The most important thing you should know about joint physical custody is the label of "joint", by itself, doesn't mean much. What does it all mean and how does it relate to your child support matter? Courts have denied support in situations of split custody, in which each parent has custody of one or more children. Usually the dollar amounts are based on the income of both parents, the number of children, the expenses of the custodial parent, and any special needs of the child. A Federal-State program which provides financial support to a person, family, or institution that is raising a child or children that are not their own. A notice to a defendant that an action against him or her has been commenced in the court issuing the summons and that a judgment will be taken against him or her if the complaint is not answered within a certain time. 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Amount of money intercepted from a parent's State or Federal income tax refund, or from an administrative payment such as Federal retirement benefits, in order to satisfy a child support debt. This child support table look-up will help you find the base amount of child support. The provision dictates that an employer must withhold support from a non-custodial parent's wages and transfer that withholding to the appropriate agency (the Centralized Collection Unit or State Disbursement Unit). While it may seem confusing to have so many different types of child support, these designations signal the level of involvement required by state agencies as well as the particular child support scenario of each family. Support can be ordered for legally adopted children. Wage Assignment The consequences of not paying child support are inconsistently applied—a situation many states want to remedy. Child Support Process . A term meaning that a non-custodial parent (NCP) is required to meet the financial terms of a court or administrative order. For instance, the disposition of the court may be that child support is ordered or an obligation is modified. Two-State Action Children and the Law in a Nutshell. The system that awards and enforces child support was declared inadequate by state and federal policy makers. Zmijewski, Daniel Robert. Child Support Law and Legal Definition. A court order related to child support can dictate how often, how much, what kind of support a non-custodial parent is to pay, how long he or she is to pay it, and whether an employer must withhold support from their wages. The person, State agency, or other institution to which a child support is owed (also referred to as custodial party when the money is owed to the person with primary custody of the child). In addition to determining support in contentious divorce cases, courts review stipulations (agreements) between parents and can overrule an agreement that does not adequately provide for children. Most states require that they be based on the best interests of the child. FPLS obtains address and employer information, as well as data on child support cases in every State, compares them and returns matches to the appropriate States. It cannot be ordered for grandchildren who have not been legally adopted. Dependent Foster Care Child support is not deductible from gross income for tax purposes (but may allow a dependent exemption) nor is it taxed as income, unlike alimony, which is deductible by the payer and taxed as the adult recipient's income. What are special and extraordinary expenses? Child support is the right of every child. They can depart from the guidelines for considerations such as how property is divided, whether an arrearage (unpaid child support) exists, and what disparities in parents' incomes exist. Agency that exists in every State that locates non-custodial parents (NCPs) or putative fathers (PF), establishes, enforces, and modifies child support, and collects and distributes child support money. In most cases, divorced parents set up separate households whereas they lived together in one home while married. The party answering a petition or motion. Support payments are tax neutral, meaning that the person making a child support payment does not deduct it from his or her income, and the person receiving a child support does not add it to his or her income. The would-be payer is entitled to blood tests, but in some states must pay for them. Federal Parent Locator Services (FPLS). Jurisdiction Recipient 2337 [1975] [pertinent sections codified at 42 U.S.C.A. With exceptions, the court usually does not award child support to a noncustodial parent during visitation. Child support is not deductible from either parent's taxes, any more than are the provisions that married parents supply to their children. It may also include health plan coverage, school tuition or other expenses, and may be reduced during periods of extended visitation such as summer vacations. Sometimes the process will also direct the witness to bring documentary evidence to the court. In practice, courts are allowed to use many criteria in setting an award amount. Some may adhere to the Uniform Parentage Act, which states that courts must take into consideration, among other things, the age of the child, the financial resources and earning ability of the child, and the value of services contributed by the custodial parent. The current COVID-19 relief bill is in limbo, but if it passes, a second stimulus check could give some parents a break. The parent who does not have primary care, custody, or control of the child, and has an obligation to pay child support. A child's move, if authorized, does not end support. In the 1990s, child support was sought as part of the regular intake procedure for unmarried parents who were requesting public assistance. Other enforcement methods include placing a lien on the obligor's property so that it cannot be sold without clearing the arrearage. Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) A person who brings an action; the party who complains or sues in a civil case. The other parent is often called the non-custodial parent. The child ceases to be a dependent when they reach the "age of emancipation" as determined by State law, but depending on the State's provisions, may remain eligible for child support for a period after they are emancipated. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Genetic Testing The person alleged to be the father of the child but who has not yet been medically or legally declared to be the Legal Father. Locate A legal proceeding under which part of a person's wages and/or assets is withheld for payment of a debt. Mason, Mary Ann. This includes things like food, diapers, clothing, personal care items, school supplies, and, generally, basic extracurricular activities. (See also: Uniform Interstate Family Support Act). The purpose of child support is to protect the child from the economic impact of divorce or separation. Lien Prosecution may proceed on a misdemeanor or felony level, depending on the circumstances. FFCCSOA also limits a State's ability to modify another States' child support orders in instances when: the State tribunal seeking to modify the order has jurisdiction to do so; and, the tribunal that originally issued the order no longer has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the order either because the child and the parties to the case are no longer residents of the issuing State, or the parties to the case have filed written consent to transfer continuing exclusive jurisdiction to be transferred to the tribunal seeking to make the modification. The purpose of these clauses is to keep cases out of court. Learn more. Child support can be entered into voluntarily or ordered by a court or a properly empowered administrative agency, depending on each state's laws. This is usually in cases where a State is trying to establish an initial child support order on behalf of a resident custodial party. As with so many issues dealing with family law and child support options, the legal strategies for handling back child support vary depending on the state of residence. If you owe unpaid child support, your child's other parent has a number of ways to collect the money from you. Child support is an amount payable by one parent to the other to make sure that a child is cared for and shares in, to some degree, the standard of living enjoyed by both parents. Most children who are eligible to receive child support must be a dependent. (In some States the SDNH is operated by the State Employment Security Agency or SESA. The following article on child support terminology provides a useful guide to some terms you may encounter when going through the child support process, whether you're the parent asking for child support or the one being asked to pay child support. 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