Divorce can be a stressful, sad and confusing time for children. At any age kids can be worried about what’s going to happen, or angry at the prospect of Mom and Dad splitting up for good. Divorce isn’t easy, but as a parent you can make the process and its effects less painful for your children. Helping your kids cope with divorce means providing stability in your home and attending to their physical and emotional needs with a positive, reassuring attitude.
Child support refers to the financial obligations one parent has to another when it comes to providing for the daily living expenses of a child. Typically, child support takes the form of regular payments made to the parent who has custody of the child by the non-custodial parent. Of course, that’s just the simple definition, and what really happens between two parents and how it affects the children is usually not so simple and varies greatly from case to case.
An unfortunate economic fact of life is that a family cannot live as cheaply divided as it can together. Thus, after a divorce, the standard of living for the entire family is often lowered, and too often the court has to divide a scarcity of resources. Even so, both parents have a legal duty to support their child or children, according to their ability to do so. Most jurisdictions have child support guidelines in effect, which provide a formula for calculating child support based on a proportion of each parent’s gross income. These guidelines are applied unless one party can show that the application would be unjust and inappropriate for his or her particular case.
When parents divorce or cease to live together with their children as a family, the courts are usually required to establish, by order, the amount of child support a non-custodial parent must pay. As with the issue of child custody, this amount can be reached by agreement or by fighting it out in front of a judge. Child support payments, like alimony, will be incorporated into the divorce judgement or provided for in a marital separation agreement.
The amount of child support payments is typically calculated by taking into consideration the needs of the child, the ability of the parents to pay, and the expenses each parent covers through their employment. These factors are all fit into the child support guidelines established by the state.
A child support order is not set in stone, and is subject to change should future conditions warrant it. Thus, either parent may petition the court to raise or lower the amount of child support paid if he or she feels the need to do so. And just like any other court judgement or decree, a child support order is legally enforceable. If child support is not being paid, the courts may use every legal tool available to enforce the order, including wage assignments, wage garnishments, contempt of court decrees and seizure of the non-payer’s property.
As we’ve mentioned above, divorce is a difficult process for everyone but can be especially hard on the children involved. Sadly, much of the time children blame themselves, which is the last thing any of us want. There are no easy answers to give kids during a divorce, but as parents our actions and choices can make a world of difference. The most important thing parents can do for their children is let them know that they will both be there in the future.
Legally, the Minnesota state government tends to lean toward orders that will most benefit the children involved in a divorce or separation. Many, many factors are analyzed and taken into consideration before an order is made as an attempt to give children the best support they can have financially and emotionally.
At Flakne Law we know you want to do the same, and we’re here to walk you through each step of the divorce process. If you’re struggling with coming to an agreement with your spouse or are fighting to get the child support your child has been allotted, we can help. Our caring family law attorneys will do everything they can to provide you and your family with the best solution possible for your situation.