It is the child’s basic right to be supported by persons who have parental responsibility over him. This is regardless if the persons who have parental responsibility over the child are married, separated or are his biological or adoptive parents. A person who has the care of a child is entitled to pay for child support.
Child support is the financial support that is paid for the upkeep of a child. The money is meant to meet and answer for the care, development and welfare of a child.
An application for child support may be filed with the Department of Human Services (DHS). An assessment will then be conducted based on a number of factors such as the taxable income of both parents which refers to their gross income, the age and needs of the child, and the care provided and time spent by each parent with the child.
An easy way of settling the issue of child support is by entering into an agreement with the other parent or person liable to pay. So the parents can agree on the amount to be paid, date of payment, how the amount is calculated and the nights each parent must spend with the child. The amount set in the agreement must be close to the assessment of the DHS but this specific requirement is not necessary in a binding child support agreement. There is more freedom to make terms and conditions in a binding child support agreement as compared to a limited child support agreement.
The duty to pay child support remains until the child turns 18 years old or until a terminating event occurs. A terminating event has the effect of permanently ending the payment of child support, temporarily stopping it or varies it.
Parents of an 18 years old child are no longer obligated to pay child support. The exception to this is if the child continues his education or is incapable of financially supporting himself due to a medical condition for which adult maintenance may continue to be paid by his parents.
Parties to a child support agreement may opt to terminate their old agreement by entering into a new one that overrides the old stipulations. So it’s just like the old stipulations are being replaced with new ones.
In terminating an old agreement the parties may execute a subsequent agreement that expressly terminates the old agreement. This subsequent agreement is solely for ending the first agreement and not to place in new stipulations.
Fraud, duress and misrepresentation are grounds upon which a court may terminate the payment of child support. However, the termination does not really mean that the parent is freed from his obligation of paying child support. It only means that the parent can expect some change perhaps to the amount that he is paying since the previous assessment or agreement was obtained through fraudulent means.