Child support can apply even in the absence of marriage
Child support applies to a number of different cases, all with the intent of holding parents responsible for the financial support of their child or children. A child support order is issued by a judge, with this order serving as explicit direction by the judge for the parents to support their child up until he or she turns 18. These child support orders can arise as a result of a divorce, or even if the parents were never married in the first place.
With child support in place, one parent is obligated to pay the other parent to ensure that their child is financially taken care of. The money is used to support and benefit the child. It is not to be spent on anything else.
If the paying parent does not hold up his or her end of the support agreement, then a number of actions can take place. The first is that the paying spouse’s wages could be garnished to ensure that the child support order is being fulfilled. If that isn’t enough, then other financial means can be “seized” (such as property or a tax refund) to fulfill the requirements of the child support order. If that doesn’t work, then the paying spouse could be held in contempt of court, which can lead to jail time.
In certain cases, it can benefit both parents to change the child support order. This should be done delicately and with attention to detail. Consult with your attorney to ensure this done properly.
Source: FindLaw, “Child Support by Court Order,” Accessed Feb. 8, 2016