Do Dads Always Have to Pay Child Support After a Divorce? 

 Posted on November 30, 2022 in Child Support

Child Support LawyerOne of the most common misconceptions about divorce or paternity cases is that, no matter the circumstances, it is always the father who ends up paying the mother child support. However, things are often more complicated than this, and in many states, the laws have been recently updated to give dads a greater chance of involvement in their child’s life. These laws also balance the support obligations between both parents and make it more likely that a father will be able to play at least an equal role as the mother in every aspect of the child’s life. 

In fact, more dads than ever now are what are called “custodial fathers.” This may sound like an impersonal technical term, but a custodial father is a man who has the primary responsibility of raising his children - sometimes even without the help of the mother. Custodial fathers are actually highly likely to receive child support from their child’s other parent, especially if they have custody of the child more than half of the time. 

How Do States Handle Child Support in 2022? 

While it would certainly be convenient if each state had the same child support laws as the others, child support laws and calculation formulas can vary greatly between states. However, there is no state that mandates that a child’s biological or adoptive father must be the parent who pays child support. Instead, states hold both parents responsible for financially supporting a child, and will consider the incomes of both parents when determining a family’s overall financial obligation to its children. 

For example, in Illinois, child support payments are determined according to the Income Shares Schedule. This formula takes both parents’ net incomes, adds them together, and then determines the overall support obligation to the child. Then, depending on the amount of time each parent spends with the child and each parent’s contribution to the overall support obligation, child support payments are determined according to a preexisting formula. Of course, judges can deviate from state formulas with good cause shown. 

This is just one example, but it is a fairly common method of calculating child support payments. Many fathers, then, who have primary custody of their children or who split their child’s custody time 50/50 with the child’s other parent, will actually receive child support payments. 

It is important to have the advice and assistance of an attorney who understands your state’s child support laws and will fight not only for your rights as a father, but for a fair division of child support between you and your child’s other parent. 

Contact a Local Father’s Rights Attorney

If you are getting divorced and are wondering whether you will need to pay child support, get legal advice from an experienced local child support attorney. Regardless of your situation, our attorneys have the skill and passion to protect your rights as a father and ensure your relationship with your child is protected under the law. Call a nearby child support attorney and get started on your case today. 



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