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The myth of too much child support for single parents

A common criticism levied against single mothers who have physical custody of their children is that they receive too much child support. However, it may not be fair to make such an accusation. In most cases, the custodial parent doesn't decide how much support she will receive. That is usually decided between the parents themselves or decided by a judge if the two cannot come to an agreement on their own. In California, the income of both parents may play a role in any support order.

The number of children each parent has to support may also play a role in creating a support order. States such as Texas and Alaska determine child support based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income. For instance, 25 percent of his or her income may be applied to help cover costs related to raising a child.

When done properly, child support is supposed to provide a child the standard of living it would enjoy if his or her parents were still married. That is why those who were married to celebrities may be receiving tens of thousands of dollars in support payments per month. However, it is important to note that custodial parents are generally not required to establish that funds are actually used to support their children.

Individuals who are unable to agree on child support figures among themselves may wish to consult an attorney who may be able to help a client determine reasonable parameters for calculation of child support. If informal talks between the parents don't result in an agreement, a judge may make the final determination as to a reasonable amount of support. If a support order already exists, legal counsel may help a parent obtain a modification if circumstances warrant one.

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