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When a couple divorces and there are minor children involved, one of the parents will be ordered to make child support payments. If you are the parent who has to make support payments, you likely feel overwhelmed and have several questions. That’s perfectly normal because you are experiencing a major life change. It’s a good idea to consult with an experienced child support lawyer to understand your case better.
Here are some common child support myths you need to be aware of:
Child Support Payments Must Be Spent on the Child
A common misconception is that every penny of child support has to be spent on just the child. While the payments should go toward necessities the child needs, such as food and clothes, the courts doesn’t closely monitor how the parent spends the money. The courts will trust that the parent receiving the support will spend the money in the best interests of their children.
Child Support Is Tax Deductible
This isn’t true. Parents who pay child support are not permitted to deduct the payments from their taxes. Parents who receive the support payments also are not allowed to claim the money as part of their income on their taxes.
Parents Who Are Unemployed Don’t Have to Pay Child Support
If you don’t have a job, you might assume that the court can’t force you to pay child support. However, the court can actually determine how much income a parent should be making based on his or her education level and work experience and require that the parent make payments based on the imputed income. It’s your responsibility to modify the child support order or find a job so that you can make the payments.
Child Support Arrangements Are Final
Another myth about child support many people believe is that the arrangements are modifiable. This is false. Child support can be modified for all sorts of reasons. For example, if the parent responsible for paying the support loses a job or develops a serious illness, his or her obligations may be reduced. On the other hand, if the child develops more needs, such as extra medical care or tutoring needs, the custodial parent may ask for an increase in child support payments.
Child Support Isn’t Required If Both Parents Agree
Even if the custodial parent is financially comfortable and can support the child without help, the court will still require for there to be a child support plan in place. Divorced parents are required to provide at least some level of support to their children.
As you can see, there are many child support myths that are circling around. It is important to be able to separate fact from fiction so that you can make the right decisions. If you have additional questions about child support or want to modify your payments, you should speak to a family law attorney, like The Mckinney Law Group about your case.