Here's what you should know about paying child support

Child support is an important part of a child's life, and it is also a helpful benefit for the parent with primary custody. Child support can be used for many things, from putting food on the table to buying warm winter clothing for the child.

When a parent feels slighted by something that has happened during or after a divorce and has to pay support, there is sometimes an issue where they believe they can withhold support. This is not the case. If you withhold support when it's owed, you could be held in contempt of court.

Can you withhold support in the hope of getting more time with your kids?

No, and this is actually detrimental to your wishes. It is best to pay support on time every time. If you withhold support, you hurt your reputation in court and could be held in contempt. You'll be ordered to pay regardless of the custody situation.

If you want more time with your children, it's a good idea to speak with your attorney about modifying the custody plan. You can seek a modification if you have a change in your schedule or want more time. If there is a significant reason to seek custody, your attorney may be able to help you file for emergency custody.

What can you do if you think you're paying too much support?

As you probably realize, raising a child is expensive. Even with your support, your child likely needs more than only your monthly payments. If you can't afford the payment you're making or find that your expenses have gone up, you can seek changes to the amount of support you pay. However, remember that if your income goes up, you could be asked to increase what you pay as well.

What can you do if the other parent is misusing funds intended for child support?

It depends on what you mean by misusing those funds. If the funds are supporting the child and household, there is little the change. However, if you find the other parent is neglecting your child despite receiving support, there may be a case.

You might want to turn to the court to seek custody yourself or ask that the funds are used for specific needs, like rent, clothing or other necessities. Every situation is a little different, so this is something to address with the court directly if it occurs.

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