Child support can be described as the financial contribution paid by the non-custodial parent every month to the custodial parent, or the caretaker or the legal guardian of the child for the purpose of support and maintenance of his child. In the current society, it becomes increasingly difficult for a single parent to take up the financial responsibility of the child. Hence, child support is an important aspect that is shared between both the parents.
All the US states have individual statutes defining child support. Parents refusing to pay for the child support or delaying their payments often end up losing their visitation rights. Several factors are taken into consideration while determining the amount to be paid as child support. It is however at the discretion of the custodial parent regarding the usage of the funds.
According to a census report published by the US Census Bureau in 1995, around 42 percent of children did not receive any child support. One of the most prominent reasons given for such a poor compliance with child support orders was lack of accountability regarding the child support funds. Hence certain state and federal governments have enacted laws making it mandatory for custodial parents to disclose how the child support money is spent upon request from non-custodial parent. Some fathersí rights activists believe that a better accountability of the child support money can encourage several parents to make regular payments.
The child support funds can be used for a variety of purposes. Primarily with this money the parent can provide stable and safe living conditions to the child. If the parent is wealthy, the child is entitled to share opulent living standards. These funds can be used for direct expenses such as foods, clothing, day care payments, education and entertainment. Apart from this, expenses such as housing, utilities, transportation, health and other day-to-day indirect expenses. Custodial parent can even insist the non-custodial payer to buy a life-insurance policy for the child with the amount to be paid. Sometimes, the child support does not involve mere money. It can also be in the form of clothes, food, recreational activities, pre-paid credit cards and gift cards from grocery stores, movie theaters and gas stations.
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