In the majority of the states, a child has the legal right to receive financial support from his or her parents, starting from birth till the age of 18. Child support “orders” are the ways through which the court sets up the terms of a child support for the non-custodial parent. If the parent fails to meet the support obligation, there can be legal repercussions.
Though the exact procedures may differ from state-to-state, a child support order is normally created in one of three situations: as part of the divorce procedure; when an unmarried parent seeks child support; or when a state child support agency’s services are used.
Child support orders when the parents are getting divorced
When a divorcing couple has one or more children, a child support order is normally produced in family court as an element of the divorce process.
For instance, when finalizing issues like property division and child custody as part of the divorce judgment, the family court may as well take a decision on the non-custodial parent’s compulsion to support the child economically.
The family court will then put a child support order in place. This would require the non-custodial parent to pay a specific amount of money every month to support the child’s financial support.
Child support orders when the parents are unmarried
A child support order can as well be applied for by an unmarried parent. In these instances, the custodial parent who is applying for the child support can visit the family court in the county to apply for a child support order is set up.
What is the significance of child support orders
As soon as a child support order is set up by the court, the order turns into an enforceable legal document which, amongst other things:
- Recognize the parties to the order (the payer and the receiver);
- Sets up the amount of money to be paid as child support adding the frequency of payment;
- Specifies the payment process which can either be paycheck deductions, direct payment, or supplementary options);
- Approves penalties for violation (i.e. wage garnishment, imposition of fines).
What happens if a parent doesn’t fulfill the support order
If a parent fails to fulfill his or her support payment obligations, the child support order can be enforced in a number of ways. In a few states, the order itself will specify that the parent’s wages will be suspended if support payments ordered is not complied with.
The delinquent parent may face additional order including seizure of property, interception of tax refunds, and the contempt of the court for failure to pay the child support as established in the support order.
Alterations to child support orders
Child support can be raised if there are situations that justify the increase like a boost in the payer’s income, a reduction in the custodial parent’s income, an increase in the child’s requirements, or a boost of the cost of living. In the same way, the amount can be minimized if there is a good reason to do so.