If you are a single parent with custody of your child, you should be collecting child support. However, that isn’t always the case. Did you know that according to the National Coalition for Child Support, there is $89 Billion in past-due child support currently uncollected in the United States. That doesn’t even include the parents who haven’t even sought child support yet.
With so many people collecting child support out there, it seems that several myths have cropped up and here they are:
Myth: Child Support goes to the child or children.
Fact: Child support is exactly that – support. This means that it goes to pay their expenses. Food, clothing and monthly expenses that involve the child. This can and does include monthly expenses such as gas, water and electric. Hopefully it isn’t the sole source of income paying the child’s expenses, but that is what it is designed to pay for.
Myth: Child support must go in a separate account from everything else.
Fact: No. This doesn’t even make sense. The money is included in the household income so unless you have an account designed just for income, it should be included in any account you use to pay bills and other expenses.
Myth: I’m not receiving child support, so I don’t have to share visitation with the child’s mother/father.
Fact: The two are not related. Child support is separate from child custody. Both are legal documents, but in most states they are still handled separately. Just because you are not receiving child support, does not mean that you can keep the child from his or her natural mother or father. What it does mean, is that you need to go after them for child support.
Myth: I was never married to my child’s other parent. I cannot collect child support.
Fact: Oh yes you can. It has nothing to do with marriage, as it isn’t an alimony payment. Collecting child support on your child is designed to help that child live a better life than they would if the money weren’t available. You do not need to be married to the other parent in order to collect child support. You might need to prove that the other parent is who you say they are if you did not list them on the birth certificate – usually done by a DNA test.
Do you have any questions or comments on child support that you are wondering about? Please feel free to drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
Nicole Humphrey writes about the creative and memory preserving side of life and families in the Scrapbooking Blog and Fun Blog, provides helpful hints to blended families and single parents on the Parents Blog, and provides informative tips and advice for students, teachers and parents on the Education Blog. She also guest blogs on a variety of topics. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.