Question 14
How much child-support will be paid if we separate?

Default answer:  The father will pay.
And the judge will decide how much.
When married people start having children,
they usually do not think that they will ever divorce.
But about half of them later become divorced parents.
The law steps in where parents have not had the foresight
to plan for supporting their children if and when they separate.

     Fathers are required by law to support their children,
even if the parents are not married.
And if they were married but are now getting divorced,
the judge will probably give custody to the mother
and order the father to pay a certain amount of child-support each month.

     In the United States, the proportion of a father's income
that must be paid to support his children
has been set by various state legislatures.
The formula depends on the father's income
and the number of children he must support.
It begins at about 25% of the father's take-home pay for one child.

     However, even when the judge orders specific child-support,
the mother often does not get exactly that amount.
After a few months, the father finds various excuses
for paying less—or not paying at all.
Some states have tried to correct this by suspending various licenses
of parents who do not pay their court-ordered child-support.
But such systems would have to become national (or even international)
to prevent reluctant parents from moving to another jurisdiction
in order to avoid supporting their children.

Creative answers:  If you are thinking of having children,
you should weigh the complete cost of raising them
—both within marriage and if any marriage comes to an end.

     Just how much of your income should you pay to raise your child?
And for each additional child born or adopted,
how much will this percentage increase?
How long will you continue to support your children?
Child-rearing costs will continue whether you stay married or not.
Even if you end your relationship with the other parent,
you will continue to be the parent of your children.


Above you have the first page of Question 14 from Designer Marriage.
The next 3 pages explore other possibilities for child-support.

Return to the table of contents for

Designer Marriage: Write Your Own Relationship Contract

Created April 5, 2009; Revised

Return to the LOVE page.

Go to the opening page for this website:
An Existential Philosopher's Museum

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.