Child Support: Common Myths And Misconceptions

Approximately 13.6 million adults act as custodial parents in the United States. For many of these parents, child custody arrangements are in place. If you are divorcing and working out a custody arrangement, chances are you have read a lot of information about child custody on the internet. Unfortunately, a lot of the information you have read is based on well-established misconceptions.

Here are a few of the most common myths about child support. 

Child Support Payments Must Always Legally Be Spent on the Child

Unfortunately, although child support is intended for the maintenance of the child, including paying medical bills and purchasing clothing and food, there is no way for the court to legally tell any parent how they can spend the funds. This can lead to hurt feelings and the child not being cared for properly.

Child Support Always Ends When the Child Turns 18

In the past and in most states, child support automatically ended when a child turns 18. However, because of new laws in many states, child support can extend past a child's eighteenth birthday. For example, if the child turns 18 when they are still in high school, the parent might be ordered to continue paying child support until the child graduates from high school.

Only Men Pay Child Support

It is a common misconception that only men are court-ordered to pay child support. If the father is the custodial parent and has primary physical custody, the mother might be ordered to pay child support. Any payments that must be paid by the mother are calculated in the same way as a father's payment. The payment is determined by not only the mother's salary but also her living expenses.

If a Parent Leaves the State, They Aren't Liable for Child Support Payments

In an attempt to avoid paying child support, a parent will go to many extremes. For example, some parents will intentionally quit their job and claim they are no longer financially able to pay support. Another common strategy is moving out of the state. Whether you live in the same or different state, if you are court-ordered to pay child support, you are legally obligated to continue paying child support until the child turns 18, graduates high school, or the child support is renegotiated in court.

From the idea that moving cancels child support to the notion that only men pay child support, there are several common myths about child support you simply should not believe.

Contact a local child support lawyer to learn more.