Is Child Support Mandatory After Divorce?

In Arkansas, it is mandatory for a court to consider child support, and in most cases, it is mandatory for someone to pay child support. Both parents are responsible for financially supporting their child, even if they are no longer together.

What Do I Need to Know about Divorce and Child Support in Arkansas?

When parents’ divorce, the court will make each parent complete and submit an affidavit of financial means and a few paystubs as they determine child custody. This gives them information on each parent’s income, debts, expenses, and assets.

They will then typically issue a child support order that specifies how much child support each parent is required to pay.

This amount is determined based on several factors, including the income and assets of both parents, the number of children involved, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, the cost of health insurance, and the cost of daycare.

Child support payments are intended to help cover the costs of raising a child, including things like food, clothing, housing, insurance, daycare, and medical expenses.

How Does the Custodial Parent Receive Child Support Payments?

In Arkansas the money is paid through the child support clearinghouse, and then the money is paid directly to the parent who has primary custody of the child.

It is then his or her responsibility to use the funds to meet the child’s needs.

Is There Any Way to Not Pay Child Support?

In joint custody situations, if parents share equal time with the child, the payment is generally made from the parent who has a higher income to the parent who has a lower income.

If the parents’ incomes are similar, it’s possible that the court considers not make either parent pay child support and instead just split the cost of insurance, daycare, and expenses.

Parents cannot come to an agreement that there will be no child support. Even when everyone agrees that no child support should be paid, Arkansas courts must still go through all the calculations and decide based on the law to set the child support orders.

Can Child Support Amounts Change?

It is completely possible for the costs to deviate from the recommended amount of child support based on other costs for the child including school tuition, books, tutors, travel, and extracurricular activities. The court may also deviate based on the parents’ ability to pay support.

If one parent is temporarily without a job, in jail, or disabled the court may choose not to order anyone to pay support. However, it is most likely that at least a small amount of support is ordered no matter the circumstances.

What if Child Support isn’t Paid?

If the noncustodial parent fails to make the required court ordered child support payments, they can be held in contempt of court. This can result in penalties, such as fines or even jail time. In some cases, the court may also order a wage garnishment or seizure of assets to ensure that the parent pays the required amount.

It is important to understand your obligations when it comes to child support. If you are going through a divorce in Arkansas and have questions about child support guidelines, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced family law attorney. They can provide guidance on your rights and responsibilities, and help you navigate the legal process.

In conclusion, child support is mandatory in Arkansas. The court will issue a child support order that specifies the amount each person is required to pay, and failure to make these payments can result in penalties. It is important for parents to understand their obligations and seek legal assistance if necessary.