When parents separate, the children are also most affected. As such, it is a must for both parents to continue to provide support to their kids. This way, the children grow up knowing that they can still count on their mom or dad despite the fact that they no longer live together.
Child support or child maintenance (as referred to in the U.K.) is necessary when parents decide to go their separate ways. It is a legal responsibility that will help a child in meeting his or her basic daily needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Also, it will encourage both parents to get involved with the lives of their kids as they are growing.
Specifically, child support refers to the financial support provided by the non-custodial parent. However, parents can always agree to share the care of the child and buying other important needs. In this case, it is vital for parents to work together to determine the best set-up for them and their kids. Although a written agreement is not a requirement, it having a signed and dated agreement is a good idea as it will help parents should they disagree in the future. You should also consider having it signed by a witness to prove that the signatures are really yours.
“If both parents continue to have a friendly relationship after their separation, it would be easy to come up with a family-based arrangement,” according to attorney Tony Dunne, a San Diego child support lawyer. “Many families opt for this which allowing them to make arrangements on their own regarding the amount and type of child support,” he added.
If this is not possible, parents have other options such as get the help of a lawyer specializing on child support, a mediator trained to help both sides or in the U.K., parents can apply to the statutory child maintenance service.
Types of Child Support
The type of support parents should provide to their child depends on their situation and laws pertaining to this vary by state. It is determined by parental income, visitation and court orders.
Normally, child support payments are calculated based on the percentage of physical overnights a child spends in each of his or her parent. The shared custody situation means the child spends 35 percent or more of their nights with every parent while sole child custody means the child spends less than 35 percent of their overnights with one parent.
When it comes to the monetary support, the monthly payment is usually based on the income of both parents particularly if they are employed or just one of them if one is not working. Other factors taken into consideration are the needs of the child, the ability of the non-custodial parent to take care of themselves, the minor child’s standard of living if the parents did not divorce and the amount spent by the non-custodial parent on any other children they may have.
Keep in mind that a parent who leaves the house does not free himself or herself from the obligation of supporting his child until adulthood. His responsibility as a parent remains.