We get this question a lot. Most people call us having read somewhere that the mom always gets custody of the children and dad always pays child support. That’s just not true these days. Child support is based off the custody arrangement that the court orders. Dads are just as likely to get custody and not have child support orders as the child’s mother.
Is There a Way to Not Pay Child Support?
If you are worried about the child support guidelines, the first thing you need to start thinking of is what custody arrangement works best for you. If you are looking to not have child support, you will need to have at least joint physical custody with equal time.
How are Child Support Payments Decided?
In the state of Arkansas, a child support order is determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a variety of factors including the parents incomes and assets, the needs of the child or children, the amount of time each parent spends with the child or children, and the number of children. Whatever is in the best interest of the children will be the primary grounds for who might receive child support payments.
When it comes to child support in the state of Arkansas, the general rule is that both parents are responsible for supporting their child financially. However, the court will typically order the noncustodial parent (the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child) to pay child support to the other parent.
This is because the custodial parent is typically the one who incurs the majority of the expenses related to the child’s care and upbringing.
Under Arkansas law, the court will use a specific formula to calculate the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent is required to pay.
How Long is Child Support Paid?
In most cases, the non custodial parent will be ordered to pay support until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years old in Arkansas. However, there are certain circumstances in which a parent may be required to pay beyond the age of 18.
For example, if the child is still in high school or is unable to support themselves due to a physical or mental disability, the court may order the noncustodial parent to continue paying child support to support their children.
It is important to note that child support is not meant to punish the noncustodial parent. Rather, it is intended to ensure that the child has the financial support they need to live a comfortable and healthy life.
The court will also take into account the other parent’s ability to pay when determining the total child support obligation.
What are the Child Support Enforcement Rules?
If the noncustodial parent fails to make their required child support payments, Arkansas Law says that the court may take a number of enforcement actions, including garnishing their wages or seizing their assets. In extreme cases, that person may even face jail time for failure to pay their court ordered child support.
If you find yourself in a child support situation that you don’t feel is fair, if you want to modify your current child support situation, or just want to explore your options before you go through a divorce, an experienced Family Law attorney can help.
Our Family Law team can answer any question you might have and ensure that you feel at ease with the child support guidelines and understand your rights as a parent.