When it comes to divorce or separation, proper childcare should be the main priority. Children are usually the ones who suffer the most during divorce or separation. Both parents have a responsibility to make the process and results of separation as emotionally and financially easy on a child as possible.
In a perfect world, both parents would gain equal visitation rights and both parents would support children equally in terms of finances. But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where some couples fight to gain custody of kids, while other parents neglect their children’s most basic needs after separation. We live in a world where one parent is often left to deal with all the financial and physical burdens of raising a child or children while the other partner has no input whatsoever.
Child support is a system that aims to assist children and the main guardian of the child financially by enforcing the other parent to contribute financially. This isn’t a perfect system because there are so many grey areas when it comes to raising kids.
Here are a few things you probably don’t know about child support.
Children Have a Legal Right to Financial Assistance from Parents
Every child has a legal right to financial assistance, a safe home environment, and a good education, and it is the parents’ responsibility to provide these basic needs for their children whether they are still together or separated. The parent who has legal custody of the child is mainly responsible for the wellbeing of the child, whereas the other parent might only be required to cover some expenses for the child.
Anyone Can be a Child’s Legal Parents
You don’t have to be a child’s birth mother or father to be considered a parent of the child. Adoptive parents, step-parents, and even members of the child’s family can gain legal custody of a child and will then be considered as the child’s legal parents. Legal parents might still be eligible for child support from biological and non-biological parents even though they might not be a birth mother or father.
Child Support Amounts are Established Through a Child Support Assessment
Parents need to apply at Human Services for a full assessment of child support before the child support amount will be established. At Pentana Stanton, we can also assist with the legal child support assessment so you can quickly find out exactly what another parent should pay.
Child Support Self-Management is a Possibility
It is entirely possible to manage child support negotiations and agreements all on your own, but in these cases, you always have the risk that the other parent might not pay up. Pentana Stanton can assist with drawing up legally and binding child support agreements between parents.
Child Support Does End
Children remain dependents until they reach the age of 18. There are scenarios where parents are legally obligated to pay child support for much longer, such as in the case of a disability or illness, or if the child is still going to school on a full-time basis. When children marry or voluntary withdraw from parental control, parents are no longer obligated to pay child support even though the child might be younger than 18 years of age.
You Can Apply for Child Support at Any Time
Raising children is an ongoing challenge and the parent with legal custody can apply for child support at any given time, even years after the divorce.
Child support is a complex topic that is best left in the hands of professionals. If you want the best possible outcome for child support, then we urge you to use Pentana Stanton solicitors.
If you’re looking for family lawyers, then speak to our experienced staff today.