Divorce is a tricky subject, especially when children are involved. There are usually a lot of questions about who will raise the children and whether there will be financial support from the other spouse. Whether the two of you have decided to co-parent—or not—child support will likely be a touchy subject. Fortunately, by knowing the basics about child support you can be prepared.
So what should you know about child support? Here are four good things to keep in mind:
1. Monthly Payment Amount May Increase or Decrease
Child support payments are not permanent and they can change suddenly. However, the reasons for the change in payment amount must be severe enough to warrant it. For example, if a parent becomes suddenly ill or disabled, the payment amount may be decreased. On the other hand, increases in cost of living or getting a significant raise at work may increase the paid each month.
2. Payments May Last Through College
While the typical cut-off age for child support payments is 18 years-old, parents may opt to continue receiving payments throughout the duration of their child's college years. This support will instead go directly to the child to help pay with college expenses. If this was in your initial agreement, expect to pay throughout the college years; unless both parents decide to end the payments early or at age 18.
3. Paying Parents Can Ask For Adjustments
The parent that is paying the child support can ask the court to alter the monthly payment amount. This might occur due to a new marriage, new children, or even a job. Any significant life change can alter the payments either temporarily or permanently. Some reasons for a payment adjustment may include medical bills, illnesses, inability to pay bills, or any other extreme life change.
4. There Are Consequences For Not Paying
Finally, there are consequences for not paying child support each month. These consequences may range from income garnishments to jail time. So it is important to stay up-to-date on monthly payments. If, for some reason, a parent cannot pay they should immediately inform the court and provide information about why they cannot pay to avoid serious consequences.
While child support might be a sensitive subject for many families, it is often a vital necessity for those undergoing divorce. Whether you are the spouse paying or receiving child support, it can be helpful to have a family lawyer on your side. As these professionals can help you navigate the complex waters of family law. look for an expert in your area, such as a divorce attorney Williamsburg, VA offers.