Child support & maintenance. Determining which parent will get physical custody of the children following a divorce may be one of the most difficult parts of any divorce arrangement. Equally important is the debate you’ll have to have about the cost of your child’s wellbeing. Both spouses have an obligation to financially support any children produced by the marriage. Children can be expensive, and it’s important to know that you won’t have to bear the expenses of feeding, dressing, housing, and caring for them by yourself.
This obligation is expressed through child support, which ensures that even the non-custodial parent is paying his or her share. While the basic concept of child support payments is familiar to virtually everyone, child support payments are a legal concept and therefore have many elements that may not be immediately familiar to people who don’t have a background in the legal field. If you’re going through a divorce and you’re concerned about the future of your children, it might be helpful to familiarize yourself with the following key terms:
Child support/maintenance. Child Support payments are an important part of ensuring that a child is cared for, and is a legal term. Payments must meet a number of criteria in order to be considered support payments; the payments must be defined in the divorce documents as “child support payments,” they must be cash, and they must go to pay for the support of the child or children.
Obligor. The obligor is the person who is legally required to make the payments.
Obligee. The obligee is the one being paid the payments. He or she is legally required to use this money towards caring for the children, and there are limitations on what the money can be used for.
“Dead-beat.” The term “dead-beat” refers to an obligor who has lapsed on his or her support payments.
Changed circumstances. A changed circumstances document is necessary if the obligor can no longer pay the required amount of money.
Parenting plan/Custody arrangement. This document serves as a legal agreement establishing custody and visitation arrangements following a divorce. This arrangement serves to prevent future arguments, disagreements, and litigation.