If you are going through a divorce and will be the non-custodial parent of your kids, you will likely have to pay child support to your ex-spouse for your children. This money is designed to help your ex support your children after you split up, and it is something you cannot get out of. There are several mistakes, though, that non-custodial parents make relating to child support, and you should try to avoid making these if you are the non-custodial parent.
Paying directly to your ex-spouse
In most cases, child support is paid through the local courthouse. The non-custodial parent sends it to the courthouse and the courthouse processes it and sends it to the custodial parent. This often takes about one week from the time the payment is sent until the other parent receives it. It can be tempting to avoid this procedure by sending payments directly to your ex-spouse, but this is not a good idea. There will be no record of payments you send this way, and this could end up leaving you owing money you already paid.
Failing to report changes in your income
Secondly, as the non-custodial parent, you will be required to pay child support, which is based on your income. If your income changes, especially if it decreases, you should report this to the court and to your lawyer. When income drops, it might qualify you for a child support modification. If this happens, it could decrease the amount you must pay for your support payments, and this could help you avoid financial problems if you lose some or all of your income.
Assuming child support will end when your kids reach a certain age
The other mistake you should avoid making is thinking that your support payments will automatically cease when your kids reach a certain age. This is not how support payments work. For the support payments to end, you will have to notify the court and go to a court hearing for this, and you will have to continue making the required payments until the court tells you differently. If you do not go to court for this, even when your kids reach a certain age, you will have to continue making the payments for child support.
As a non-custodial parent, you will have to pay child support, but you will not have to pay this forever. If you have questions about this, make sure you talk to your local divorce law office to find out the answers you are looking for.