Child support involves making payments by one spouse to another to pay for the support of one or more children. Child support arises out of the duty of parents to support their child while the child is a minor.
How Long Child Support Continues
The duty to pay child support can continue after the child reaches the age of majority if the child is enrolled in an accredited school leading toward a high school diploma. In some states, the duty can continue while the child is enrolled in an accredited school leading toward a college education.
The duty to pay child support generally terminates when the child reaches the age of majority, graduates from school, the custodial parent remarries, or the non-custodial parent dies.
Court Ordered Child Support
Child support may or may not be court-ordered. If it is court-ordered, the child support order will spell out how much the support is, when payments are to be made, and when the support obligation ends. The court may condition support on possession of or access to the child. The child support order generally must also provide for withholdings from the non-custodial parent’s earnings.
Many states have child support guidelines that are followed in determining the proper amount of child support. These guidelines usually apply unless the spouses agree to some other amount and the court approves the alternative amount.
Court and Administrative Oversight
Once entered, the court will typically retain jurisdiction over the child support order. This allows the court to modify the support order as needed.
The state attorney general or other government agency has the power to enforce child support orders. Moreover, the courts can usually hold the non-paying spouse in contempt of court for failing to pay child support. The court can also suspend various state-issued licenses, such as driver’s licenses, hunting and fishing licenses, and occupational and professional licenses.
Questions often arise as to how child support orders are enforced when one or both of the parents move or relocate to other states. Let’s consider that topic now by examining child support when parents relocate to different states.
Disclaimer: Every effort was made at the time of publication to ensure the accuracy of this publication. Individual circumstances will vary, and the law may have changed since publication, thus it is not intended to provide legal advice or imply a certain outcome. Readers considering legal action should seek legal advice from an experienced child support attorney to learn about current laws and how they can affect their case.