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Child Support Practice Center

When parents reside in different states or different countries, child support issues can become complicated. You need the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney. Contact our office for a consultation to discuss your interstate or international child support situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support

Q: How is child support determined?

A: Each state has child support guidelines that are used as the foundation for determining the amount of child support owed. While guidelines vary from state to state, courts setting child support orders will generally follow the amount suggested by the guidelines unless exceptional circumstances exist — such as a child requiring extensive medical treatment. Most guidelines factor in the needs of the child, the relative ability of each parent to pay support and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the parents had remained together.

Q: Can I get child support if I never married my child's father?

A: Yes. Parents owe a duty to support their children not because they were married and divorced, but because they parented a child. You can work with an experienced family law attorney and/or your state's child support enforcement office to obtain a support order. Since you were not married, you will have to prove paternity before a support order may be enforced.

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Child Support - An Overview

Enforcing the obligation to pay child support is a national priority. Federal legislation and state laws exist to make enforcement and collection of child support easier. Each state has particular guidelines for establishing child support and there are various methods to recover the support you are owed. If you are ending a marriage, are already divorced or are trying to hold your child's other parent legally responsible, it is important to consult with a family law attorney.

Contact The Law Offices of Jerome P. Ventura, P.A. in Pembroke Pines, FL, to learn more about your state's child support laws. An experienced family law attorney can review your child support matter and help you find the best solution to meet your child's needs.

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Modifying Child Support

Child support orders can be modified to meet changing needs in the parents' or child's life. Either parent can petition the court for a modification. The court will then determine whether there has been a significant and material change in circumstances either concerning the child's needs or the paying parent's ability to financially meet his or her obligations.

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Enforcing Child Support Orders

Parents must meet their child support obligations. Those who do not pay, pay less than required or pay sporadically may be subject to contempt proceedings, fines and even jail time.

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When Do Child Support Obligations End?

Many factors are taken into account in determining when child support payments will end. In some situations, it is as simple as the child reaching the age of majority. In others, payments may not end until the child has graduated from college.

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Child Support and Taxes

Taxes can be reduced by allowed deductions and exemptions. Deductions reduce the amount of taxable income; exemptions reduce the adjusted gross income, such as standard withholding or dependency exemptions. If you pay child support or receive it, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a strict set of rules in place to control the deductions and exemptions that you are allowed because of the payment or receipt of child support. Often, the terms of your divorce decree and related agreements will control the extent to which any tax offsets are available.

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Child Support Resource Links

The Office of Child Support Enforcement
The Child Support Enforcement Program is a joint federal, state and local partnership to ensure that parents provide financial support to their children.

Child support and family law legislation database
A database of bills filed pertaining to child support and family law, provided by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL).

National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA)
NCSEA is a nonprofit, membership organization representing the child support community.

Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act
Federal law providing additional punishments to state measures for those who fall seriously behind in child support payments.
Interpretation and application of child support guidelines throughout the United States.

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