Fatherhood and Child Support: Does Dad Always Pay?
Both parents have equal rights and responsibilities when it comes to their children, and both parents are required to contribute to the child’s financial and emotional support. However, fathers have unique burdens when it comes to child support and child custody because they sometimes have to prove that a child is biologically related to them before they can do anything else. Unfortunately, this sometimes puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to children.
The goal, however, remains that each parent should be equally responsible for their children. That means that the mother does not always get child custody, and the father does not always have to pay child support—but that type of fact pattern occurs quite often.
The Goal of Child Support: Custody Arrangements
Child support is designed to provide financial resources to the parent who has physical custody of the child. The support helps pay for items that go directly to the child, such as food, childcare, and school-related expenses. It also helps pay for housing, utilities, and clothing for the child.
When the parents have joint shared custody, child support may not be awarded because both parents have to share those costs equally. However, even if the parents have joint custody, an award of child support might still be appropriate because of income differences between the parents. The parent that earns more money will generally have to pay child support to the other parent.
Ultimately, the goal of child support is to ensure that the child has the same financial resources that they would have if they had the full support of each parent in one home.
What Dads Need to Know About Child Support
The Court will review both parents’ entire situation to determine who should have physical custody of the child. The goal is always to start with joint custody, but if that is not possible, then one parent will have custody most often. The other parent will have visitation rights and child support obligations in many circumstances.
Although there is no specific requirement that mothers should get custody while fathers pay child support, that is what happens in the majority of cases, especially in very young children. Suppose the father gets custody of the child. In that case, the mother may have to pay child support to him—every situation depends on who has physical custody of the child and the income differences between the parents.
For some fathers, custody and child support decisions may seem unfair. If you are dealing with child custody and child support issues, contact our office. We are offering phone consultations as well, due to COVID-19: (315) 488-5544.