One of the most contentious issues in family law is child support. How child support works is a very common question asked by those who are planning or facing divorce. Child support laws in most states are fairly fixed without taking into account the actual child-related expenses of both spouses.
In most states child support awards take into account the individual earnings of the spouses, the number of children they have, and the percentage of time that the children are under the control and care of each parent. The court normally doesn’t care about the amount paid in rent, the mortgage, and the couple’s individual living expenses. Sometimes, the court takes into account certain child-related expenses that it may deem extra-ordinary, such as sports lesson expenses, but then that’s the exception and not the rule.
If the other parent of your child does not voluntarily pay the support required by the court, you may get child support by seeking the assistance of your local Child Support Enforcement Agency. This agency helps any parent whose former spouse refuses to pay the child support. If you have not received your most recent payment for child support, you may file a child support action.