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Common misconceptions surrounding child support

Divorce can provide a person’s life with significant challenges. Unfortunately, those challenges can get exacerbated if ex-spouses have children. The time and resources allocated to kids can be much more difficult to split than household possessions. That’s because kids’ emotional and financial needs can often vary based on a family’s income and the child’s life stage at the time of divorce.

When spouses begin separation proceedings, child support payments can be hard to negotiate, especially if couples already face settlement difficulties. However, ex-spouses can ease some of the tension by deciphering fact from fiction surrounding child support payments.

Unraveling the myths about child support

These are some important ones to understand:

  • Parents are relieved of responsibility when the children turn 18: In this day and age, kids are more financially dependent on their parents than ever before. Whether they take longer to find a job after graduation or have high student loan debt, many don’t become fully financially independent until their mid-20s or early 30s.
  • Payments must go directly towards the kids: Not every penny of child support has to go directly towards the kids. In many instances, those receiving support compensation can allocate towards expenses that help them indirectly. That can include things like car insurance, health insurance, groceries and other living costs.
  • Child support payments are tax-deductible: In most cases, child support payments don’t have a direct impact on income taxes. The parent who’s paying the child support can’t deduct them and the receiving parent doesn’t have to include payments as part of their income.
  • Those paying have the right to know how it’s getting utilized: The parent receiving child support payments does not have a legal obligation to tell the paying spouse how they spend the money. However, if the paying parent believes their money isn’t getting used properly, they can request payment modifications.

Children need security for a healthy development

Financial stability is often crucial for a child’s well-being. When parents understand the misconceptions that surround child support payments, they can better assess how to provide for their kids and give them the resources they need for a happy adolescence.