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Child Support Eligibility


Under state child support laws, a child is generally entitled to be supported by both parents after divorce. If one parent has sole child custody, generally the noncustodial parent is ordered to pay child support. If the parents have joint child custody, the parent who the child lives with most of the time may be eligible to receive child support.

Child Support Guidelines

Most states have child support guidelines that calculate the amount of child support using a variety of factors, such as the time spent with the child, parents' income, childcare expenses and insurance costs. Child support may also be offset if there are significant travel expenses involved with child visitation.

Circumstances Affecting Child Support Eligibility

  • Paternity Disputes - If the paternity of a child is disputed, the biological father of a child may not be ordered to pay child support until the results of a paternity test are available and reviewed by the court.
  • Identity and Location of Biological Parent - Parents who can't locate or identify the other biological parent of a child may never receive child support, unless the missing parent is found and/or a paternity test is ordered by the court. If the identity of the parent is known but he or she cannot be located, the child support services agency in your state may provide assistance.
  • Child Support Orders - After a divorce court orders a parent to make child support payments, that parent may be held in contempt of court for not paying. In some cases, child support orders may be retroactive to the date the petition for child support was filed or the child's birth date.

Speak with a Divorce Lawyer about Child Support Eligibility

Find out if you are eligible to receive child support payments by speaking to a local divorce lawyer today. Call 877-349-1310 or fill out a divorce case review form to set up a preliminary consultation today. Get help handling your child support case so you can protect your child's financial future.

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The above synopsis of child support eligibility is by no means all-inclusive and is not intended to provide legal advice. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these divorce laws, please contact a local divorce lawyer in your area.