If you know anyone who has been through a divorce, there is a good chance one of them is or has been required to pay child support. Despite how common child support payments are, many people are unaware of the laws and regulations surrounding them.
Why do people pay child support?
When a couple gets a divorce, there are many decisions to make: division of property, how to resolve shared debts, and so forth. For couples with children, the most complicated question is often how to resolve custody. Many experts recommend that both parents share custody, but some couples find the best option is for one parent to have sole custody. In these situations, the other parent is usually required to pay child support.
What are the laws regarding child support?
Understanding the legal status of child support can be made easier by comparing it with alimony. Alimony payments are made from one spouse to the other directly. Alimony is taxed the same as other kinds of income. Since these are financial transactions between adults, unpaid alimony can usually only be collected through collection agencies.
In contrast, child support is money contributed by one parent to help care for the child or children. Child support isn’t taxable, because the law doesn’t see it as personal income for the parent with custody. Failure to pay child support is a crime and can lead to substantial fines or even jail time, according to our child support attorneys.
The exact amount of the payments varies from case to case. How much one parent will pay depends on factors such as the two parents’ income levels, any special requirements the children might have, and many other criteria.
For more information on child support and other divorce and custody issues, contact the Oceanside child support lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP today at 760-722-7646. Our combined experience with even the most complex custody issues gives us the skill and knowledge to help find a suitable custody arrangement for your specific situation.