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A review of common child support questions

Contentious divorces are nothing new or revolutionary. But, what a lot of the movies miss out on discussing, is how complicated it is to divide a life and set up support plans. Movies and television focus on the emotional aspects of divorce (cheating! Secret families!) but rarely do they slog through the complicated formulas and guidelines that lawyers and judges apply every day. Child support is no different. This post is going to go over some of the most common questions involving child support.

Child support was once paid by the father to the mother for the care of their mutual child. The court (almost) always awarded custody to the mother, therefore, the father was obligated to pay support for his children, since he was no longer living with them and presumably avoiding his parental responsibilities.

In modern times, child support is ordered paid by whichever spouse has less time with the children (since most couples now share custody and parenting time). These new rules have also led to more disagreements over the amount, schedule for payment, and method of payment.

Some parents, who do not trust their ex-spouse, want to be able to pay their child the support money directly. Many parents legitimately fear that their child is not receiving proper care and the other parent is squandering the support funds. While this is undoubtedly true, children lack the legal capacity to accept payments. In a handful of extremely rare situations, the court will allow direct payments (in the case of emancipated children) or to a trust which then allows the trustee to disburse the money as needed for the child.

If you do not trust you spouse and want to find alternative ways to pay child support, you may want to speak with a lawyer. As illustrated above, it is rare to avoid paying your ex-spouse, but it is possible. An attorney can go over the methods that you can use to achieve your goal, but it is important that your expectations are tempered by the uphill battle these claims present. A lawyer can help you through every step of the way.

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