In previous blogs, we've discussed the importance and purpose of child support payments. In most cases, for divorced parents or those who were never married but are no longer together, a noncustodial parent is ordered to pay child support.
Today's American families are very different in composition from those of 40 or more years ago. According to a Pew Research Center, today less than half or roughly 46 percent of U.S. kids live with "two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage." With the U.S. divorce rate continuing to hover around 50 percent and a record number of children, an estimated 41 percent, being born outside of marriage; increasingly the word family is a relative term to many Americans.
It can certainly be frustrating not to receive the child support the family court has ordered. For a custodial parent who relies on that money to meet the children's basic needs, the holidays can be a particularly exasperating time for your kids' other parent to come up short. It can put you in a tough position: Do you take the other parent to court right before a big family holiday? Or do you skimp on presents while the other parent seems to have plenty of cash?
If a mother isn't sure who's the biological father of her child -- or if the alleged father doesn't agree -- biological paternity can be determined relatively easily via DNA test. When done correctly, these tests are so accurate that they are accepted as proof of paternity in court.
Under Minnesota law, children have the right to receive support from both parents, and financial support in the form of child support may be ordered by the court. A child's parent or a guardian, such as a grandparent, has the right to request child support. Additionally, the county attorney's office may start a case when parents are not living together or married and either parent is receiving public assistance.
In Minnesota, a biological father does not have rights to his child if he is not married to the mother unless he can prove that he is the father. This can be established through a recognition of parentage or a DNA test. The father will then gain the privileges of visitation and the right to seek custody but will be held responsible for child support.
Minneapolis fathers may be interested in learning about the legal definition of paternity and how it is established. Paternity can have a large impact on both a father's rights and the rights of the child with regard to support, education and other important life decisions.
Although it is not uncommon for parents to be held responsible for their minor children's financial issues, Minnesota residents may be surprised at the situation facing a Florida woman. The woman's son was a minor when his daughter was born, and a court order was issued in 2013 in Highlands County requiring her to pay $254 per month in child support for her granddaughter. The order also imposed costs for back support dating to the girl's birth in December 2012. The woman has paid more than $3,000 and does not have access to the child.
Flashy Facebook pictures posted by some fathers in Minnesota and around the country are getting them in trouble for nonpayment of child support. According to one single mother in Wisconsin, her 5-year-old daughter's father regularly posts photos of himself holding stacks of cash in his custom car. Meanwhile, the mother has received only one of the monthly $100 payments he is supposed to make for the care of their child.
The affluent women of Minnesota and around the country are likely to be court-ordered to pay large child support payments to their exes. If a woman's career means that she earns most of the household income and her relationship ends, a judge may decide the issue of child custody and support. Like actress Halle Berry, the woman may be required to be the major supporter of the couple's children.