Child Support Facts The Judge Didn’t Tell You

14 comments
December 28, 2011 ‐ By P.S. Jones

We can all agree that everyone who makes a child should take care of a child. And although it’s best if the parents can care for the child together or at least work together separately, when things get complicated the courts get involved. Child support, or the court order to make regular payments to aid in the care of your child, is often misunderstood even when you’re staring at the paperwork in your hand. Whether you’re paying the child support or you’re receiving it, you should make sure you have a good understanding of what your court order means. Here are some commonly misunderstood facts about child support you should remember.


It Doesn’t Matter How Much The Custodial Parent Makes
The child support order is based on the income of the noncustodial parent, not the custodial one. If your make more money than your ex, he can’t argue that you have enough money to take care of the child alone. Instead, the courts will review his income (or his potential income if he’s purposely staying under- or unemployed) and order a percentage of that as payment.

A Parent Can’t Decline on Behalf of the Child
The money received through child support is the child’s and you can’t decline it on behalf of the child. Once the court order is in place, you can’t tell the courts you don’t want the money. Put in a savings account for college or use it to pay for nonnecessities for the child, but if you don’t collect it, it’s still owed. If you owe child support, remember that if your ex tells you that you don’t to pay for a certain month, the courts still record the debt. You can still get into trouble for not paying regardless of what your kid’s other parent says.

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  • CA to DC…

    Family law varies from state to state and sometimes even from county to county. In California,these facts may not always apply … so if you cannot afford legal help, visit the closest self help center to get the process and your options explained to you…its free help :-). (Not all states have self help centers or legal aid, but CA does)

  • keep ur head up

    The first point is wrong.  In the NY-NJ-CT area, the custodial parent has to fill out a Financial Affidavit which details income and expenses so although it the custodial parent’s income might not be a factor in determining child support, PLEASE don’t forget that any court proceeding is subject to discovery which basically means any information filed in support of the case has to be made available to the other party upon request.  If there are financial things you don’t want your ex to know and you can support your child, you have to think before you fill out the paperwork.  Also, children can file for support on their own behalf after a certain age.

  • Tia

    My child support was done in NY years ago and was based on what he made, not on what I made and I did make more.

  • BrigidOdom

    Alabama and MS are not very good at enforcing their child support laws.I think they don’t care,if the person pays are not.

  • http://www.rishona.net/ Shona

    There is some serious misinformation in this post. I would suggest that people speak to a legal professional in order to determine how the laws regarding child support affect them in their own case.

  • Tina

    Does public assistance subtract the child support you payout from your income

  • Avery

    Yeah, I don’t have children but this doesn’t seem right…I would have to believe the custodial parent income plays a role in it….I’m assuming a young lady who gets public assistance (medicade, ebt and cash) can get child support but does she get more since she isn’t working? Dumb question but can a women get child support for one kid but get public assistance for the other? ( 2 different dads)

    • Tina

      You can get public assistance and child support the only thing is public assistance takes it all but 50$

    • Loveizalosingame

      Yes avery, my brother and I had 2 diff. Dads;my mom collected “C.S” for my bro the min.that he found his real father(age 17.)Also my mom was on welfare collecting everything under the sun;meanwhile I received 1 check for $100.00 fr. My father throughout my whole life thus far.It’s real out here!

  • Prettiimpressive

    Actually a court order can be anulled by complying with the Friend of Court guidelines. U can sign off not to receive child support.

  • Judge Joe

    uuuh actually child support is determined by the combined income of both parties and then a percentage determination is made based on what the court percieves is the amount to cover the childs needs. You would only find an article suggesting this type of stuff in black media. clearly written by black woman, and folks wonder why there are so many single parents in the black community.

    • JUICE

      Really JOE…So bm are dodging their responsiblities because of what exactly. A man who doesnt ensure his child is taken care of less than a man. And folks wonder why black men are looked upon as deadbeats…

    • itty bitty

      This is true at least in NJ, where I’m from. They take both parent’s income into consideration, then take a percentage of that TOTAL income and calculate child support based on that figure. So theoretically, if the custodial parent (usually mom) starts to make more money, the non-custodial parent could go back to the court and ask that their “percentage” of the child support be lowered. 

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