Chris Jackman shares his take on modern child custody issues
Chris Jackman is a family law attorney with Citadel Law Firm and the Jackman Law Firm. He understands the many issues that come into play with child custody agreements and how these laws are changing to be compatible with the modern lifestyle. Jackman explains the process of arranging for child support and names several situations where these laws may apply.
Child Support Laws
Child support laws differ from state to state, but there are certain principles that all states cover in their statutes. Federal laws also cover this area. In their most basic form, child support laws reinforce the idea that a non-custodial parent must contribute to the child’s welfare. Courts frequently make child support orders when parents are divorced. These are sometimes enforced by the court and sometimes handled privately between the parents and their attorneys.
If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, the state has several options. They can garnish wages, place liens on their property, and revoke professional certifications and passports. This is intended to put pressure on the non-custodial parent to pay. Frequently, non-custodial parents appeal these decisions in a court of law, and they need a family law attorney to help them navigate the process.
Child Support and Visitation
One situation that arises frequently is the connection between child support and visitation rights. While these are often stipulated in the same court order, one is not dependent upon the other. Even if the non-custodial parent feels as if visits are being withheld from them unfairly, they must continue to pay child support.
Child Support and Joint Custody
Even if parents want an equal custody arrangement with their ex-spouse, one partner will still have to pay child support. Some parents believe that having equal custody negates their need to pay child support, but they must do so or risk penalties under the law. The parents’ differing income levels and how much time they spend with the children will be taken into consideration.
When Parents are Receiving Government Assistance
When the custodial parent is receiving government assistance, this is a special case where the government has an interest in making sure the payments are made. The state will automatically refer these cases to their office governing child support enforcement. This means that the funds will be given to the state and then disbursed to the family.
Non-Parental Custody and Care
When children are not being cared for by the parents, there are special laws that come into play. Their child support cases are also referred directly to the regulatory agency. This happens when children are in the foster care system or when they are being cared for by another relative.
Cases of Domestic Violence
In the case that one or both parents of the children have committed domestic violence, these cases will also stay under the purview of the court. If problems are ongoing, the state may revisit visitation provisions.
Child Support Paid Privately
Many parents are able to come to child custody and child support agreements with the help of their attorneys, and they do not have to go through the courts. In case these situations become more complex, as they may when one party stops paying child support, the case can go back into the hands of the court.
When Financial Circumstances Change
There is a common perception that child support agreements are final when they are made by the court. However, these arrangements may be changed by the court if certain special situations come into play. This involves the child’s additional needs for medical care or desire to participate in extracurricular activities. Custodial parents can ask the court for more money in these situations.
Non-custodial parents can also petition to have the amount of child support they pay reduced. This can apply if the non-custodial parent becomes ill or disabled or loses their job for an extended period of time.
Children Over 18
In some cases, support may be owed if the child has passed the age of 18. This is most likely to happen if the child lives at home and is still attending high school or is disabled in some way.
Child Support Tax Situations
Many parents may mistakenly believe that child support does not need to be taxed as part of their income. This is not true. Child support can interact with other tax provisions, and a family law attorney may be able to help untangle this complex legal situation.
Misuse of Child Support
Child support does not go directly to the child, but to the parent or another person who has custody. In some cases, the non-custodial parent may believe that the money is being used improperly and does not benefit the child as intended. In this case, non-custodial parents and their attorneys can go back to court and ask for adjustments to the settlement.
Family Law Attorneys Understand Child Support
Child support is vital to many families’ survival. When trying to navigate the difficult aspects of child support law, a family law attorney like Chris Jackman may be a help. Many different situations affect the payment of child support and how much the non-custodial parent needs to pay. The family law attorney will negotiate with the non-custodial parent’s attorney and represent the parent’s interests in court.