If you have children but want to end your relationship with their other parent, the issue of child support will inevitably arise. Regardless of whether you two were ever married, the court can order a payment arrangement after you have determined custody. Since family law is complicated and varies by state, it’s natural to have a lot of questions on the subject. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked ones to help you gain a better understanding of the proceedings.
What You Need to Know About Child Support
How are child support obligations calculated?
The court considers several factors when determining child support. You can view all of them on the state’s calculation worksheet. Some of the most critical factors include each parent’s monthly gross income, work-related child care expenses, and health insurance premiums.
Can you modify a child support order?
If you’re the one paying child support and you lose your job, it may be possible to modify the arrangement. In general, individuals can request to change a child support order if they experience a significant change in circumstances, like unemployment or illness. However, there is no guarantee that the request will be granted because the court will consider more than just your current income when determining your financial obligations.
What are the options if your ex fails to pay on time?
When one parent makes payments late or misses them entirely, the other may turn to the court for help enforcing the order. What happens next will depend on the circumstances. In general, though, a judge can order wage garnishment and report the missed payments to consumer credit bureaus. The Family Support Division can also file liens against the parent’s property and suspend their driver’s license.
When does a child support arrangement end?
Since everyone’s situation is different, it is wise to ask a family law attorney how long your particular arrangement will last. In general, though, parents must usually pay until their child turns 18. However, as long as the child is still in school, obligations may continue until they are 21. When the child is disabled, the arrangement can last indefinitely.
To learn more about family law in Missouri, turn to The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh. With one office in Ava and a second in Ozark, this firm is led by a seasoned professional has been practicing for more than two decades. In addition to family law, attorney Swatosh practices criminal defense, personal injury, bankruptcy, and employment law. To explore his comprehensive legal services, visit his website. To schedule an initial consultation, call (417) 683-2987.