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The term “child support” is very broad. While it most often refers to court-ordered payments calculated by state-specific formulas and altered according to a family’s unique situation, it can also refer to financial support for a child not directly regulated by the state. For example, if a parent wishes for their co-parent to enroll their child in a specific after school activity and offers to pay for it using income not regulated by state support payments, those funds could be considered a secondary form of child support.

Each family is unique and each child’s needs are unique. It is therefore not surprising that parents who are no longer romantically linked often have questions about how child support orders will affect their lives and affect their children. It is generally a good idea for parents who have questions about child support to contact an experienced attorney. This area of law is both complex and nuanced. As a result, it is usually not a good idea to make assumptions about child support until you have consulted an attorney. When you are researching the basics of child support, please write down any questions as they occur to you so that you can refer to them when you are speaking with your lawyer.

How Child Benefits Kids Practically 

When a court orders a parent to pay child support, a monthly sum is usually entrusted to the child’s other parent without unreasonable restrictions on how the money may be used. Certainly, if it is determined that a parent is using child support money for his or her own purposes and neglecting that child’s needs, the court will need to get involved in that situation. But in general, the parent receiving the payments is entrusted to use the money for the child’s wellbeing. Such uses include (but are not limited to) providing housing, food, clothing, education-related expenses, medical expenses, recreation and entertainment, childcare and transportation. It is also possible that a parent will be ordered to spend specific funds in specific ways, but this arrangement is usually secondary to payments used for a child’s general needs.

Child Support Guidance Is Available

If you have questions about child support, please consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney today. Consultations are both confidential and risk-free, as they do not obligate you to take any legal action whatsoever. An initial meeting between an attorney and potential client is designed to help that potential client make informed decisions about their legal situation. In the event that you do decide to take legal action, such as initiating the child support process, requesting a modification or enforcement of existing orders, etc., an attorney will be able to help you navigate your situation. It is important to receive experienced guidance because child support is not an inconsequential matter. Not only does receiving child support payments assist parents in providing for their children’s needs, failure to honor the terms of a child support order can lead to significant civil and/or criminal consequences. As a result, it is generally best to seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney any time you have questions about child support. Answers now can save you serious headaches later.  If you have questions about child support payments, contact a family law attorney, like the offices of The McKinney Law Group, for help with child support issues. 

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