What is True & What is False Regarding Child Support?

One of the most important factors in any divorce is to ensure that any children involved will be safe and well taken care of after the case is finalized. Child support payments are designed to help provide children with a stable financial environment following a divorce by mandating regular payments between parents. However, child support can be a complicated subject to understand and each state has its own unique child support laws. That’s why the family law experts at Oxendine Law wanted to take a moment to separate fact from fiction regarding child support payments.

There are structures in place to help enforce that child support payments are made.

This is true. For custodial parents who are having trouble collecting child support payments from a non-custodial parent, the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) can help enforce court-ordered child support in different ways depending on the specifics of the case. This can include withholding support from paychecks, altering benefits including workers compensation and unemployment, reporting delinquent parents to major credit bureaus, and more. You can also pursue an action for contempt in Superior Court under the appropriate circumstances. The good news for the recipient parent is that there are multiple ways to collect from a non-paying parent.

Once a child support order is made then it is final.

This is false. Over time, circumstances that affect a parent’s financial situation including their income and employment status may change, leading to a change in the amount of child support to be paid each month. Additionally, a modification may be appropriate if a child’s financial needs change. If either the custodial or non-custodial parent requests a modification to the amount paid in monthly child support, this request will be reviewed by the Court in accordance with the child support statute. In cases where a child support order has previously been modified, typically at least two years must pass before requesting any additional modification, though there are certain exceptions.

Child support is meant to cover more than just the bare necessities.

In many cases, this is true. While it’s true that part of child support is meant to provide essentials like food, shelter, and clothing, these payments are also intended to help maintain the child's standard of living. This can include contributing to medical expenses, education, toys, and extracurricular activities like playing sports.

Regardless of whether you are receiving or paying child support, it's vital that all parents remember that child support payments exist to ensure the welfare of your children. Even if there are difficulties along the way, it’s important for parents to work together to help support the happiness and wellbeing of their child. For more information, contact Oxendine Law at (770) 497-8688 today to schedule a meeting in-person, over the phone, or by video conference. And follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional family law tips, news, and more helpful information.