In family law and public policy, child support (or child maintenance) is a continuous, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship.
Child support law deals with the legal obligation of non-custodial parents to contribute financially to the maintenance of their children. These laws are enacted at the state level. However, because a child support order remains in effect until a child reaches the age of majority, or longer, administration of the order can become a multi-jurisdictional issue as parents and children relocate.
Determinations of child support are usually incorporated into family law cases that also include matters such as divorce, separation, paternity, custody, and visitation. Like other family law decrees, support determinations are subject to modification when appropriate.
The obligation to pay child support is considered to be independent of any other rights or responsibilities of the non-custodial parent. This may lead a non-custodial parent to believe that the duty to pay support and the right to visitation are mutually dependent. They are not. Even if the custodial parent wrongfully denies visitation, support must still be paid. Withholding child support for any reason can lead to contempt of court and other serious consequences.
Our office can help you with any decisions and issues involving child support.