Child support payments are generally made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The purpose of the payments is to ensure that the child maintains the same standard of living he had during the marriage, or would have had if the parents had been married. Child support is often one of the most contested parts of a divorce or custody case and even after the amount has been set, there is often drama with missed or late payments throughout the years.
If your child overhears you talking about child support and asks questions, here are some tips for how to respond. First, make sure your child is mature and intelligent enough to understand these complicated legal concepts. Most children under the age of 14 have no business learning anything about child support in your case. If your child is 14 or older, consider the following tips when talking with your child.
Do explain that child support is an amount set by the court as part of your divorce or custody case.
Do not tell your child how much child support is supposed to be paid.
Do explain that child support is meant to help one parent pay expenses.
Do not say that child support is for the child.
Do explain that you and your ex may not always agree, if your child overhears you arguing about child support.
Do not lay out all of your grievances with the other parent when talking to your child.
Do try to use child support to pay for reasonable family expenses if you are the parent receiving it.
Do not ask your child to tell the other parent child support is late, overdue, in the mail, or otherwise ask your child to intervene with the other parent about child support.
While it is fine for a child of appropriate age to know child support is being paid, it is not appropriate to get your child involved with any conflict involving child support.
DeTorres & DeGeorge handles divorce, custody, child support, property division and a variety of family law problems for our clients in New Jersey. Call us today to schedule an appointment to talk about your case.