Child Support

In family law and government policy, child support or child maintenance is the ongoing practice for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by an “obligor” to an “obligee” for the financial care and support of children of a relationship or marriage that has been terminated, or in some cases never existed. Oftentimes, but not always, the obligor is a non-custodial parent. Oftentimes, but not always, the obligee is a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, or the government. Depending on the jurisdiction, a custodial parent may pay child support to a non-custodial parent. Typically there is no gender requirement to child support, for example, a father may pay a mother or a mother may pay a father. Where there is joint custody, the child is considered to have two custodial parents and no non-custodial parents, thus a custodial parent (obligor) will be required to pay the other custodial parent (obligee). In family law, child support is often arranged as part of a divorce, marital separation, dissolution, annulment, determination of parentage or dissolution of a civil union and may supplement alimony (spousal support) arrangements.