Child Support FAQ

After A Child Has Been Raised, Is The Parent Who Raised Them Able To Sue For Back Child Support?

This depends on the law in the state where the parents live. In some states, the parent who was to receive child support can collect support owed even after the children are adults. The parent who was supposed to pay child support cannot claim that the child support is too old to be collected, or that the other parent should have tried to collect sooner, except to the extent collection is barred by the statute of limitations.

Does filing for bankruptcy allow me to modify my child support obligation?

Maybe. If your income has drastically changed for various reasons, such as layoff or illness, then you may be eligible for a modification of your child support obligation. The circumstances under which you can modify your child support obligation will vary according to your state’s laws.

What About Allocation Of Standard Living?

Each parent is supposed to pay for child support according to his or her ability and circumstances and station in life. A parent with the higher standard of living has the obligation to ensure his or her children share in that lifestyle. A non­custodial parent cannot be forced to pay child support beyond his or her means simply to match the custodial parent`s new station in life (as where custodial parent remarries into wealthier social position).

My Wife Is Delinquent On Her Court-Ordered Medical Payments For Our Child. Can I Sue Her For The Delinquent Funds In Small Claims Court?

Small Claims court never has jurisdiction of Family law matters (despite what you see on TV). You may need to contact Family Support Services in your city, or at your courthouse, and find out what your local rules are for the enforcement of the judge`s orders.

How Do Child Care Costs Get Factored In?

The cost of child care can likewise be apportioned between the parents. Because child care costs are incurred so that a parent is able to earn income, it means that a greater amount of combined income is available for the support of the child. Since both parents benefit from the cost of child care, this cost is divided between the parents (usually 50% each). The parent who actually pays the child care expense receives payment from the other parent.

I'm a Stepparent. Do I Have An Obligation To Support The Children From My Wife's Previous Marriage?

No. You should not be responsible to provide for the children`s support, unless there was an adoption or you agreed to provide support in a marital agreement.

I Am The Bilogical  Father Of An Illegitimate Child Born To A Married Woman Who Had Agreed To Abort The Child. Do I Have To Pay Child Support?

A biological father is responsible for paying child support unless someone else adopted the child or his parental rights were severed by court action.

Is Child Support Suspended During Summer Vacations With The Noncustodial Parent?

No, unless the parents agree to a different amount during vacation periods when the child(ren) are away for long periods of time with the non­custodial parent or the order says otherwise.

Do I Need To Use An Attorney To Do The Paperwork For Releasing A Consenting Father Of His Parental Rights?

In the end you are better off using an attorney. The issue is one of informed consent. You might pay for his attorney to advise him of his rights and to place in any such agreement that he received advice of counsel. That way, 4 years from now, he can`t come back at you and say: I didn`t understand what the heck I was doing.

What Are The Tax Consequences Of Child Support?

For federal income tax purposes, child support payments you receive are not income ­ they are tax free to you. The parent who makes the payments cannot deduct the amount as an expense on his or her federal tax return. However, sometimes parents are able to negotiate higher alimony (which is deductible by the parent making payments and taxable income to the receiving parent) to generate tax savings.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

Additional Child Support Articles

Search LawInfo's Child Support Resources