Child support is believed to be an obligation people incur when they become parents. When you are married or living with the mother of your child/ren, it is not difficult to see the needs your children have and take care of them. When you are separated or divorced from your partner, however, making sure children are provided for often falls to the custodial parent (see Child Custody for Fathers) who does not have the means to provide for the children without support from their ex-partner. Therefore, the courts have determined that child support is mandatory for all divorces where children are involved.
Every state has its own way of calculating the amount of child support an ex-spouse is required to pay based on federal regulations. The amount of child support is based not only on the expected expenses of caring for the children (i.e., health care costs, education costs, food costs, etc), but also both parent’s income. The courts believe that children should not suffer a loss in standard of living; therefore, child support may be in excess of the amount actually needed to cover their basic needs (see How is Child Support Determined?). To calculate child support in your state, you can access these online calculators.
A lot of issues regarding child support arise over the lack of regulation in how child support money is spent. Often times, a non-custodial parent harbors such bad feelings for their ex-spouse that they do not want to see their ex-spouse benefit in any way; sometimes, they even want to make life as difficult as possible for their ex-spouse as a way to get revenge. While these feelings may be very real, it is important to remember that the physical, mental and emotional state of the custodial parent ultimately affects your children. Your children should always be at the forefront of your decision-making when you are dealing with your ex-spouse.
While divorce is never easy and something nobody hopes to go through, the truth is, many lives are affected by divorce each year. Divorce can affect children deeply and it is important that you maintain your obligation to care for your children. Not only is it important to make sure that their physical needs are met, but it is important for both parents to continue to play an active role in the life of their child.