The Truth Behind 3 Common Child-Support Myths

If you're going through a divorce and you and your spouse have children together, there's a good chance that one of you will end up having to make monthly child support payments. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misunderstandings floating around out there when it comes to child support. By knowing the truth behind some of the most common child support myths, you can better prepare for your your divorce process.

Myth 1: The Parents Can Decide Upon a Fair Amount

Many divorcing spouses operate under the mistaken assumption that they can agree on what they think is a "fair" amount for monthly child support and handle it outside of the courts. Unfortunately, this isn't how things work. Child support obligations must be carefully calculated and ordered by a judge and aren't based solely on what you and your spouse think is fair. This is where working with an experienced divorce attorney can be helpful, as he or she will be able to explain the manner in which your child support payment will be calculated and what to expect.

Myth 2: If You File Bankruptcy, You Don't Have to Pay

If it turns out that you're the one who will be making child support payments and you fall into difficult financial times, understand that you'll still be held responsible for making your payments in full and on time. Many divorced parents believe that if you file for bankruptcy after a divorce, you can get out of paying back child support, but this is far from the truth. In fact, your wages can even be garnished and your assets repossessed as a means of recovering any unpaid support.

Myth 3: Paying Parents Have a Right to Know How Money is Spent

When you pay child support to your ex-spouse, of course you'd like to know that 100% of that money is going towards your child's care. You might even feel that you have a right to know how each penny of your child support is spent. Unfortunately, you don't have any legal rights in this regard. Your spouse can choose to spend child support money in any manner he or she chooses, so long as it's used for the benefit of your child. If you feel child support funds are being misused, the best thing you can do is work with a professional divorce lawyer, like those at Abom & Kutulakis LLP, to bring the situation to a judge's attention.