Too often, divorcing couples use the issue of child support as a bargaining chip or a means to “get back” at the other spouse. This dispute over which parent should be paying child support and how much can last long after the divorce has been finalized. The most important thing for parents to acknowledge is that the purpose of child support is to ensure that children get what they need to be healthy and happy.
Sometimes divorcees complain that they are sending their “ex” a big child support payment so they can go out and spend their hard-earned money on themselves. They seemingly forget the costs of putting a roof over their child’s head and providing them with food, clothing, and entertainment. While it isn’t unusual for the concerns over where the money is going to be unfounded, there are some signs that things are not the way they should be.
How Child Support Payments are Determined
Child support is based on a number of factors including the income of both parents and which is the custodial and non-custodial parent. As time goes on after the divorce, the issue of child support may be re-visited due to changes in the lifestyle of either parent or the needs of the child.
If the custodial parent has reported an amount of income that does not coincide with their lifestyle, they may have falsely reported less than they are actually making. This is especially true when they have their own business or work freelance instead of having a paystub to validate their earnings.
Another sign that child support payments are not being used for their intended purpose is when the custodial parent is making large purchases, dressing better than their child, or spending a lot of time at recreational activities while the child never seems to have everything they need. Most parents are primarily concerned with seeing that their child’s needs are met, but unfortunately, there are exceptions to the rule.
When the Child’s Needs Change
Children grow, both physically and mentally, and their needs may change as a result. Medical needs can arise or challenges such as learning disabilities may be diagnosed. They may have to have orthodontic treatment or take an interest in playing sports in school. The change in needs may mean thousands of dollars of added expense to their care.
There are numerous reasons that you may need to contact a child support attorney, long after child support has been granted. Both parents should enter into a child support arrangement with the understanding that it is entirely for the benefit of the child. When the payments are either not being delivered in a consistent manner or they are apparently not being used as meant, the next step for the other parent is to contact a child support attorney who can effectively evaluate the situation and take the appropriate action.
If you are having difficulty meeting child support payments or you are not receiving your payments on time, contact The Law Offices of Peter J. Russo at 717-591-1755 to learn your options.