4 Commonly Asked Questions about Child Support: A Guide

child support

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Child support is the financial contribution made by a parent for the benefit of a child or children. Child support is paid by one parent (known as the ‘obligor’ parent) to another parent (known as the ‘obligee’ parent) so that the children of that relationship can enjoy a certain standard of living.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about child support.

1) Can a Parent Still See Their Child if They’ve Missed a Payment?

Yes. The simple fact that a parent is behind on child support payments does not mean that they cannot see their child. In fact, a parent’s child support payments do not affect their visitation or custody rights (i.e. the ability to see their child). However, there can be repercussions for the parent who misses child support payments.

The law does not say specifically how much child support may be paid, but it does say that the court may “impute” the parent’s income to them. What this means is that the court may determine how much the parent could earn if they were working, even if they are unemployed. The court may then deduct the amount that the parent would have made from the amount they are supposed to pay.

That said, it is very rare that the court will impute a parent’s income based on a very low income.

2) Is There a Difference Between Child Support Paid Under Agreement And Court-Ordered?

There are two kinds of child support: court-ordered child support and child support paid under an agreement. The court-ordered child support is the same legal obligation regardless of whether the payments come from the parents or are court-ordered. It is the same under both circumstances.

The obligation to pay court-ordered child support does not stop with the death of the parent. In some cases, a surviving parent may be required to continue paying for their child’s college education. Also, child support that was ordered through a court order may be enforced by a court order.

Because of these factors, it is strongly suggested that parties who enter into an agreement over child support notify their lawyer of the agreement. Consulting a lawyer gives the parties the best chance to make an informed decision about what is best for their child.

3) Can a Parent Pay Less Child Support Than Agreed Upon?

A parent can default on child support even if the parent is making payments each month. Parents should consult with a lawyer to make sure that the agreement is a legally enforceable one. Child support that is paid without a lawyer is not as enforceable as child support that is paid through a lawyer.

A parent may also have to pay more child support than anticipated. If a parent has a large increase in income or is the beneficiary of an inheritance, for example, the court can change their child support sometime after it has been ordered.

4) How Is Child Support Practiced?

The non-custodial parent is the parent who does not have primary custody of the child. The custodial parent is the parent who has primary custody of the child.

In theory, the non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent child support.

In practice, it is the custodial parent who has to pay child support to the non-custodial parent. This is because the custodial parent has to give the non-custodial parent money for the child every month. This money is considered child support and cannot be counted as income for the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent can use this money to pay for the child’s expenses or to save for college.


Child support is a legal obligation that helps parents support their children. Child support can be paid through a lawyer or through an agreement between the parents. Anyone who is concerned about child support laws should consult a lawyer.

With Dreyer and Associates Lawyers LLP, we provide services and resources regarding family law to help out anyone in need. Get in touch with us today to learn more.






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