Both parents share the responsibility of taking care of their children. When couples get married and have children, they share this responsibility of sending the children to school and providing everything they need until such time when they are capable of supporting themselves.
But what if the parents separate? This is where child support comes in.
It is when a parent is obliged to pay a certain sum of money to support the child’s needs even if they are not living together. How is the process done?
A parent who will file for child support must go to court or local magistrate to begin the process. The parent should prepare the documents that would clarify his or her identity and that of the child. Legal documents on the marriage and separation should also be prepared.
The other parent will be summoned to appear in court because he or she has been sued for child support. What happens when parenthood is denied, supposing the sued parent is a father?
There are three cases in which a father can deny the paternity:
- The marriage does not establish the paternity;
- The name of the father does not appear in the child’s legal documents; or
- He claims a paternity fraud.
In any case, the paternity can still be proved through a DNA test and if it shows a match, an amendment of the birth certificate will be made, placing the child’s name under the father’s.
After the process, the court will notify the obliged parent of the timely fees that need to be paid. How is the fee calculated?
There is no fixed payment for supporting a child. A lot of factors need to be considered. The parent’s regular income, the child’s living expenses, school fees, and the age and the number of children who need the money are some of the factors taken into account.
The amount to be paid can be changed through a petition in court. It may be lessened if the parent who is paying the fee is facing a financial hardship. This includes losing the source of income, supporting more children, or experiencing higher expenses for extraordinary health conditions. On the other hand, if the child’s expenses suddenly became higher due to a tuition fee raise or an unexpected health problem, the support fee would be higher.
How Is It Paid?
The obliged parent may directly give the money to the other parent, personally pay the tuition fees, or pay the support through government offices. The support will continue depending on what the state’s law says. Others require this until the child reaches the age of majority while others may require the parent to provide support until the child graduates from high school.
Suffice to say that a child is incapable of supporting himself or herself. This is why every state has laws that help children get what they need. When their parents separate, they are not at fault. This is why rules on supporting them should be strictly followed. Being a parent comes with great responsibility and no one should turn away from that.