Family Law

Child Support is only Legally Required until the Child Turns Eighteen, Graduates from High School, or is Emancipated

The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 considers it a major legal responsibility of all American parents to support their biological children after divorce. Child support is a monthly financial assistance paid by a non-custodial parent (or the obligor) to the custodial parent (or obligee). It is intended to cover the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, healthcare, shelter and education, and is usually paid until the child turns 18. Although states differ with regard to the factors they consider in determining child support issues, some factors are similar, such as: the age and the needs of the child, and the cost of these needs; the parents’ income, which includes salary, commissions, overtime pay, dividends, and so forth; the age and health of both parents; and, the parent’s capability to pay child support.

Sometimes, besides the child’s basic needs, the court may also require the obligor to contribute to his/her child’s distant financial activities and needs, like college education, dental and/or medical needs, vacation and others.

There are instances when the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent may find it necessary to request for changes in the court’s original decision regarding child support due to these reasons: improved financial situation of the non-custodial parent or obligor, thus the possibility of increasing the amount of support; or the obligor’s financial capability getting reduced, maybe due of loss of job or poor health condition that requires regular medical treatment and medication, thus necessitating a reduction in the amount of support he/she ought to pay. Any changes, however, will have to be decided by the court as the issue is a legal matter and any attempt of the obligor to negotiate directly with the obligee (or vice versa), can result to contempt of court.

According to the law firm Kirker Davis, LLP, under Texas law, all parents have a legal duty to financially support their children, regardless of whether they are present in the child’s life or not. Child support is legally mandated, periodic payments that are meant to offset the costs of a child’s general well-being, from basic necessities to expenses associated with education and health care. Usually, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the parent who has primary custody and incurs most of the child’s living expenses. However, there are situations where both parents can be ordered by a judge to pay child support. Decisions regarding who must pay whom depend on who has physical custody of the child.

Child support is only legally required until the child turns eighteen, graduates from high school, or is emancipated. The amount of child support that the court mandates depends on the child’s specific needs and the obligor’s level of income. These two factors are variable as time goes on, so a child support agreement may be modified to accommodate changes in the child’s needs or the obligor’s salary.

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Some Things to Consider About Divorce

Deciding to file for divorce can be one of the most important personal decisions you ever make in your life. After all, it means severing the relationship between you and your (soon to be) ex-partner permanently and being allowed to pursue new relationships. Stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, once said: Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.

And sometimes these things really do need to happen in order for your life to move on the way it should. However, the first thing you really need to consider about divorce is considering divorce. Are you completely sure that this is something you want? It may sound like a redundant question but sometimes, there are people who file for divorce only to back out of it later into the deal, making for unnecessary stress. You need to properly consider and make sure that this is the course of action that you are fully dedicating your commitment. (Sound familiar?)

Another thing you have to consider is the separation of assets between one another as well as custody of the children, if there are any. Which of your shared assets will go to you and which ones will go to your (soon to be) ex-spouse? This can be a complicated, emotionally driven battle especially, according to the website of Denton divorce lawyers Alexander & Associates. Though everyone wants a smoothly flowing case, there are going to be disputes along the way – and that is why it is so important to make sure that there are objective parties to the case who can advise opposing parties onto suitable compromises.

Support and custody may be some things that also need to be talked about, lastly enough. Spousal support may be necessary for a multitude of reasons as well as child support. There are many things that need to be considered about divorce and it is important to have a good talk with your lawyer before making any rash, permanent decisions about the case. Make sure if you do choose to seek legal council, that they are within your state, and if possible county.

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