Establishing and Calculating Child Support

After a divorce, a woman gets maintenance. Is that enough for her? Maybe. But what happens when the couple have a child? Who takes care of the expenses for the child? It is important to establish child support obligations for the security of the child. A divorce or a separation should not affect the child’s social and financial life. More importantly, parents should not let finances affect the child’s welfare. Parents – be aware of your child support obligations.

How do custody arrangements affect child support obligations?

The parent who gets the custody of the child receives child support from the other parent. Consider a divorced couple. The custody of the child is with the mother. The father has only visitation rights. In this case, the father has the obligation to provide child support.

If there is shared custody of the child (which is actually possible in India), the parents also share child support. In that case, having a separate account for the child can prevent misuse of funds.

Related: Custody of Children: The Side-effects of a Divorce

How do courts calculate child support?

The courts calculate child support based on the standard of living and the financial status of both the parents.  The court’s ultimate aim is to ensure the child’s welfare. The court calculates the amount in a ‘just and proper’ manner.

Will the court consider high living expenses such as loan payments and income taxes when determining one’s ability to pay child support?

Yes, they do. The court does not fix child support without taking into consideration all the relevant details.

Related: Quick Guide: Child Custody Laws in India

Can the court base its child support order on what I am able to earn, as opposed to what I’m actually earning?

The court bases the child support based on what the parent is actually earning. It is not fair to base it on what the parent is able to earn when the actual earning is less.

Is a step-parent obligated to financially support his or her stepchildren?

No. Step-parents face no legal obligation to provide financial support to their step-children.

Do I have to pay child support if my ex keeps me away from my kids?

It is not advisable to stop paying child support even if your ex-partner keeps you away from your kids. When you provide child support even at that time, it shows your care for your child. It will affect the child’s welfare too if you stop paying. Moreover, you can approach a court showing your responsibility and ask for visitation rights.

Related: Child Visitation Rights of Parents & Grandparents

How long must parents support their children?

A male child receives financial support from the parent until 18 years of age. A girl child receives financial support from the parent until her marriage. The parent has to provide child support for the entire lifetime of the child if the child has a disability or special needs.

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