Child Support Payments and Exceptions

The issue of child support is a serious matter in a case where the husband and wife have decided to get a divorce. It is important to settle this issue so that parents understand how much support and maintenance of their children they are liable to cover. There are two ways to determine the respective obligations for child support – either through extra-judicial means or a judicial remedy.

There is an extra-judicial settlement when the parties have decided to enter into a compromise agreement. This is the kind of remedy where court intervention is not necessary. Both spouses, with the assistance of their counsel, will go through several negotiations until they come up with the terms and conditions they both agree with. The agreement entered into will serve as the law between the parties. All their obligations and rights will be governed by the said contract. Through this, the liability of the respective parties concerning the child support will be effective and demandable.

child support moneyThe second way of settling the issue is through court intervention where a case for child support may be filed by one of the parties. The court will be the proper authority, through the acting judge, to determine the child support obligation of a particular party. The judge will use the “best interest of the child rule” to decide the case in order to guarantee the promotion of the rights and interests of the kids involved.

As a general rule, the obligation to pay for child support will last until the children reach the age of majority, which is 18 years old under our jurisdiction. If the child is emancipated before he or she reaches 18 years old, the obligation for child support is terminated. This means that there is an automatic extinguishment of the parent's obligation.

Two exceptions are provided under the law wherein a party may still be made liable for the payment of support even if the child has already reached 18 years old and above. One instance is when the child has reached the age of majority but has not yet graduated from high school. As long as the kid is enrolled in a secondary school, the obligation will subsist until he or she reaches the age of 20 or graduates secondary education, whichever comes first. The second one is when the parent has agreed to pay support despite the fact that the child reaches the age of majority. In these two cases, the post-majority obligation for child support will not be terminated. Whichever exception you decide to choose, we recommend the services of a good custody lawyer so that your best interests are protected.

Can My Tax Refund Still Be Intercepted If I Fall Behind in My Child Support Payments?

Since every child support case is individual and regardless of precedent, each case is ultimately decided on its own merits. Having said that, here is one example to illustrate the court's view.

In the case of Krueger v. Krueger 133 Wis. 2d 269, 395 N.W.2d 783 (Ct. App. 1986)[2]​, the court held that the stipulation only applied to the charge of contempt, and not the actual delinquency of support payments. His refund check, and any other credits due him, were absolutely open to interception.

When Does the Statute of Limitations Start for Support?

The court of appeals ruled in the Wall v. Wall 140 Wis.2d 341, 410 N.W.2d 593 (Ct. App. 1987)[3]​ that a family support order, like its child support counterpart, is subject to revision until its termination date. Therefore, the statute of limitations begins to run only after the payments are terminated, so that defense is unavailable before that time.

References: [1]Substance Abuse Help Line, [2]Krueger v. Krueger (1986), [3]Wall v. Wall (1987)

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