Rhode Island child support attorney, David Slepkow provides a nearly comprehensive overview of Rhode Island child support law. This article answers important child support RI frequently asked questions about child support law. This post also addresses issues concerning daycare, modification, termination, overtime, college and more! Below you will find a link to the child support RI login. For another extensive explanation of child support law, please visit the following article about RI child support authored by Rhode Island child support lawyer, David Slepkow: article
Types of support issues explained by a RI Child Support Lawyer:
This article, child support from A-Z, was written by Rhode Island child support lawyer, David Slepkow. David Slepkow explains in detail the following Child support RI Issues:
- an explanation of the RI support guidelines!
Get the RI child support guidelines for 2017 here (these were amended in 2018 to address errors)
My child is about to turn 18 but is still in high school and living at home, can I still get child support?
Child support in Rhode Island should end when a child reaches the age of 18 years old and graduates high school. If the child of the parties is still finishing high school at his or her 18th birthday, then support shall not stop until the child graduates high school or attains the age of nineteen years old (19). Child support may continue for 90 days after high school at the discretion of the Rhode Island Family Court Judge. In order to get a 90 day continuation of the support obligation, a motion must be filed in Family Court.
Support in RI and Providence Plantations continues after the child attains the age of 18 unless a Motion to terminate support is filed in Rhode Island Family Court. If you are a parent obligated to pay child support then your best option is to file a motion to terminate child support approximately 40 days prior to your child turning 18 and graduating high school. This will mean that the motion will be heard on a court date soon after the child turns 18.
Please note that the non-custodial parent may still be found in contempt for failure to pay RI child support even after the child turns 18 if there is no motion granted to terminate the child support. If a child is severely disabled, child support may continue indefinitely for potentially the child’s entire life. If your child is severely and seriously disabled please contact me because you may need to file a motion to have your child support extended. Support should terminate upon the child attaining the age of 19. However, a motion to terminate child support should be filed in nearly all cases.
Severe physical or mental impairment – RI law § 15-5-16.2.
What is required to get child support for a disabled child after a child turns 18 years old?
- Severe physical or mental impairment is needed.
- The disabled child must be living with or under the care of a parent.
- The onset of the disability must have occurred before emancipation.
- The RI child support guidelines are not require to be utilized although they may be a guide to appropriate support
Child support may continue after a child turns 18 if a child is severely disabled. Rhode Island law 15-5-16.2 is set forth below.
“Notwithstanding the foregoing, the court, in its discretion, may order child support, in the case of a child with a severe physical or mental impairment still living with or under the care of a parent, beyond the child’s emancipation as defined above. The court shall consider the following factors when making its determination: (1) The nature and extent of the disability; (2) The cost of the extraordinary medical expenses; (3) The ability of the child to earn income; (4) The financial resources of the child; (5) The financial resources of the parents; (6) The inability of the primary caregiver of the child to sustain gainful employment on a full-time basis due to the care necessitated by the child. The onset of the disability must have occurred prior to the emancipation event. If a child support order for a child with a severe physical or mental impairment has been terminated, suspended, or expired, the court shall consider the factors in this paragraph and has the discretion to order child support for this child prospectively based upon established child support guidelines. The court may periodically review the case to determine if circumstances warrant the continuation of child support.”
Child support RI and College Education
Many parents are asking the following question: “Does child support continue through college?” Can I get my child’s father to be ordered to pay for my child’s college education?
- There is no legal obligation for a parent to pay for college.
- The Rhode Island Family Court has no jurisdiction to order a parent to pay for the college education.
- A parent can seek payment of college if there is a property settlement agreement or marital settlement agreement in the divorce contractually obligated the parent to pay.
