basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothing, but also medical, school, and extracurricular expenses.
Misuse of child benefits is using the money to pay for expenses that do not relate to the child in any way. Even if there is money left over at the end of the month, the amount should be saved for later expenses related to the child.
An assessment will be made to find out who will have to pay for the child support and what the amount should be. Whether you reach an agreement or involve an authority, it is important to have a written agreement. Many people think that written agreements are not necessary as they are on good terms, but bear in mind that this is will not always remain the case, and in these cases, you will want to protect yourself by having a written agreement.
This will avoid you having to go to court again if the non-custodial parent stops paying child support or has other problems.
There are government benefits for single parents in almost every country in the world. In Australia, for example, there is the Family Tax Benefit, where if you have a dependent child or a child who is a student aged between 16 to 19. If you spend at least 35% of your time caring for the child and meet an income test, you will receive a two-part payment to help cover the cost of raising the child.
There are different types of payments in different countries; you need to consult a professional to find out what applies to your case. I recommend that you legally settle everything so that no further problems arise in the future. Let us know in the comments if you think that providing child support is important…