WHAT IS CHILD SUPPORT?

February 22, 2019

Establishing child support can be one of the more confusing and emotionally exhausting aspects of divorce. Indeed, many people beginning the divorce process are unsure exactly what child support is. Here, we are going to clear up some common questions about child support and how it works.

So, what exactly is child support? Child support is financial support paid by parents to support a child or children of whom they do not have full custody.  Child support may be entered voluntarily or by court order. In divorce cases involving children, one parent is named the custodial parent, while the other is the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent does not have primary care for the child, whereas the custodial parent has full control and custody regarding the child. It is the non-custodial parent who pays child support.

Recent studies show that child support is a significant source of income for many across the country. About 40% of poverty-ridden, custodial, families will rely on child support as their main source of income. At the very least, the basic amount of child support should cover necessities such as groceries and clothing.  These necessities may also include shelter costs such as lighting, heat, and air conditioning.

Child support increases financial security and reduces poverty for both the child and the parent. It also prevents single-parent families from entering the welfare system. It may also aid families in leaving the welfare system quickly.  The use of child support positively impacts the relationships of non-custodial parents or designated caretakers in a child’s life, promoting stronger family relationships. Studies have also shown that child support positively impacts the academic and cognitive functionality of children, since it provides for a home environment conducive to success.

In summary, while child support is financially beneficial, its significance plays a larger role in the lives of parents and children.

 

Accredited Source: http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/child-support-basics.aspx

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