Child support is an important obligation that both of a child’s parents must maintain after they go through a divorce, separation, or end to a non-marital relationship. The Commonwealth uses a set of complex guidelines to decide how much money each parent should pay in order to provide for their child, and based upon the incomes of the parents and other factors different families may end up with different child support orders. As such, readers should seek their own legal advice on their unique child support questions as this post offers general information only.
Child support can be used for a number of child-rearing costs. Basic needs’ costs like food, shelter, and clothing may be covered with child support money, as can educational costs, healthcare costs, and childcare costs. Child support may be used in some cases for travel expenses, extracurricular activities, and other child-related needs.
When a court orders child support it will automatically review the order every three years. That is because children’s needs change over time and their child support orders may become outdated. Parents who experience changes in their own financial circumstances may also seek to modify their child support orders outside of this three-year review period if needed.
When a parent falls behind on their child support payments they may be subject to sanctions to compel them to pay. Custodial parents who are not receiving the support their kids deserve from their co-parents can seek to enforce the provisions of their child support orders and agreements. Additional questions about child support and how it may work in a reader’s own situation should be brought to the attention of knowledgeable family law attorneys.