Frequently Asked Questions—Child Support

The establishment and calculation of child support raises several important and commonly asked questions.

Child support can be an ongoing battle. Both parents usually have strong opinions about who should be paid what regarding the care of the children resulting from the marriage. Even after child support guidelines are put in place, there can be continued issues with payment of child support. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding child support:

Who pays child support?

Most often, the parent who cares for the child the majority of the time will be entitled to receive child support payments from the other payment. Financial necessity and ability to pay child support will also be considered. In calculating child support payments, the court will consider factors such as:

  • The income of each parent;
  • The potential earning ability of each parent;
  • Medical insurance coverage;
  • Cost of child care; and
  • Cost of the child’s extracurricular activities.

How long will I have to make child support payments?

Both parents have an obligation to provide financial support for their children until they reach the age of majority, 18 years. If the child will not graduate from high school until they are older than 18, child support payments must be made until the child graduates from high school. There are special circumstances in which child support payments may be required beyond 18 years of age or high school graduation.

Can I get child support payments modified if I have A change in financial circumstances such as losing a job?

Yes, you can seek a modification of child support obligations. You may be able to do this by simply talking to the other parent and seeing if you both can agree to a change. If you can reach an agreement, you can file an Agreed Order with the court and most judges will sign off if both parents agree to the modification.

If the other parent will not agree to a modification, you can file a Petition to Modify with the court. You must be able to demonstrate a substantial change in financial circumstances to justify the modification.

If one parent has failed to make child support payments, can the other prevent that parent from child visitation?

No, one parent cannot prevent the other parent from exercising visitation rights due to missed child support payments. Legally speaking, child custody and child support are two separate issues. If you have been denied access to your children based on missed child support payments, the other parent may be in violation of the law. You can bring the issue before a judge, but it will be best if you can explain the missed child support payments, find a way to get current on your payments, or create a plan to get back on track with child support payments.

When it comes to kids and money, there can be a great deal to fight over. Contact the experienced child support attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley to get trusted legal representation. We are here to provide the legal support and counsel you need to get through the process. Contact Kidwell, South, Beasley & Haley today online, or call 615-893-1331 to schedule a free consultation.