After a divorce or when parents aren't married, it's common to have an order of support for the child. The child support is generally paid by parent who doesn't have primary custody of the child to the parent that does. While the paying parent doesn't have control over how that money is spent, it's generally assumed that the money will provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, educational needs and other important items.
Same-sex couples fought for years to have the right to marry -- and family law is slowly catching up with the fact that same-sex couples now have that right. However, reinterpreting the law in light of social changes can be difficult -- and it can leave plenty of same-sex couples confused about both their rights and their obligations after a divorce.
Every divorced parent has a picture of how they think child support and custody of the children will work -- but that picture can be heavily distorted not only by the stories of others but the geographical area in which you happen to live.
Child support obligations don't always end when a child turns 18 years of age -- especially if that child is going to college. Higher education expenses can be a complicated issue when parents are divorced.
Retirement usually means a reduction in your income -- and that can be a serious problem if you still have a child support obligation that's likely to go on for the next few years.
The 31-year-old man who served as an object lesson for many when his parents were forced to evict him from their home has made more legal news. Once again, his case holds some lessons for others — wherever they are living.
Are you suffering from an economic downturn?
Good parenting plans try to address potential problems before they start.
Missing one child support payment may be a one-time issue, but it often creates an economic tailspin that can be very hard to shake.
Child support is money meant to provide for the kids, and it often works to even out the input from both parents. You have the kids living with you 90 percent of the time, for instance, and your spouse pays support so that you're both contributing to the costs.