Child Support for Single Parents: What To Expect?

If you are a single expecting mum or a recently divorced partner with a child, then understanding what to expect regarding child support can seem a little overwhelming. When to apply, who to apply to and what amount you can anticipate are all important things to know at this stage. The first step is to take some legal advice, this will give you the clearest picture as to what to expect. Those of you in Sydney can consult with family law specialists at Prime Lawyers, they have a great dedicated team there. For the rest of you, let’s take a look at some of the key points to understand about child support.

What is Child Support?

Simply put, this is a recurring payment which a parent makes for the child who is not in their custody full time. The eventual goal is to identify a figure which supports the welfare of the child, which is fair for both parents.

What Can It Be Used For?

Child support can be used for any expenses with regards to the child’s care. Broadly speaking it is an amount which is given for day-to-day care of the child, be it food, utilities, rent or health costs. These payments are made until the child reaches 18, although occasionally you may see some states require payment until 19 or even 21.

How Much Can You Expect?

The laws and the guidelines of the state which you are in will offer various processes which are used to identify how much will be paid. The general factors which are taken into consideration are the incomes of both parents, the number of children which they have, what other dependents there may be and then which of the two the custodial parent is. This is a means-tested model which works on the current cost of living versus the income of the non-custodial parent. Check online to see if your country has an online calculator which you can use to gain an idea of how much this may be for you.

How Do You Get Paid?

The money which comes to you from your ex-partner will be taken directly from their paycheck, much like tax is, and then it will be deposited in your bank account. This offers a great solution to both parties and removes any issues which may be associated with physical payments or transfers.

Changing Situation

The amount of child support will be addressed by the authorities if the situation of either parent were to change. For example, if the non-custodial parent were to lose their job then the child support amount would be reconsidered or stopped for a temporary time, and then the amount would be readdressed once they were to find employment again. This is an agreement which is usually reviewed every three years by the authorities, it will be the responsibility of the parents to notify of any changes between that time.

Any further questions, please feel free to write them in the comments section below.


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