Does child support payments continue through college? Is there child support after 18? In Rhode Island, the RI Family Court has no jurisdiction to order a parent to pay for the college education of his / her child. However, if pursuant to a Property Settlement Agreement or other contract, one party agrees to pay for a child’s education, then that agreement may be enforced by a court of law. Therefore, if you seek to have your child’s parent pay for your child’s college education, then you must negotiate payment of college expenses as part of a global settlement of the RI divorce or custody agreement or other similar agreement.
What if my child’s parent works overtime? Will overtime be included in RI child support?
- Overtime will usually be used to calculate child support in RI.
- The RI Family Court will usually look at overtime over a long period of time by looking at the litigants W2.
- Judges in Rhode Island will typically look at whether or not a person consistently works overtime over a substantial period of time.
- Judges may also look at whether or not overtime is consistently offered to a spouse.
- If overtime is infrequent or not typically offered a RI Family Court Justice may be hesitant to calculate overtime as a factor of child support.
Many attorneys argue that a person’s income should be calculated using their W2 or gross income for the entire calendar year. By calculating gross income over an entire calendar year even infrequent overtime becomes an element of child support. Judges may also look at other factors such as the needs and expenses of both parties and any extraordinary expenses for the child. Often the issue of overtime is negotiated by the lawyers prior to any formal ruling by the Judge.
What if my child’s parent works overtime? Will overtime be included in child support? There is no standard law or rule in Rhode Island regarding whether the non-custodial parent’s overtime will be used to calculate child support. The Family Court is a court of equity and fairness. Judges in Rhode Island will typically look at whether a person consistently works overtime over a substantial time period. Judges may also look at whether overtime is consistently offered to a spouse. If overtime is infrequent or not typically offered, judges may be hesitant to calculate overtime as a factor of child support. In that case, many attorneys argue that a person’s income should be calculated using their W2 or gross income for the entire calendar year. By calculating gross income over an entire calendar year even infrequent overtime becomes an element of child support.
Judges in Rhode Island (RI) believe that overtime should be a factor in child support.
Daycare and the RI support guidelines. Who is going to pay for my child’s daycare?
The Rhode Island minimum child support guidelines take into account both the importance and expense of daycare. The RI guidelines and worksheet are used to determine the proper amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent. The bottom line is that a party will be ordered to pay approximately the same percentage of the daycare that the party makes in relation to that party’s percentage of the combined gross income of both parties.
For example: If the husband makes $100,000.00 and the wife makes $50,000.00 the combined gross income for the parties is $150,000.00. Therefore, the husband makes 66 percent of the income and will be ordered to pay 66 percent of the daycare in addition to child support.
Adjustment in the amount of daycare factored into the guideline
There may be an adjustment in the amount of daycare factored into the guideline worksheet to take into account the federal tax credit. Therefore, not all the daycare obligation is calculated into the guideline worksheet if the custodial parent is utilizing the day care credit with the IRS on his or her federal taxes. There is a formula to determine the amount of daycare set forth on the guidelines taking into account the federal tax credit. However, the State of Rhode Island and many attorney use a rule of thumb (estimation) of approximately 75 percent to 80 percent of the actual daycare expense should be added onto the guideline worksheet to determine child support obligations.
Daycare payments of non custodial parent now a deduction off of gross income
The 2018 child support guidelines now allow daycare payments of the non custodial parent to be a required deduction from the non custodial parent’s gross income. The non-custodial parent will get a deduction off his or her gross income to account for the additional daycare payment.
2018 guidelines (RI child support guidelines) update: Please note that the calculation for day care recently changed potentially lowering the non custodial parent’s daycare obligation by a small amount. A Rhode Island child support attorney must now run the guidelines 2 times. First to determine daycare and another to give the obligor a deduction from his or her gross income for that daycare payment.
The next step is to get a copy of the most recent version of the Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines (2018). This can be obtained at the Rhode Island Family Court or online.
“Self support reserve for payors with very limited income.”
Please note that one of the most significant changes to the 2017 guidelines was the “self support reserve for payors with very limited income.” Daycare expenses are incorporated as part of child support in Rhode Island. In essence the non-custodial parent pays the same percentage of daycare as the percentage of income between the parties.
