Child Support - also known as maintenance - is the financial obligations of a non-custodial parent for the expenses of a child to the custodial parent or guardian, until the child is either 18 or 21. These payments are intended for the living expenses of the child - food, clothing, shelter - but can be used for a specific purpose like schooling, child care, or medical expenses.
Child support is determined during the custodial portion of dissolution of a marriage or civil union. However, in many areas, child support may be awarded based on paternity or maternity without there being a relationship to dissolve. Child support may also be required whether or not the non-custodial parent continues or has a relationship with the child.
Family law regarding child support varies from country to country as well as state to state. Also, child support payments are enforceable debts and are not eligible for discharge under federal Bankruptcy Law. It is an obligation which remains for the length of the court order.
Penalties for non-payment of child support include:
- suspension of drivers licenses
- suspension of hunting licenses
- suspension of professional licenses
- Wage garnishment
- Denial of a passport
Child support is a serious legal matter. You need the calm expertise of a local family law attorney to help you with your agreement and any other situation that arises.
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