Child Support – What Is It, And How Does It Work?

Child support is a payment that one parent makes to the other in order to take care of the expenses of raising the child. Generally, this takes place after a divorce or in the event that the parents are not living together. One parent is usually given custody of the child, and the other has to pay for child support.

Child Support - What Is It, And How Does It Work?

Similarly, a parent of a child or both parents of a child can also pay child support to a foster family or a guardian who has custody and is the temporary guardian. Here is what you should know about child support.

How To Apply

To apply for child support, you either need to contact child support services, or you may need to get in touch with social services. Different states have different ways of carrying out child support, but generally, these are the two departments that handle these issues. Next, you will also need to have the right kind of evidence to file a claim and get the process started.

This generally requires proof of parentage, social security information, proof of income, and any other legal documents that are relevant to the case, such as divorce papers or a protective order.

There is a set amount that you are eligible to receive based on the facts you provide about your case. In special cases, for instance, if the child needs special medical care, the court will issue a statement that will outline the appropriate amount given the circumstances.

How It Is Determined

There are a few different ways to determine the value of child support payments. Other than the income of the parent and the requirements of the child, there are some payment frameworks that can be used. These include things like the Melson formula, the income percentage model, and the income shares model.

The value of child support is one of the most common child support questions, and there is no single answer to this since it depends on the specific scenario. Some states use a mix of different models while other states have their own variation of a specific model. If the parents are located in different states, and both are earning, then support through both their incomes can also be calculated differently based on the state laws that they live in.


Disputes are very common when it comes to child support parents, and this can be a big problem for the custodian of the child as it compromises the child’s wellbeing. This is why it is recommended that child support should always be managed through a legal agreement between the parents so that action can be taken if there is a dispute. Child support services or social services can help in disputes. This is usually a complicated process, and it takes time, so the best solution is to clear things out beforehand and then get started with child support.

Child Support

The age until which a parent is liable to pay child support also varies from state to state. Generally, child support can last until the child is 16-21. Child support can also be managed between partners that are not legally married as long as a proper relationship with the child can be established. In such cases, courts usually request the parents to conduct DNA tests to confirm parentage.

Diana Muniz
Diana Muniz

With over 20+ years of experience in a variety of corporate and entrepreneurial environments, Diana has developed a great understanding of Marketing Strategy, Brand Development, Customer Success, Public Relations and Management. Her internal drive for developing others and external brands, has allowed her to work in some of the largest cities in the world including Milan, Paris, NY, Mexico, and the Middle East. This experience has been fundamental to Diana’s success and ability to communicate cross-culturally.