When parents are raising children while no longer involved in a relationship, child support payments will often be a part of the situation. Whether a mother or a father is paying child support, parents in Rhode Island should understand the basics of child support.
Factors that impact the child support determination
Financial support of the children is the responsibility of both parents, whether they are in a relationship or not. When one parent becomes the custodial parent, the other parent will often need to pay child support. Some of the factors that impact if child support will be ordered and the amount that might be ordered include:
- Each parent’s financial situation
- Each child’s unique needs
- The standard of living enjoyed by the child before the parents separated
- Each parent’s ability to pay for the child’s financial needs
How long does child support last?
Child support will usually last until the child turns 18. However, there are several exceptions to this. Child support might be paid for longer, if the child remains in high school after the age of 18 or if the child has some disability that prevents them from supporting themselves. Child support payments might be stopped earlier if the child becomes an emancipated minor who can support themselves, if a parent’s parental rights are terminated or if the child goes into active service in the military.
Modifying a child support order
A child support order can be modified if a parent’s financial situation has significantly changed. For example, a parent who loses their job or takes a lower-paying job might request that payment amounts be lowered. It is important to know, however, that a modification will only affect future obligations.