When it comes to child support, many myths and misconceptions about it are in circulation. This is unfortunate because many of these myths are based on outdated information and can be harmful to those who are currently seeking or receiving child support.
Misinformation about child support can lead to unnecessary confusion and frustration, which is why it's important to understand the truth behind these common misconceptions.
4 Common Child Support Myths
It’s important to become familiar with some of the most common child support myths out there. It’s just as important, however, to understand why these are myths in the first place. Read more about some of these common misconceptions below.
Myth 1: You Can’t Change Child Support Payments
This is not true. When there is a significant change in circumstances relevant to the child support order, the party receiving support or the party paying support can petition the court to modify the amount paid. Typically, this occurs when there’s a change in either party’s financial situation or a child has developed a medical condition requiring increased expenses to support.
Myth 2: Parents Who Don’t Live with Their Children Don’t Have to Pay Child Support
All parents are obligated to financially support their children, regardless of where they live or how much time they spend with them. The custodial parent typically doesn’t have child support obligations because the child lives with them and it’s assumed that they are already paying for the child’s living expenses.
Parents who don’t live with their children (noncustodial parents) often have to pay child support because they aren’t otherwise providing direct financial support for their children.
Myth 3: Parents Who Fall Behind on Child Support Payments Will Never Catch Up
While falling behind on payments can have serious consequences, it is possible to pay off your arrears and come into compliance with the court’s order. If this scenario doesn’t look likely, however, you can petition the court to modify the child support to a level that you can afford. Keep in mind, however, that you will remain responsible for the originally ordered payments if/until a judge orders otherwise.
Myth 4: Child Support Always Ends When a Child Turns 18
In most cases, Florida courts require that parents continue providing financial support until their children reach the age of majority (18). However, if the child is still in high school or college at this time, then the parent will be obligated to continue making payments until they graduate or turn 19 years old, whichever happens first.
Get Legal Help for Child Support Matters
At Kay Polk, Attorney at Law, we understand the unique set of challenges that come with all matters related to child support. Our team is committed to providing you with exceptional legal services and personalized advice so that you can make informed decisions about your case.
We have extensive experience helping clients negotiate fair and workable child support agreements. We strive to ensure that all parties involved are fairly represented throughout the process while advocating for what is most fair for our clients and their children.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Kay Polk, Attorney at Law.