What is Child Support?
Child support is a legal obligation that requires parents to contribute to the financial needs of their child. A parent often gives money to support the child to the child’s custodial parent, the parent the child primarily lives with. The amount of child support paid is determined based on various factors, including both parents’ income, the child’s needs, and custody arrangements.
Child support covers the child’s basic needs, including food, clothing, and shelter. In addition, child support funds may pay for medical expenses, education, and extracurricular activities.
Gender-Neutral Child Support Laws
Child support laws are gender-neutral, meaning both mothers and fathers can be required to pay child support. The law recognizes that both parents are legally obligated to financially support their children, regardless of gender.
In the past, child support laws were often biased against fathers, assuming that mothers were the primary caregiver and entitled to child support. However, as more women have entered the workforce and traditional gender roles have become outdated, the law has become more gender-neutral.
Do Women Pay Child Support?
Yes, the court can order women to pay child support just like men. Each caregiver deserves the support they need to help their child flourish. If a court determines that a parent, regardless of gender, has a legal obligation to pay child support, they will be required to do so. There are many cases where women are ordered to pay child support, for example, when their partner has custody most of the time or if there is an unbalanced income between both parents.
According to the Child Support Supplement to the April 2016 Current Population Survey (CPS), approximately half of the 13.6 million custodial parents had either legal or informal child support arrangements. Custodial moms were 53% more likely to have agreements than custodial dads (40%).
While this statistic indicates that mothers are more likely to be custodial parents and receive child support payments, it does not mean that mothers are exempt from paying child support. The report shows that many custodial fathers receive child support, whether from the child’s biological mother or their other adoptive parent.
History of Child Support Laws
In the past, there was no obligation for parents who separated to support their children financially directly. Before 1975, the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program was the primary method of providing financial assistance to families with children. However, the government took this money from the noncustodial parent to support the AFDC welfare program. Child support payments did not go directly to children and caregivers.
In 1975, the United States founded the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program. The program’s goals were to enforce the collection of child support payments to recoup money for the welfare payments made to families by the government. The program also sought to assist families in obtaining regular and ongoing child support payments from the parent and help these families remain self-sufficient.
The Child Support Enforcement program has made efforts to change over time from a “welfare cost-recovery” program to a “family-first” one that tries to improve the well-being of families by making child support a more dependable source of income. However, there
What Factors Determine Child Support Obligations?
Today, gender does not determine whether a parent must pay child support. Child support considers factors like the income of both parents, the needs of the child, and custody arrangements.
Income of Both Parents
Typically, the higher-earning parent will be required to pay more child support. If one parent has a significantly higher income than the other, the court may order that parent owes a more significant portion of the child support obligation. However, this is not always the case.
Needs of the Child
The court considers the child’s needs when determining child support obligations. Needs include food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, and other expenses related to the child’s well-being. When choosing the appropriate amount owed for child support, the court will also consider the child’s age, health, and special needs.
Custody arrangements are another essential factor in determining child support obligations. If one parent has sole custody of the child, the non-custodial parent will typically be required to pay child support. If the parents share custody, the court may order both parents to contribute to the child’s financial needs.
Calculating Child Support Obligations
Calculating child support obligations can be a complex process that varies depending on the jurisdiction. Each state has its own guidelines for calculating child support obligations in the United States.
Sometimes, the court may deviate from the guidelines if exceptional circumstances warrant a different child support obligation. For example, if the child has significant medical needs, the court may order more child support to cover those expenses.
Contact Barnds Law LLC About Child Support Today
While mothers are more likely to be custodial parents and receive child support payments, this does not exempt them from paying child support. Calculating child support obligations can be a complex process that varies depending on the jurisdiction. It is essential to understand that child support is a legal obligation. Failure to pay can result in severe consequences, such as wage garnishment, seizure of assets, and even jail time.
If you have questions about your child support obligations, it is vital to seek the advice of a qualified family law attorney. Call Barnds Law LLC today. We can help you understand child support obligations and will fight to protect you and your child’s rights.