(U. S. Family Law and generally) Child support is an important aspect of the legal system, especially when a couple separates or divorces. After all, it is during these time periods that emotions tend to run extremely high, and that can cause one or both of the parents to shirk their parental responsibilities in lieu of getting a so-called revenge against their former partner or spouse. Therefore, it is necessary for the legal system to impose specific guidelines that determine how much child support must be paid on a monthly basis and which parent is responsible for paying it to ensure that the child’s needs are taken care of.
Abuse of the Child Support System
Unfortunately, not every parent who receives child support utilizes it in an appropriate way. For example, some parents will take the bulk of the money and use it on themselves. When this happens, the child is often left with only the most basic food and a lack of proper clothing and other necessary supplies. Although most parents would never do something like this, it is an issue that some children face, and it is important for the child to receive assistance as soon as possible. In other words, if you are parent who is responsible for paying child support, you need to keep an eye on the situation. If your child is always hungry and wearing old, ill-fitting clothing each time you have visitation, it is a good idea to petition the court to do an assessment of their living situation. This can be especially useful if you desire full custody because improper usage of child support can be construed as the actions of an unfit parent.
Adjusting Child Support
In some cases, it might become necessary to adjust the amount of child support that you are paying. However, the amount that was first set when your divorce was finalized is legally binding. Therefore, it is best to utilize your lawyer in order to file a petition to have the child support amount amended. You will need to have a good reason for your request, however. For example, if your salary has changed dramatically or if you have proof that you ex is not using the money properly, you can ask for a reduction. Unfortunately, not all judges will approve your request. Remember that Riverside County child support laws in California for example, can differ from say child support laws in Dekalb county Georgia. If you use a lawyer, however, your odds of making a strong enough case to receive proper consideration from a judge will be increased.
If you are on the receiving end of the child support and you believe that you are not getting enough money, you can also file a petition with the assistance of a lawyer. Because the child support is based on a formula that considers the amount of children that you have and the annual salary of both you and your ex, you should definitely consider filing a motion if you lose your job or your ex gets a promotion. There is nothing in place that will cause an automatic adjustment to occur if the financial status of one or both of the parents changes, so your only recourse is to ask a judge to increase the child support based on the evidence that you submit.
Regardless of which side of the child support you are on, it is important to do your best to remain civil with your ex. After all, this is not only in the best interests of your children, but it will also help you in front of a judge.
Freelance author Anthony Joseph enjoys writing about the laws that affect children, and contributes this article toward raising awareness on child support issues. The Riverside County child support lawyers from Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, know that these laws can either work for you or against you. They have more than 140 years of combined experience, and know exactly how to provide a successful legal defense.