Dads and Child Support – How Does it Work and What do Struggling Dads Need to Know?

Child support is the duty a biological mother and a father has to support their biological child, regardless of whether you’re married to each other. The set of regulations for determining child support varies from one state to another. Although they vary a great deal, they basically rely on a few fundamental factors that are taken into account for deciding custody and spousal support. Well, there’s no denying the fact that child support is a difficult topic to discuss.

While in some cases, the mothers have to pay child support but in a majority of the cases, a father is charged to pay for it. The entire procedure of support might seem daunting and new to many but you needn’t fret as you’re not alone. Every mother or father who has done it before was certainly not prepared as they are now. So, if you’re a father who has called off his marriage with the mother of your kid, here are some facts that you require knowing about child support. Scroll down to know more.

Child Support – For how long does it last?

As per the law, the person who is obliged to pay child support should continue with the payments until any of the below-listed situations become applicable:

  • Your kid becomes an adult and is no more a minor (unless he/she is still studying in high school or has some sort of special needs)
  • Your right to being a parent is aborted either due to adoption or some other legal procedure
  • Your kid gets a job in the military (applicable to a majority of the states though not all and you need to file a motion with the court)
  • Your minor kid has been legally liberated by the court
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So, in a nutshell, child support lasts until the kid has done with his/her studies and has stepped into the working world.

What sort of effect does the decision of child custody have?


Both the parents of a kid share equal responsibility to financially support their children. However, when they decide to call off their marriage and opt for a divorce, one parent receives the physical custody of the child. This parent also keeps up to the responsibility of being called the custodial parent.

It is then that the other parent agrees to make a payment towards child support so that he may fulfill the financial obligations of a non-custodial parent. In joint custody cases, the total amount of child support that has to be paid by each parent is usually determined by the court. The court considers the percentage of money that each spouse contributes towards the joint income of the couple and also the percentage of time they have physical custody of their ward.

If you’re a stepfather, will you be held financially responsible for the child?

In most cases, a stepfather is not held financially responsible for making child support payments, unless he has adopted the kid legally and taken his responsibility. The rules and regulations for child support by a stepfather vary from one state to another. Hence, if you’re a stepfather reading this article, you need to do more research.

Child Support – What if you are still not married?


The commitment of financially and physically supporting a kid is never conditioned by whether or not you are married. When you are a parent, you have the full liability to support your child financially. In fact, your responsibilities as a parent are determined by either of the two ways:

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You verbally recognize authority over your kid and accept that you are a parent by welcoming the kid and taking good care of him/her as your own
The fact that you are the parent is determined by a paternity test

As long as the definition of a parent is concerned, laws differ. In case there is the slightest of doubt regarding your parentage, you might have to seek the help of a child support attorney.

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Child Support Amount – How is it deduced?

Each of the states in America is bound by the law to set their individual guidelines which are used for calculating child support payment from parents. The amounts are entirely calculated keeping in mind their income and their expenses.

The states of the United States are given enough judgment in formulating these guidelines and this means that the child support payments may vary in-between states. The court takes into account various points like the standard of living of the kid before the divorce happened, the particular needs of the child, the resources available for the custodial parent, and the ability to pay for the non-custodial parent.

Can you deny child support?


One of the biggest complaints among non-custodial fathers is that their ex refuses to give importance to visitation orders. During such situations, there might be a temptation to deny child support but this is something that isn’t allowed by the court. Visitation and child support payments are two different things, as per law.

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When your ex-spouse isn’t following the custody decree by offering visitation as per law, you have to visit the court to enforce another order from the court. Irrespective of any visitation issues, you’re supposed to keep making payments to child support.

What happens in case of nonpayment?

Not being current on your child support payments is a big issue that welcomes legal involvement. Being delinquent on child support payments also hurts your credibility image with the court and other officials. Once this relationship is damaged, you may eventually find it tough to make alterations to your parenting plan, other areas of the legal relationship, and custody arrangements.

Few of the potential upshots can include short-term jail, blocking of tax refund, wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, and property seizure. For any further questions on child support, you may need to consult an experienced family law attorney.