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Child Support

Reviewed August 2019

"Child Support" is money a parent pays to support their children when their children don't live with them. They pay the other parent or another person who is responsible for taking care of their children.  Parents do not pay child support to their children. The money is to help pay for your children's needs. 

Child support helps pay for your child's:

  • Housing,
  • Health insurance and medical costs, including birth-related costs,
  • Child care costs,
  • Education costs, and
  • Food and clothing.

Children have the right to financial support from both parents.

It does not matter if the parents are married, divorced, separated, or never married.

If your children live with you most of the time you are the "custodial" parent. If your children live with the other parent most of the time, you are the "non-custodial" parent.

Usually, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent.

You can go to court to get a child support order. The minimum order is $25.00/week. In rare cases, if the other parent has very little money, the court might order them to pay less or no child support at all.

When a judge orders child support, they also order the parents to provide health insurance.

The judge can order either parent to provide health insurance. The parent who pays child support is not always the parent who provides health insurance.

When the court makes a child support order, it orders the other parent's employer to take the child support out of his or her pay. The employer must send this money to the Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division (DOR/CSE). When the DOR/CSE gets the child support, they send the money on to you.

Paying child support like this is called "income assignment" or "wage assignment".

If the other parent is not working, the court may order them to do job searches and to report their job search efforts to the court.

If you are on welfare, DOR/CSE sends you the first $50 of the child support. The rest goes to pay back the state for some of the welfare your child gets

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