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Under the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, child support payments are based upon each parent's current income. This includes a number of elements including: occupational wages, assets such as stocks and bonds, welfare benefits. Other factors include the custodial parent's living expenses and the standard of living of the child before divorce, the specific needs of the child; i.e. health insurance, educational needs, and applicable day care expenses, and the noncustodial parent's ability to pay. However, under such circumstances as incarceration, pastdue child support would continue to accumulate (overdue payments are called arrearages or arrears), and the noncustodial parent would be responsible for paying pastdue payments when released, either immediately or in installments, as mandated by a court of law.
Child support payments can be modified over time for reasons such as an increase in either parent's earningsthis can include additional income from remarriage, a decrease in income due to a job change, a change in custodyin which the child support order may be reversed, a change in the amount of time the child spends with each parent, or the specific needs of a child or either parent change due to a medical disability, etc.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified child support lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local child support attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.