In commemoration of Child Support Awareness Month, there are important facts and information to know when giving or receiving child support. This appropriated amount of money is used to provide food, shelter, clothing, and overall care for a child. In many cases child support can also include medical coverage and payment for a child’s extracurricular needs such as tutoring, sports, lessons, and vacations.

Child support often lies at the center of the drama experienced by many estranged parents. In an effort to prevent fights and arguments and correct misinformation, here are ten essential things you should know about child support.

1. Even though men are the most common providers of child support, women make up 15 percent of people who pay child support.

2. The average child support payment in the United States is $430 a month.

3. Nearly 30 percent of custodial parents don’t receive one cent of the appropriated amount of child support even when it is court-ordered.

4. There is no national guideline on how to determine an adequate amount of child support. Each state evaluates its own calculations.

5. Child support is tax-free income for the parent receiving it. However, it is not tax-deductible for the parent paying it.

6. Child support and visitation rights are exclusive of each other. They are two different legal matters. If one parent is prohibited from seeing a child, it does not allow them to legally stop paying child support.

7. Bankruptcy does not eliminate the requirement to pay child support no matter how far in debt the child support provider may be in. A judge cannot remove due or overdue child support payments.

8. Child support orders can be altered through a court order. Either parent can go back to the judge and request that the child support be increased, decreased, or eliminated.

9. If the child support provider is unemployed, they are still required to pay all court-ordered child support unless they’ve received a written, court-ordered modification that deems otherwise.

10. Parents who fail to pay child support can faces serious consequences such as wage garnishment, jail time, asset seizure, credit bureau reporting, driver’s license suspension, passport denial, and having your unemployment benefits withheld.

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