The assurance of supporting a child in all his/her needs is assured through child support, a regular (can be monthly) and timely financial assistance paid by one parent to his/her former spouse who has custody of their child. Child support is meant to cover the basic needs of the child, including food, shelter, clothing, education and health care. The parent who makes the payment is called the obligor, while the one to whom payment is given, who also has custody of the child, is called the obligee.
Courts usually rule that payment of child support be done only until the child turns 18 years old or reaches the age of emancipation. There may be instances, however, wherein the court would require the obligor to help in the child’s further financial needs, such as advanced education, dental needs, medical treatment and/or vacations.
Like in determining the child’s rightful custodian, courts also consider essential factors in deciding the amount the obligor has to pay for his/her child’s support. Some of the factors considered are the child’s age and cost of his/her needs, the capability of the obligor to pay and the parent’s present income. This obligation of divorcing spouses, to support their biological child/children, is specified in the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984.
With their differences in interests, many parents find it so hard to come to an agreement. Thus, when settling this divorce-related issue, it is often necessary that everything is settled through the help of a family law attorney who will help each reach an acceptable agreement without compromising their rights and their child’s interests.