Myths Abound When It Comes to Child Support Obligations

A child support obligor is any parent who has been court-ordered to pay child support. Many of these individuals feel that they have been mistreated by the legal system, but don’t know that they have rights. This is not true, although some context is needed to clarify this misconception.

First, child support laws are supposed to protect children above all else, preserving their legal right to financial support. Obligors must always remember that courts are focused on the best interests of the child over the interests of either parent.

In addition, child support is not limitless. There are guidelines that cap the amount of support in accordance with the obligor’s income level, and people who do not make a lot of money likely will not have to pay nearly as much as those who are wealthier. These basic rights are afforded to all obligors.

Common complaints from obligees

While obligors commonly feel as though they are victimized by the court system, obligees often complain that the system is actually too soft on obligors. There are some instances in which obligors who are doing well financially try to skirt around their support obligations through tax write-offs, underreporting income, and other strategies.

However, the court pays close attention to these matters. If, for example, the court discovers the obligor is hiding underreported income or is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, it could impute the income the obligor could earn and then calculate child support amounts based on the obligor’s potential — rather than his or her actual income.

Obligees may also petition the court for a suspension of driver’s licenses, an interception of tax refunds or liens on property if matters get out of hand.

To learn more about the rights of child support obligors and obligees, speak with a skilled Minnesota family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.


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