When you go through a divorce, you might think that you already know everything you need to know about child support orders. The custodial parent is the one responsible for the primary care of the child, and the noncustodial parent is the one who sees and cares for the child less often. Judges generally require that the noncustodial parent pay the custodial parent child support that goes towards the care and support of that child. Even if you know that the judge bases the amount you pay on your income, there are some things you may not know.
Orders Can Change
Many men and women do not realize that child support orders can change in the future. If you change careers, lose hours at work or lose your job entirely, you can petition the court for an adjustment. The court will look at the amount that you now make and adjust the order down to a more affordable rate. You may need to work with divorce lawyers in Libertyville IL or another city though and let them petition the court on your behalf.
You Cannot Write Off Support
The custodial parent has the legal right to deduct a portion of child care and other expenses on his or her taxes. You cannot do the same thing unless you have the child a significant portion of time. Some noncustodial parents do not realize that child support is forever either. Even if you file for bankruptcy, you cannot discharge the past child support that you owe. Owing back child support can lead to financial hardships and other problems too because the court can hold you in contempt and even sentence you to jail time.
It Keeps Going
Child support orders do not necessarily stop as soon as your child turns 18. If you owe back child support, the court can garnish your wages and make you keep paying until you finish paying off what you owe. Children who remain in school and go to college can request that the court continue the support order until or she graduates too. Support orders for children with certain disabilities can go on for the rest of the child’s life too. If you have any questions about child support orders while going through a divorce, it’s best to talk with a lawyer before signing any papers or going to court.