Let’s Talk Child Support
Being a parent comes with a lot of responsibility. The number one concern for any parent should be the welfare of their child or children. It’s no secret that money is a necessity when it comes to raising a child.
Whether you’re buying diapers or saving for their future, children require money. Single parents feel this burden some times more than anyone. Just because you’re relationship with your spouse didn’t turn out the way you planned, doesn’t mean that your child will stop needing things (that require money).
This situation usually prompts a discussion among separated parents regarding child support. Statelaws.findlaw.com defines child support as a parents court-ordered payment to help with the costs of raising a child. However there are several ways a parent can receive child support.
Parents who are able to come to an amicable agreement can ask a judge to approve a Voluntary Support Agreement or VSA. A VSA is nothing more than a civil court action brought by the custodial parent, an organization, or the guardian of a dependent child. Child Support should never be used as an emotional tool to wreak havoc on someone else’s life.
The child should always remain the primary focus. However for those parents who may need more involvement from a judge to set boundaries, there are other ways to begin the child support process. Parent’s have the option to file for a criminal abandonment and non-support court case or a simple divorce order that includes child support.
Both parents have the right to begin the application process for child support by contacting Child Support Services also known as CSS. The CSS can also help with locating the noncustodial parent, establish paternity, establish support obligations, collect and distribute support, as well as enforce support obligations.
In regards to the calculation of child support, the court determines the exact amount using specific guidelines (which may vary from state to state). The most important factors are each parent’s income, daycare expenses, the cost of medical insurance, and the living arrangements of the children. The month of August is child support awareness month, even though the topic can be a stressful one.
At the end of the day, children are beautiful gifts from a higher power who didn’t ask to be here. Child Support shouldn’t be viewed as a punishment for one parent or the other, but instead as a solution to ensure that the well being of the child isn’t affected by the change of trajectory in the relationship.