Myths and Facts About Child Support

If a divorced couple has children who are minors, the spouse who was the breadwinner in the marriage is usually ordered to pay child support. If a judge recently ordered you to pay child support, you likely have a lot of questions. It’s important to educate yourself about child support and be able to separate fact from fiction. Hire a knowledgeable child support lawyer, such as a child support lawyer in Rockville, MD, to help navigate through paying child support. Here are some of the most common myths and facts about child support:

Myth: If you lose your job, you don’t have to pay child support.
If you lose your job in the future, it doesn’t mean that you will be off the hook from paying child support. The judge may reduce or defer your payments, but you won’t be able to completely get out of paying. You still have to make an effort to pay child support, even if you can’t afford the full amount.

Fact: There are serious consequences for not paying child support.
Failure to pay child support is not something the court system takes lightly. If you have the ability to pay child support but refuse to do so, you could face serious consequences including wage garnishment, driver’s license revocation, and denial of tax refunds. The judge could also order you to serve time in jail for failing to meet your child support obligations.

Myth: Child support can’t be spent on luxury items.
When the parent who is paying child support finds out the custodial parent is spending it on restaurant meals, jewelry, or other unnecessary items, they may get angry. However, as long as the custodial parent makes sure the children are properly fed, clothed, and taken care of, the court generally won’t care about what they spend the rest of the money on.

Fact: Child support payments are based on income.
This is true. How much a parent has to pay in child support will depend on how much they earn per year. It doesn’t have any basis on the actual costs of raising a child.

Myth: Child support always stops when a child turns 18.
While this used to be true, it isn’t always the case anymore. Certain circumstances can order a parent to pay child support past a child’s 18th birthday. For example, if the child decides to go to college, the parent may have to continue paying child support.

Fact: Child support payments aren’t tax deductible.
Child support payments don’t impact income taxes one way or another. The parent who is making child support payments can’t deduct payments, and the parent who is receiving payments doesn’t include them in their income.

If you have additional questions about child support, consult with a family law lawyer today. They can assess your case and advise you about the best way to move forward.

Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into paying child support. 

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