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Who Pays Child Support in a Divorce

Who Pays Child Support in a Divorce

Among the many difficult decisions that two individuals must make when they decide to end a marriage is financial in nature. These are complex and often times emotional decisions. When a couple has children involved, this brings another layer of complexity as to who gets custody of their child, and who will pay the financial support for their child.

Who is responsible?

In a divorce, the custodial parent is the person who is given the physical and legal custody of the couple’s child, or children. The parent who does not have primary legal custody of their children is considered to be the non-custodial parent.

It is the non-custodial parent who is typically the individual required to pay child support—an ongoing and periodic financial payment. This payment is normally paid directly to the parent who has custody of the child. This is the case even though the non-custodial parent has visitation rights or perhaps shared custody with the other parent.

How much support?

Unfortunately, this is not an easy answer. Each state has its own formula that specifies and regulates the financial support the non-custodial parent pays. A few factors that determine the financial support to be paid are the income of both parents and the individual needs of their child. The needs considered, to name a few, are food, shelter, and medical.

While there are set guidelines for child support, there are also a few exceptions that are also considered by the court. Though these exceptions are not common, they do exist because each family and each individual have unique situations. There are joint-custody arrangements that may affect the support what the non-custodial parent pays, joint payments by both parents, and in rare circumstances, even a custodial parent may be determined by the court to pay a certain amount of money to the non-custodial parent.

Need help?


If you need help in determining the proper child support for your unique situation, you should consult with a compassionate legal professional. When you hire an attorney from The Virdone Law Firm, P.C., you can have peace of mind. Call us today for a free consultation and learn how our services can help you!
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