Child Support


Basis for the Amount of Child Support: The laws governing child support have changed dramatically over the years. Pursuant to federal mandate a statewide child support guideline went into effect on March 1, 1991. This guideline is commonly called “Rule 1274”. The guideline considers the earnings of both parents, as well as the amount of time the child in question spends with each parent.

Unlike spousal support, the child support guideline is generally used to determine the amount of temporary and permanent child support. Whereas, permanent spousal support generally is less than temporary spousal support, permanent child support is normally identical to the temporary award of child support, unless the income of the parties or the time sharing of the child has changed since the award of temporary child support.

Child support must be paid until the child is emancipated. A child becomes emancipated by reaching the age of 18, by marrying, entering the armed forces or moving out on his or her own prior to the age of 18. However, if the child is still in high school at the age of 18, the obligation to pay support continues until the age of 19 or the graduation of high school, whichever occurs first.

At this point, there is no requirement that a parent support his or her child through college (unless the child is in college prior to turning 18). However, every year the Legislature is faced with legislation requiring additional child support through college. Eventually one of these bills may pass and the obligation for support while the child is in college may, retroactively, effect you.

Wage Assignments for the Payment of Child Support: A wage assignment is a device whereby an employer is ordered to deduct from an employees paycheck certain amounts to be paid to the employees former spouse as and for child support. It is a method that insures the timely payment of child support.

The court must order a wage assignment for the collection of child support absent a stipulation to the contrary. An employer must forward amounts withheld to the assigned payee within 10 days after the obligor is paid. No punitive action may be taken by an employer against the employee when a wage assignment is imposed.

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