Child Support

When a marriage comes to an end, the needs of each spouse are accounted for — but they aren’t the only concern. One of the most important goals of any parents and of any family lawyer is to ensure that the children involved will have a reliable support system.

Common Child Support Myths

Child support is a term that many people are familiar with. But, unless they’ve gone through the process of determining a fair child support set up, there are also many myths that people believe about the matter. Those myths may include: 

  • Only one parent owes child support. Fact: Each parent is legally obligated to contribute to the financial support of the children, so the formula shows the amount of each parent's share.
  • Divorcing parents can pick the child support amount they think is fair for one parent to pay to the other. Fact: The amount of child support required to be paid is controlled by Ohio Statutes, which contain a mathematical formula for determining child support. 
  • Once child support amounts are approved by a court, they cannot be changed. Fact: Either parent can request a review of the child support payment amounts. 
  • Filing bankruptcy will relieve me of the need to pay child support. Fact: Child support is one of the few debts that cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy may help some people by making more money available every month to pay child support.
  • If a parent doesn't pay child support, the state can’t take the money from his or her paycheck. Fact: Child support can be automatically withheld from the paying parent's paycheck, even if the paying parent was never late or underpaid the child support amount. 
  • The child support money can only be spent on the children, and I have a right to know how that money is spent. Fact: The parent receiving the support has to maintain a household for the children, and they are not required to explain how the child support money is spent.

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Facts and Statistics About Child Support

While battles over child support and failure to pay child support are big problems in America, there are many other facets to this complicated, yet under-reported topic. Some little-known facts include:

  • Although men are most frequently the providers of child support, 15% of all people who pay child support are women.
  • The average child support payment made in the U.S. is $430 a month.
  • About 30% of all custodial parents never receive one cent of the child support legally due to them — even if they have a court order for child support.
  • Child support money is completely tax-free income for the recipient but is not tax-deductible for the person paying it.
  • Child support and visitation rights are two distinct and different legal matters.

Overall, there are many myths and misconceptions about child support that may taint your view before you and your ex-spouse begin the process. When in doubt, get expert insight from a family law attorney.

Dissolution Attorney in Cleveland, OH

Attorney Sherry Naegele has been practicing law in the state of Ohio since 2000. Her practice encompasses all areas of family law, and her experience and compassion can help you through life’s most difficult situations. Contact her today to get started.