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Understanding the basics of child support

The dissolution of a marriage can be an extremely stressful experience both financially and emotionally. However, when more than just the two partners in marriage are involved, the situation can become even more complicated. More issues can arise when children are involved in a divorce, just one of them being child support. Understanding the basics of what child support is can help those going into a divorce or those in the middle of one.

When a parent is given custody of a child or children in a divorce, a court may order the non-custodial parent (the parent that does not have custody) to pay the custodial parent a sum of money in order to assist in expenses related to the children involved. The amount of money is determined by a calculation that includes several different factors that includes the income of both parents, health premiums, less-concrete factors such as best interests of the child or children and more.

Unfortunately, a child support order does not guarantee the payment. If child support payments become delinquent, garnishes may be applied such as amounts taken from tax refunds or the seizure of personal property.

The complexities of child support are not able to be perfectly summed up in a short blog post. While the above is a quick snapshot, there are a number of different issues that can come up while the support order is being formed or while the payments are in process. Seeking the assistance of an attorney who is experienced in matters of child support can help those involved in such situations move toward a stable, post-divorce life.

Source:, "Child Support Basics," accessed June 11, 2015

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