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.
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