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What is the main goal of child support?

Many Rhode Island residents enter the divorce process with specific goals in mind. For some, the goal is to keep a certain piece of property. For others, the goal is to obtain a particular child custody arrangement. And, for many, the goal is to make sure that any child support order is fair. But, what is the main goal of child support?

Many of our readers would probably say that the main goal of child support is to provide enough of a financial commitment to the child in question so that the child's most important needs are met, like food, clothing and housing. That isn't necessarily the wrong answer. Everyone has these needs, but, when two parents divorce, one of them will most likely be ordered to have primary physical custody of the child. That leaves the "non-custodial" parent with the responsibility of paying child support. You may wish to consider other expenses related to a child such as extra-curricular tutoring, sports and cultural activities.  

However, the main goal of child support can perhaps be phrased better: it is intended to ensure that a connection remains between the parents and the child and that the non-custodial parent remains an integral part of the child's life. The main goal of child support is to help a family that is now separated to continue participating in some of the fundamental elements of being a family.

Child support orders are a big part of many divorces in Rhode Island. While the parents might approach this topic solely in terms of the financial commitment, it is important to remember that the child's well-being is the most important thing to focus on.

Source: cse.ri.gov, "Child support is more than just about money," Accessed April 23, 2017

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