Myths about child support can actually make it even harder to protect the interests of children. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there, and you may even find that your closest friends share negative opinions about child support when you discuss your divorce with them. And while the most common myths about child support are seen as facts, knowing the truth helps you to make the right decisions.
Myth 1: Child Support Can’t Be Collected After a Child Turns 18
This myth has led to the paying parents thinking that they can actually shirk their obligations until they eventually disappear. While most child support stops accruing once a child turns 18, any amount that has not been paid is still owed. It is also important to note that special circumstances such as a child with severe or permanent disabilities may involve a parent continuing to pay support for a child who is beyond the age of 18.
Myth 2: When Parents Have Joint Custody, No One Has to Pay
Joint custody is an arrangement that many families find effective for helping their kids maintain relationships with both parents. Although some families are able to split the time completely equally and avoid paying child support, this is not the norm. Since most children still reside with one parent the majority of the time, the other parent will need to provide financial support to help make up the difference.
Myth 3: A Parent Behind On Their Child Support Cannot See Their Kids
It is frustrating when a parent gets behind on child support, yet it is important to recognize that payments and visitation should never be linked. Visiting the non-custodial parent is important for the children to continue to have in their relationship. If a parent falls behind on child support, this matter is best handled by seeking legal advice online rather than using the kids as a bargaining chip.
Myth 4: Payment Amounts Cannot Be Changed
People sometimes act as though child support will make the paying parent go broke, or parents receiving payments falsely believe that they must scrape by on an amount that was determined years before. Child support agreements can be modified when circumstances such as losing a job or needing to cover medical costs occur, but you will need to get the changes done through the proper legal channels.
Myth 5: Child Support Can Only Be Spent On the Kids
It is important for a parent who receives payments to be cautious about how he or she spends the money. However, there generally are no stipulations put in place mandating how the child support must be spent. This is because costs for housing, transportation, and insurance all involve supporting the child.
Myth 6: Military Parents Don’t Have to Pay Child Support
Members of the military are often protected from financial harm through laws that determine things such as how evictions or credit reporting are handled. However, these laws do not exclude military parents from paying child support. These parents are still expected to comply with the same child support obligations as civilians.
Myth 7: Losing Your Job Means You Don’t Have to Pay
When your child support payments were established, they were likely based upon a portion of your income. However, losing your job or quitting work does not mean that the obligation ends. Instead, you can find ways to make your payments more affordable, such as working with mediation lawyers to get your order modified.
Myth 8: Only Custodial Birth Parents Can Open A Child Support Case
Although custodial parents are often the first ones to open a child support case, you can choose to do so as a paying parent who wants to make sure that your financial responsibilities are met. This can protect you from having to pay child support retroactively when you have been providing money or supplies, such as diapers, all along.
At Cuppls, we always recommend seeking professional child support advice from our experts who can help you separate the myths from the facts. Being informed during the child support decision-making process is the best way to make sure that your children’s needs are met.