Last week, we discussed the factors that a Rhode Island court will take into account when issuing an order for child support. However, life is rarely predictable. Big changes in a parent's life, from the birth of a new child to a major illness to a job loss could all have a big effect on a person's income. In addition, health care expenses and child care expenses can sometimes shoot through the roof, leaving a parent with less disposable income. Parents in these situations may wonder whether their child support order can be modified.
While people may like to think that they can plan for anything, life often throws people curveballs. When financial problems arise, people may wonder how they are going to support their children or their family. In order to ease this burden following a divorce, family law courts in Rhode Island will ensure that a child is receiving child support.
In cases where the parents of a Rhode Island child are not married, the non-custodial parent is often ordered to pay child support. This support is meant to help pay for the child's everyday expenses.
When the parents of a child are not married, the child is still entitled to the financial support of both of the child's parents. This generally means that the parent without primary custody over the child will pay the other parent a certain amount of money each month for the care of the child. This child support helps to cover the everyday expenses, medical care, educational expenses, child care costs and other costs related to the child.
There are many different costs that are associated with raising a child. One of these costs is child care expenses. Child care can be a very expensive thing, particularly here in Rhode Island.
Children are often the greatest casualties in divorce and custody disputes; in many cases joint custody is preferred by both parents. However, in some cases, custodial battles and child support disagreements can lead to acrimony.
Divorce rates are significantly high in Rhode Island and the rest of America with the children of divorcing parents often bearing the brunt of it. Divorce cases can be long-drawn and bitter. Not only do children have to deal with a broken home, but a delinquent parent sometimes also often cuts into child support, causing distress and severely compromising the child's future.
Many Rhode Island parents either pay or receive financial support from a former spouse or partner to help with the upbringing of a child. However, sometimes meeting these financial obligations can prove to be a huge burden. There are people in Rhode Island and other parts of the country end up as child-support delinquents and must face consequences that can include jail time. Not all of these people, however, are deliberately shying away from their financial obligations. Sometimes, life's changing circumstances force them to do so.
I was in Family Court yesterday representing a parent who was seeking to reduce his child support because his income had diminished. He had earned $75,000/year working 40 hours per week at a marina; a year before, his co-worker left and his employer increased his hours from 40 to 80 hours without an increase in pay. He was unable to spend time with his son. This parent left his job but found another job with an employer who provided more security, health insurance, a retirement plan though the gross income was $45,000/year.
Child support arrangements are rarely static. Seeing as employment situations change and one's earnings may be altered at any moment, it is often the case that a non-custodial parent may not be able to continue covering the monthly payments that were agreed on or a custodial parent may require more money each month. In such cases, options are available.