Child support is typically paid by the parent who has visitation (but not primary custody) and sees their child less often. Their child may live with them only a couple days a week or just as often as with the other parent.
For parents who have custody more often, child support can be a helpful benefit. It’s there to provide additional funds for raising the child, much like in a two-family household. Some people argue that this places an unfair burden on the other parent, but the goal is to make the situation fairer for the child at both homes.
Take, for example, a case where Jack and Mary both have custody of their daughter. Jack pays $50 in support each week, while he sees his daughter three days a week. Mary receives the support and watches their daughter four days a week. She earns less than Jack, so the extra $200 a month, on average, helps her buy extras for her daughter, like new clothes or uniforms for school teams.
Without that support, Mary’s single-parent budget may not allow for those expenditures, but Jack’s higher income allows him to both pay child support and afford to care for his daughter in the same way. His makes it possible for his daughter to have quality time with her mother and to be able to afford things that may be otherwise out of reach financially.
There are times when people struggle to pay support, and in those cases, it’s smart to go back to court. You can seek a child support modification if you can’t afford the amount you’re supposed to pay. Your attorney can help you file for a modification if necessary.