With a large percentage of couples getting divorced in our society, it’s important to know your rights, especially if you have children who could be tremendously impacted by their parents’ divorce. Child support is a hot issue, and here are a few essentials you should know regarding child support and legal case briefs.
Who is Eligible for Child Support?
Dependent children have a legal right to child support from their parents. Parents who live together support their children together, but it gets more complicated when parents live apart. Most children will have a court-ordered arrangement to spend a certain amount of time with each parent. Sometimes, to provide more stability for the child, he or she will spend majority-time with one parent and see the other less frequently. A parent who has custody has the main responsibility for the day-to-day care of raising the child, as well as most of the regular expenses. The parent who sees the child less frequently should be paying money to help with the expenses to the parent with custody. This is called child support.
Who Pays Child Support?
All parents are responsible for supporting their children to the extent that they can. The parent who does not have the main day-to-day responsibility of raising the child in the event of a divorce, must pay child support to help with expenses for that child’s upbringing. The amount of child support is usually set according to the Child Support Guidelines. More than one parent can have a legal duty to pay child support for the same child. For example, if a parent with custody of a child separates from their marriage or common-law spouse who is not the child’s birth parent, both the child’s other birth parent and the step-parent may have a legal duty to pay child support which is important to know. A biological father has a legal duty to support his child financially even if he has never been married to, or lived with, the child’s mother. This is true even if he never had an ongoing relationship with the mother. If a man denies that he is the biological father of a child, the court can order him to have a blood test to determine whether or not he is.
When Does Child Support End?
Child support is paid out as long as the child remains a dependent, which means that the child is 18 years of old or younger. There are a few exceptions to this rule, in case the child has married under the age of 18, or if the child is 16 years old or older and has willfully withdrawn from parental control. If the child is over 18 years of age but is unable to be independent because of a disability or illness, or is going to school full-time, the child support may continue. As long as the child’s primary residence is with the parent who has custody, a parent without custody may have to continue paying child support. This may continue until the child is 22 years old or has a post-secondary diploma.