Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Child Support
Child support is money paid to provide some or all basic needs of a child such as food, clothing and child care, there are many other aspects that relate to child support.
1) Child Support is Governed by State Law: Even though, a child support case might involve multiple states, the laws governing the case are state laws-the state can change depending on the circumstances of the case. If the case does involve multiple states in the U.S. it will use the Uniform Interstate Support Act
2) Child Support is NOT Alimony or Maintenance: Dissenters of child support argue that it is another form of alimony or maintenance. Child support pays for the care and support of the child, maintenance and alimony is related to the spouse. Alimony and maintenance does not provide the necessary needs for the child, such as medical support.
3) The Office of the Attorney General Represents the State’s Interest NOT Yours: When people go to the AG’s Office, they are often under the misconception that the AG is representing them. They’re not. The state is looking out for its interest-or in this case the best interest of the child.
4) Negotiation is an Option: It isn’t necessary to go to the Child Support Office when dealing with child support issues. Issues can be resolved through negotiation.
5) The System is Not Unfair: While the system might seem biased, the laws are neutral. Unfortunately, individual’s unique circumstances, can cause the law to become arbitrary. Parties can sometimes work with the kinks in the law though, through various forms of ADR.
6) You Can Go To Jail If You Don’t Pay Your Child Support: It happens. A lot. If you can’t pay your child support, it’s better to discuss your options with the other party than blowing it off.
7) The Age of Majority is Relative: The age of majority depends on the state’s law. Support payments might be due past the age of majority if an enforcement action.
8)Testing for Paternity Isn’t Automatic: It really depends on the circumstances of the case. For example, a presumption of paternity might exist if the parties were married at the time the child was born/conceived. This can vary, depending on your state’s laws.
9)You can be Responsible for Support if You’re Living Together: It’s rare, but it can happen if the circumstances are just right.
10) Your Time in Front of the Judge is Brief (Very Brief): On average, in Texas, a judge might spend five to ten minutes on a case. It’s true that everyone gets their day in court, but your attorney isn’t going to have time to wax an eloquent closing a la Perry Mason.