Child Support Myths Explained

Newborn baby hand with parent hand during child support modification caseThe issues of child support and custody are the basis of many of the questions that we hear in our office, and two of the most commonly misunderstood. That’s why we put together a list of common misunderstandings we hear about child support, and the real truth. To find out how these truths specifically apply to your situation, contact us for more information.

Child support automatically means paying money.

This myth may be true, depending on what the court decides. Some parents do only pay child support in cash. The court can also order a parent to pay non-cash child support, such as in the form of health insurance.

If I can’t or don’t see the child, I don’t have to pay child support.

Not true! Custody and physical placement are not necessarily connected to child support. Never stop paying child support until after you have talked to an attorney. Stopping child support without a legal basis can even lead to your arrest.

If I request a modification to my child support payments, I will have to pay less.

Maybe.  Requesting an adjustment to your child support can increase or decrease the amount, so be aware that you may have to pay more if you take this step. If you have any questions about child support and your rights, contact your attorney. 

If I move out of state, I won’t have to pay child support.

Completely false. As we said before, the inability to see the child does not mean you don’t have to pay child support. If you stop child support payments when you move, child support—and the consequences of not paying—follow you.

When I lose my job, I don’t have to pay child support.

This child support myth is true, but only if you take action to show that you cannot pay. Contact a lawyer to find out your next steps; don’t just stop paying child support, which can leave you open to penalties and possible jail time.

It’s always the dad who has to pay child support.

Totally false. Child support is determined by a number of factors, and gender is not one of them. If you are going through a divorce, many financial issues can be determined without going to the courts; read about these alternatives to litigation divorce.

The parent receiving child support has to show they are using the payment to support the child.

No. The parent receiving the child support payments does not need to show that they are using the money for the child.

Part time or second jobs are not included when calculating the amount of child support payments.

Not true. In Wisconsin, the amount of child support is calculated based on gross income from all jobs. If you have any questions about the process, contact a local, experienced attorney for information.

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