A child support agreement on a piece of paper for divorce reasons.

Child Support: What it Really Means

Child support is a major part of the divorce process. When a couple gets a divorce or a legal separation, it is not uncommon for the issues regarding the care of the children to be the most laborious aspect of the process. That is only natural, considering that each parent wants the child/children to be safe and happy. Also, let’s face it; every parent has his or her own idea of parenting and every parent wants to see their kids. 

The issue of child support will inevitably come up in nearly any divorce or legal separation. It is a daunting issue on either side of the relationship. Let’s take a look at what child support means and what it is intended for.

What is it for?

Child support money is not as straightforward as you think. The money paid for child support is intended to be used for more than just physical necessities. The money paid for child support is meant to be used for necessities like food, shelter, etc. It is also to be used for things that enrich and enhance the child’s life. Things like transportation and entertainment are necessary for parenting. They are often overlooked when it comes to child support.

It should also be understood that child support is intended to protect the child from the financial impact that follows a divorce. For this reason, child support can also be used for anything that might help to keep the child’s routine as similar to the time before the divorce as possible.

A Common Misconception:

Most people assume that if child support is not paid, visitation rights will be revoked or changed. Though it might seem like a reasonable assumption, this is not true. Keep in mind that the most important thing should be the safety and wellbeing of the child. Taking the child’s right to see one of his or her parents would be a punishment for the child, not for the negligent parent. If you are owed child support that you are not receiving, be sure to document all of it clearly and carefully.

What can I use it For? 

There are a lot of things that can enhance your child’s life, but everything doesn’t fall into that category. Things like beauty products, tobacco, and alcohol are absolutely not acceptable purchases with child support money. It is also unacceptable to utilize the money for things like vacation or day trips if the child is not included. It is, however, acceptable to use the money for beauty products for the child or vacations that include the child. 

What Happens if Child Support isn’t Being Paid?

Even though visitation is not affected, the consequences of not paying child support is quite severe. One of the first consequences is usually income withholding. This means that money received by the individual can be held or garnished to pay the child support that he or she owes. Failure to pay child support can also result in the revocation of a driver’s license or the denial of a passport. Failure to pay child support is reported to the credit bureaus as well. 

What if You Need Help?

If you are not receiving the child support that you are owed, or if you are looking for child support modification to help with your situation, the Law Office of Paul H. Bowen can help. We offer expert advice and child support modification in Florida. If you are in a financial bind and owe or are owed child support, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone has a unique situation, and it is never a bad idea to hire a professional.