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Planning for child support is one of the most important aspects of your divorce arrangements, so it is natural to have many questions about what paying child support actually means. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation that can confuse parents as they work out ways of making sure that a child’s needs are financially met. Knowing the answers to these commonly asked questions will ease your worries while giving you a starting point for discussing your options with your divorce lawyers.

Who Pays Child Support When Both Parents Share Joint Custody?

Today, many families opt for some type of joint custody arrangements that allow both parents to be involved in important decisions. This type of arrangement benefits the child by making it clear that the child still has the emotional and financial support of both parents. While your child may split the time between both homes, there is still usually one parent who is established as the primary custodial parent. Since this parent is responsible for things such as arranging for health care, education, and other expenses, the other parent will typically still be required to pay some type of child support. However, you should keep in mind that every situation is different, and you can work with your partner through your mediation lawyers to determine how this should work when you share custody.

How Is the Amount of Child Support That Is Owed Calculated?

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for determining child support, as every family and children have different needs. Typically, child support calculations involve several different factors that begin with looking at the paying parent’s income and the family’s current standards of living. Since many things can change during a divorce, it is also important to consider the paying parent’s ability to pay based upon their current expenses such as health costs and rent. If a child has special needs, then this also will be an important part of the child support obligations.

What Exactly Is Child Support Supposed to Cover?

As a general rule, the primary custodial parent is given the responsibility of making the decisions regarding how to use child support to best meet the needs of the child. Sadly, this sometimes becomes a point of bitter contention between parents when the paying parent does not feel as though the money is being used correctly. It is important to understand that child support is expected to help with a wide range of needs, such as daycare, food, living expenses, and clothing. Depending upon your arrangements, child support may be expected to cover health insurance, or this could be factored in to your divorce agreement separately. There are also many things that child support does NOT cover.  To make sure that both parents feel that child support is handled fairly, our experts here at Cuppls recommend counseling to develop strong communication skills that help you talk about your concerns.

Does Child Support Affect a Parent’s Visitation Rights?

Although it is important to avoid getting behind on child support payments, it does sometimes happen. However, the court views child support and visitation rights as separate elements. Withholding a parent’s right to see their child when the parent is late on child support payments only hurts the child involved. Therefore, it is best to seek legal advice online when child support payments stop coming, rather than using it as a bargaining chip with the other parent.

More Questions? Know How to Find the Right Answers

There are many questions that will arise regarding child support between now and the time that your child reaches the legal age of maturity. While it may be tempting to just ask a friend or do some research online, those methods often lead to confusion since child support is a very personalized part of your divorce agreement. It is far better to always seek out legal divorce advice from a qualified expert.

Discussions regarding child support often can get heated, and you may find that you feel confused about important factors such as how much must be paid and what to do if you cannot pay or do not receive payments on time. Understanding how to get the true answers to your questions allows you to make sure that your children always have the financial support necessary to meet their needs.

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