What Is Child Support, And How Is Child Support Determined?

Child support is a periodic payment made to a custodial parent from a non­custodial parent to help compensate a child's living expenses, i.e. food, clothes, etc., and any other related debts.  When one parent is awarded sole custody, as in the event of a divorce, the non­custodial parent is required to fulfill his or her child support obligation by making set payments, whereas the custodial parent meets his or her support obligation through the custody itself.  When parents are awarded joint custody in a divorce, however, the support obligation is shared, and is based on a ratio of each parent's income, and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

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.

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