Child support is typically paid to the parent who has primary custody to balance out the financial costs of taking care of the child. Here are five myths about child support that some people still believe.
Myth: Child support must directly benefit the child.
Child support is for the child, but it is given to the parent who has custody of the child. The parent can use it for housing, insurance, clothing, or other expenses. Typically, there are no provisions for the parent who receives child support to demonstrate how the money is spent.
Myth: Child support remains the same until the child turns 18.
Child support payments can be increased or decreased, based on several different factors. If one parent has a significant change in income or loses a job, they can ask the court to change child support. If the child has a drastic change in circumstances, child support can be adjusted.
Myth: Once the children turn 18, you don’t have to pay back child support.
If you still owe child support from when your child was a minor, this debt won’t go away when your children turn 18. Many states have no statute of limitations on child support. Your spouse can collect back child support even after the kids have moved out.
Myth: If you don’t pay child support, you can’t see your children.
In most states, there are administrative sanctions for not paying child support, but the courts do not withhold visitation except under dire circumstances. It might be uncomfortable seeing your ex-spouse when you haven’t paid child support, but there is no reason you can’t see the child if you can’t pay child support.
Myth: Child support stops at 18.
The rules aren’t as easy as the child turning 18 for child support to stop. You should go back to your divorce decree to see what it says. In some cases, child support may continue until the child is done with high school. You may be responsible for child support for a disabled adult child. Some courts have made parents responsible for college costs after the child turns 18.
Talk to a Child Support Lawyer
One of the best things you can do for your child is to talk to a lawyer who can help you understand the laws for child support in your state to make sure that you are taking care of your responsibilities and that you know your rights. Make an appointment with a lawyer, like a family law lawyer from May Law, LLP, today.