As a general rule, parents in Hawaii who have gotten a divorce are obligated to provide financial support to their children. In some cases, this comes in the form of a direct payment to the custodial parent from the noncustodial parent. However, even if you are a child’s custodial parent, there is no guarantee that you’ll receive any form of financial assistance. Let’s take a closer look at how support orders are structured and if you should expect to receive payments from your child’s other parent.
When you should expect to receive child support payments
Generally speaking, you’ll receive financial assistance if you are a child’s primary caregiver. In most cases, this means that the child stays at your house overnight for more than half of a given year. Monthly support payments can be used to help provide your son or daughter with food, clothing and shelter. They can also be used to cover reasonable entertainment, educational or medical expenses. You might also be entitled to child support payments if you earn less than your former partner does.
When you shouldn’t expect to receive child support payments
If your former spouse has children from another relationship to care for, it might reduce the level of compensation that you’ll receive. The same might be true if you earn significantly more than the child’s other parent. In such a scenario, a judge may order you to cover the majority of expenses related to raising your son or daughter.
In the event that a noncustodial parent is jailed, disabled or unemployed for any other reason, he or she may ask that a support order be modified or suspended. If the request is approved, you are unlikely to receive financial assistance.
If you have any questions or concerns about a child support order, an attorney may be able to address them. In addition, an attorney may be able to help you pursue modifications to an existing order. Modifications may be made if there has been a significant change in circumstances since an order was first issued.