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Child Support

There is nothing harder than being a single parent for most people. In today’s economy, facing the possibility of raising a child without financial support from the other parent is daunting. Parents may become unemployed or underemployed, or misrepresent their income just to escape their monetary obligations to the children. Even if you are not a single parent, but have primary custody of your child, the other parent is required to provide financial support to the child, usually until age 18 or 21. For these reasons, it is important for you not to face the task of collecting child support alone. The attorneys at M.C. Thomas & Associates are trained to identify all types of income, such as employment compensation, rental income, disability payments, royalties, and more, so that child support is calculated accurately. We subpoena bank records and other financial institutions to capture all of the income of the other parent, and ensure that your child receives the child support amount due. Child support is calculated according to guidelines established in each state that considers the incomes of the parties and certain expenses paid, such as healthcare coverage for the children and daycare expenses. Children are entitled to receive child support, regardless of whether the child lives with the biological or adoptive parents or a third party. Even if you believe that the custodial parent is financially independent and does not need to receive support, the child is still entitled to it. Child support may be owed even if the parents share custody on an equal basis.

Modification of Child Support Orders

Sometimes circumstances change. You or the other parent may lose a job, become disabled, or encounter another one of life’s hardships that impede your ability to support your child. Both the receiving parent and paying parent of child support may request changes in child support orders based upon a material change in circumstance of the parent or child. Some jurisdictions, like the District of Columbia, require a regular review of existing child support orders while other states may review child support orders only upon the request of a parent. You may obtain an increase in child support if, for example, you can demonstrate that the paying parent’s income has increased, or your income has decreased—to no fault of your own. You may obtain a decrease in child support by showing a decrease in your income, or an increase in the other parent’s income. This does not mean that you can quit your job and then seek to decrease child support. In many states, you must demonstrate that you did not do anything to voluntarily decrease your income. Courts are reluctant to reduce child support awards, and are likely to impute income to a parent based upon showing that the parent’s earning capacity exceeds his or her actual earnings.