Divorce and Separation Guide: Child support dos and don’ts

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Divorce is a hard process for everyone involved. When a couple with children divorce, it can be hard on both parents as well as the children. However, there are things both parents can do, or avoid doing, to reduce the stress divorce often causes children.  When it comes to dealing with child support, the following tips can make it easier on all parties involved:


  • Financially support your children.
  • Keep financial matters and all other parenting issues as separate as possible.
  • Be realistic in your assessment of how much it cost to raise children.
  • Accept the fact that if you are the one paying child support, the law does not impose any duty upon the recipient to account for the money actually spent directly on the children.
  • Purchase items for the children for the times that your children are with you. Child support payments are not necessarily intended to cover child-related expenses when the children are with you.
  • Spend child support wisely, as it is intended for the use, benefit, and expenses associated with raising children, not as extra “fun” money.


  • Don’t make the payment of support, or anything else relating to money or property, contingent on child access.
  • Don’t ask for receipts or an accounting of how child support is spent.
  • Don’t discuss child support or adult-to-adult financial matters with your children.
  • Don’t tell your children that they cannot do or have things because the other parent does not pay sufficient support, even if it is true.
  • Don’t discuss child support or disputed adult financial matters in front of your children.

How is child support calculated?

In some states, child support is calculated using the state guidelines, which can take into account the income of both parents, earning potential if a parent is not working, and the number of overnight visits the children will spend with each parent, which parents claim the children for tax purposes, any other child support obligations and other factors. 

When do child support payments typically end?

Generally, child support payments end when a child turns 18 or 19 if they are still attending high school.

Child support is required to support children of a marriage. Children are often used as collateral in a divorce or child custody battle. A child support lawyer at Taylor Law & Mediation PLLC can help guide you through such events. 

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