We are all in agreement that everyone who makes a child should do their part to take care of the child. Obviously the best ways for the this arrangement to work are is the parents can either care for the child together or at least work together separately in order to make sure all of the child’s needs are met. However, when things start to get complicated more often than not the court has to get involved. Below are listed a few of the commonly misunderstood facts about child support that are important for you to remember.
Income Doesn’t Necessarily Matter
This all depends on whether or not you’re the custodial parent. The amount of child support the non-custodial parents ends up being ordered to pay is based solely off of their income. This means that if you have custody of your child and make more money than your ex, he isn’t able to argue that you have enough money to take care of the child alone. The court will not take into account what your income is and instead will review his and order a percentage of that as payment.
A Parent Can’t Decline
Just because you would rather not receive any money from your child’s other parent does not mean that that is your choice to make. The money that is received through child support is the child’s money and you don’t have the right to decline it on behalf of the child. Once the case has gone through the system and the court order has been put into place, you aren’t able to tell the courts that you don’t want the money. This also means that if the other parent doesn’t pay, even if you have told them that it’s okay, the court is still recording the nonpayment and they could still get into trouble.
It Isn’t Taxable
Unlike other kid related expenses or alimony, child support payments are not tax deductible. The reason is that alimony payments are income to your ex and she pays taxes on it at the end of the year. The money sent to your child via child support payments is not income to either the ex who receives it or to the child that it is for.
It’s Criminal to Miss Payments
Should you miss your child support payments, sometimes even as few as one, you can be put into contempt of court. Depending on your state of residence this could mean a driver’s license suspension, wage garnishment, or even jail time. In order to get that debt paid you can have your lottery winnings, tax refunds or unemployment payments taken also. If you can’t pay, it’s better to go back to court and request an adjustment instead of letting the payments go unpaid.
Child support is put into place to make sure that children get taken of, which is something we all know is important. Knowing what to expect and what is expected of you can go a long way to make the process a little less painful.