If you discuss the topic of child support with five different people, you will very likely receive five completely different sets of opinions and “facts.” Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of laws when it comes to paying these debts, and quite frankly, most are incorrect. Here, we debunk four common child support myths.

Joint custody means no child support from either parent

This is not true.  Even if a court orders parents have equal custody of a child, and most of them do, it does not mean that child support will not also be ordered. Regardless of custodial time, both parents must also pay their equal share of expenses.

When my child turns 18, I no longer owe child support

This is not necessarily true. If the child is still in school, it is very likely that child support will continue.  Also, if there are any disabling conditions that render a child unable to support him or herself, support may be far reaching. Further, any back child support owed is still owed no matter how old the child is.  There is no statute of limitation on back child support.

If I don’t work, I don’t have to pay

Absolutely false. Child support can be calculated on earning potential, just as well as it can be based on actual earnings.  It should also be known that a court will not be kind to someone who refuses to report earnings in an attempt to avoid child support payments.

I shouldn’t have to pay that much; my spouse makes more than me

Child support guidelines are set by state, and can be publicly viewed online at any time. Factors taken into consideration in their calculations are the number of children, child care expense, insurance, and both parents’ incomes. The amount you pay is not solely based on what you and your spouse earn.

If you have questions about child support matters, consult with an experienced attorney who can give you the correct answers.  Making decisions based on what you hear from others can result in trouble, or even jail time for you.