Posted by Tamara
In Iowa as in other states, the non-custodial parent often must pay child support under a court order. This is based on the theory that both parents should financially contribute to the child’s support, even if only one parent has custody.
Shared custody arrangements are popular partly because they can minimize child support. If a child spends one week with Mom and the next week with Dad, and both parents earn about the same amount, then the court may not award any child support.
An Iowa mother may be ordered to pay child support if she has higher income than the father, and the father has full or partial custody of the children. Britney Spears pays child support to Kevin Federline, for their two sons.
Child support is based on the non-custodial parent’s earnings, compared to the custodial parent’s earnings. A corporate CEO who earns $2 million per year will be ordered to pay more child support than a restaurant manager making $50,000 per year. Usually the child support amount is per child, and continues until that child is 18 years old. Another factor is how much time the child spends with each parent. A father who has his children every weekend will pay less child support than a father who has his children only 2 weekends per year.
Once the court orders child support enforcement is strict. The Iowa Department of Human Services will assist custodial parents in collecting unpaid child support. If necessary, they will withhold the wages of the non-custodial parent, to ensure that child support is paid. Like other states, Iowa requires that employers report new hires, so the state can collect delinquent child support payments.
When a father or mother paying child support loses his or her job, they cannot automatically stop paying child support. The court order is unchanged, and the non-custodial parent is still responsible for child support. The parent can return to court and ask that child support payments be reduced. This is a wise measure to take when the father is unemployed for more than a few months, or when the father’s income is permanently reduced.
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