Once a relationship has ended, a couple with minor children must still work together to ensure their children receive the care possible. Child support laws were established to help children receive financial assistance from both of their parents after the couple no longer lives together. Throughout the last decade, major changes in the way child support is calculated and is disbursed have occurred, leading to several child support misconceptions that often confuse parents who are trying to determine what role child support will play in their post-relationship life.
Only Men Pay Child Support
The idea that only men are required to pay child support has grown over the years, leading to a post-divorce dead beat dad stereotype. In reality, a growing number of women are being required to pay child support to help take care of children of whom they do not have primary physical custody. Even in situations in which parents share custody, a mother who earns more than her former partner may find herself paying child support. The incomes of both parents are taken into consideration when child support is calculated and awarded.
The State is Always Involved
Child support enforcement is the agency commonly associated with collecting payments from noncustodial parents to distribute to the child’s custodial parent. While the agency is designed to make the collection and payment process easier for all involved parties, some do not like dealing with the agency. Even though many cases are handled by child support enforcement at the request of a parent or judge, it is possible to pay and receive support without any government organization being involved. Parents who still have a cordial co-parenting relationship are sometimes able to keep child support distribution between themselves without any major problems.
Visitation is Tied to Child Support
Many parents believe that child support payments and visitation are tied to each other. When one parent falls behind on support payments, the custodial parent may attempt to deny visitation or a parent who is frustrated with their visitation schedule may stop paying child support.
Unfortunately, both actions could cause serious trouble for both parents since child support and child visitation are two entirely different issues. A parent cannot use access to a child as leverage or withhold money from a former partner without repercussions because they do not agree with their current custody arrangement.
Contact an Attorney
Even after you become aware of common child support misconceptions, it is not unusual to have more questions. The best way to protect yourself while making sure your children are taken care of is to contact a child support attorney who can discuss your unique situation with you. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum realize that the financial support of a child is a sensitive subject that is hard for parents who have gone through a difficult separation to discuss. Our team will focus on your best interests and the best interests of your child. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our four Atlanta, Georgia area locations.