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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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