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Child Support

Child support is a court ordered payment plan that requires one, or both parents, to allocate money for the financial well being of a child or children. The government, and the courts, take child support very seriously.

A child support order can be issued against either parent, usually the one who does not have custodial rights, but in some cases, though, even if a parent has sole legal custody of a child, he or she may be required to pay child support to the other spouse, depending on the other spouses financial condition.

Child support may also be ordered against a parent if the child is a ward of the state, in the custody of a caregiver or guardian, or if the child is awarded to one spouse due to legal separation or divorce.

If child support and alimony are decreed in a dissolution of marriage, although commonly thought of as being one and the same award by the courts, they are treated as separate issues in a court of law.

It does not matter whether the parents of the child is married or not, if a child is born out of any union, the law requires that the child is to be supported until legally grown or, in some cases, until the child has finished college, if they go straight from high school and then on to complete a college education in four or more consecutive years.

The law makes it clear that the support, development, and the stability of children is the responsibility of both parents and both parents are to be held accountable.

Even when both parents share custodial rights and share the responsibilities of raising the child, one parent may still be ordered to pay child support.

The monies collected for child support payments are expected to be used in the general maintenance of the child's health and well being, such as for living arrangements, food, clothing, medical and dental expenses, and school.

Over time, many parents get way behind on their child support payments, causing undo hardships on their children, the guardian or ex spouse, and the government, but with advanced technology, the government has the resources to track parents down by running their social security numbers to find out if they are working and the amount of income they are earning.

Some parents are literally thousands of dollars behind in their child support payments and other obligations and the courts have no choice but to go after them through garnishment of wages and/or making arrests for failure to pay.

Until recently, most child support orders went against the fathers, but today, because women are just as big a part of the workforce and have incomes that are comparable to, or greater than men, more and more women are being ordered to pay child support and alimony.

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