It's no secret that child support is one of the most heated topics single parents must deal with. It carries with it so much emotional weight that parents often forget that it is actually supposed to be "child" support (i.e. payments to help in the costs of raising a child), instead of just another form of spousal maintenance.
Other than custody issues, child support is easily the most difficult issues encountered by divorcing couples. In a nutshell, child support is supposed to cover the basic necessities in a child's life, help a custodial parent offset the costs of raising a child. Essentially, it follows a public policy practice that both parents are tasked with the obligation of financially supporting a child until he or she reaches the age of majority.
A probate judge made national news recently when he ordered a man who owes nearly $100,000 in unpaid child support to stop having children. The order was newsworthy nationwide because many people were shocked by the directive, which is punishable by increased sanctions and possible jail time if it is violated.
An important part of divorce involves planning. Essentially asking (and answering) questions about where to live next, how to support oneself on one salary, whether additional financial support is needed, and how to maintain strong relationships with children.
Paternity questions are classic examples of oxymorons at work. They are very simple, yet complex questions that carry a host of emotional, legal and financial implications. They can make people act irrationally and bring out their best at the same time. Most of all, the wait times for results from such quick tests are often too long, which only adds to the strife between potential parents and their families.
Child support obligations can create enormous stress in one's life and lead to questionable financial decisions. It is certainly understandable that "life happens" financial situations change, and there may be a need to amend support obligations. While these are real concerns, many obligors (parents who pay support) have genuine problems meeting their obligations.