4 Things to know about the modern child support system

Child support system | Beanstalk Mums

The child support system, also known as child maintenance, is a financial benefit of a child from one or both parents. When a couple with a child decides to part ways, the child’s safety, especially in terms of finances, is possibly at stake. This is where the child support system comes into play. The system’s main aim is to protect the child’s wellbeing including their financial stability.

The whole process can be overwhelming because there are official guidelines, laws, and international agreements involved. Yet there are legal professionals that can always lend you a helping hand.

Here are some of the things you must know when it comes to the child support system of today.

1. It’s About Sharing Income

The idea of a child support system is about redistributing the income of both parents to meet the child’s financial needs if they’ve decided to end their marriage or relationship. As a rule of thumb, whoever has a higher income between two parents will have to contribute a higher amount. In some countries, aside from income sharing, there’s also time-sharing involved. 

If you’re the custodial parent or the child lives with you, the time you spend with your child may also directly impact the amount that you have to share or receive from the non-custodial parent for child financial support. The amount that each parent has to shell out is determined by the court. 

If the non-custodial parent fails to pay and do their part, a motion for contempt for child support may be filed in order for the court to ask the parent to fulfil their obligations. Filing a case for child support can be a daunting task because you need to do a lot of paper works plus you need to know your legal standing in the case. 

To help you out with this, you need to seek legal help. Australia is one of the countries that give parents full assistance when it comes to child support assessment. Furthermore, there are law professionals that can give hassle-free consultations such as Melbourne family lawyers and others located in different cities where you can book an appointment over the phone or via their sites. Then you can discuss your circumstances with a lawyer specialising in child support cases.

2. Failure To Comply With the Child Support Policy Is Punishable by Law

When it comes to the child support policy, the law acknowledges that it’s your inherent parental duty to provide financial support to your child most especially during their crucial years of growth and development. The court is the obligatory party that makes sure that the child support policy is fulfilled by both parents. If one fails to do so, the court has the power to coerce them to perform their parental responsibilities, in this case, pay for child support. 

Being imprisoned is said to be the worst thing that may happen if the court-mandated policy regarding child support isn’t met. The court also has different methods in its arsenal to penalize erring parents. They range from withholding tax returns, backlashing credit standing, to holding back state benefits. Unfulfilled child financial support is considered as debt by the government, so there’s a possibility that they may incur late payment charges. 

If the non-custodial parent isn’t willing to provide financial assistance, there are government benefits that the custodial parent may avail of like the Single Parenting Payment (PPS). This parenting payment is a tax-funded benefit entitled to single parents. The amount that you’ll be receiving from the state would depend on the income and asset test.

Child support document table, gavel lying on sound block, family law, court

3. Child Support Can Always Be Modified

Even though there’s already a released court order obliging a parent to fulfil their child support responsibilities, it can still be changed as long as there’s a formal request filed. The court would only consider it to be modified per the request of the other party if their reason is valid and they can present proof of why the request must be granted.

There’s a higher chance that the court will consider revising the child support obligation, especially in terms of financial support if the parent lost their job, the child has an increased financial need due to developing illness and other reasons, or the other parent has been promoted and received a pay raise. 

In the case of both parents agreeing with the revision of the child support conditions verbally, it’s highly recommended to still have it done in writing with court approval to avoid issues related to the modification in the future.

4. No Child Support System Is The Exactly The Same All Over The World

Every country has its particular set of guidelines in terms of identifying and computing child support. The most common differences lie in the amount that parents have to contribute for their financial obligation with the child and the duration of how long the parents have to lend their support. 

Legally speaking, there are countries wherein they must support their offspring up to 19 years old, while some need to give their parental support when their child reaches the age of 21.  Even though there’s no set international rule for child support, every parent needs to comply with the child support system that their state is imposing to avoid legal issues and penalties.

Furthermore, there may be cases wherein either the parent or the child is residing in a different country from one another. Processing, sending, and receiving child support can be a source of headache in these instances. It’s advised to check out with the authorities to help you navigate this even more complicated process.

single mother support

Final Thoughts

As a parent, even though your relationship with your ex-partner didn’t succeed, you should always remember that you still have obligations to fulfil to your child. Whether they live with you or you’re the non-custodial parent, it’s important to have basic knowledge about the modern child support system in your country. This can help ensure that one of your obligations with your child is properly fulfilled and that your parental rights are protected.

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