How do I modify, increase or lower child support in Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island support can only be modified if there is a substantial change of circumstances. In order to get a substantial change of circumstances, the child support amount must be 10 percent more or less than the prior child support order. The change in circumstances could result from loss of a job, increase of income of either party, new dependents, loss of overtime, unemployment, a disability, etc. Many people visit the child support office ri to start the process of modifying child support.
Every 3 years a litigant can file a motion for review and adjustment even if there has been no substantial change in circumstances and even if the 10 percent threshold has not been met. In a motion for review and adjustment, child support could be increased or lowered based on the guidelines and the income of the parties.
If a litigant has anther child will the expenses of the additional dependent child be factored into child support?
- Yes. The Rhode Island child support guidelines and worksheet account for the expenses of additional dependent children residing with the parent.
- A custodial or noncustodial parent is allowed a deduction from their gross income to help determine the child support obligation.
- This deduction does not significantly lower or increase child support because it is not a credit and is an above the line deduction.
Yes. Both the custodial parent and the non custodial parent are entitled to deductions from their gross income in order to calculate child support. However, this mandatory deduction is an above the line deduction and not a credit so it often does not account for the real expense of caring for an additional dependent child.
I have a child support obligation for another dependent child, can I get a credit on my child support?
- Parents are entitled to a mandatory deduction from their gross income to determine child support for other court ordered child support payments for additional children.
- This deduction does not significantly lower or increase child support because it is not a credit and is an above the line deduction from gross income.
Terminating Rhode Island Child Support:
How do I terminate my obligation and stop wage garnishment in Rhode Island?
- In Rhode Island (RI) child support does not automatically terminate when a child reaches 18 years old!
- Termination is not automatic in Rhode Island!
- An order will only terminate if a motion to terminate is granted by a Judge of The Rhode Island Family Court.
- Unlike a motion to modify child support, a DR6 financial statement is not necessary unless there is an additional child in which an obligation will continue.
- If there is an additional child under 18 then a motion to terminate is really a motion for modification of support.
When does a child support obligation end in Rhode Island?
- Pursuant to RI law, child support is eligible to be terminated upon a child attaining the age of 18 and graduating high school but not after the child turns 19 years old.
- A motion to terminate child support is usually required.
- If the child is 18 years old and still in high school then child support may continue until the child graduates high school but not after the the child attaining the age of 19.
- If a child is determined to be severely disabled, then child support may continue indefinitely.
- If the Judge finds good cause the child support might continue for three months after graduation from high school.
A person should file a motion to terminate approximately 30-40 days prior to the child’s graduation from high school. If the child did not finish high school, then a person should file their motion 30-40 days prior to the child’s 18th birthday. It will take a approximately 30-40 days until the clerk can schedule a hearing for the termination motion.
A child support order
After the motion to terminate, the RI child support attorney must submit proper documentation and orders to the court, the obligor’s employer (to stop wage garnishment) and to the reciprocal clerk (to amend the computer records) If the computer records are not updated then the computer will continue to show an arrears which may cause problems including automatic intercept of your tax refund, inability to obtain a passport among other problems.
What County in the Rhode Island Court system will the child support case be heard? All the counties in Rhode Island (Providence, Kent, Newport and Washington County) follow the same general rules and procedures. Providence County includes East Providence, Providence, Cranston, Cumberland, Barrington, Bristol, North Smithfield, woonsocket and other towns and cities. Kent County includes Warwick & North kingston, East Greenwich as well as other towns. Newport County includes Newport, Middletown & Portsmouth. Washington County includes South Kingstown, Wakefield, narragansett etc.
How do I stop child support garnishment?
- There is no way to stop Rhode Island child support garnishment.
- Garnishment is mandatory unless the custodial parent asks that the wages not be garnished.
- The State of RI Child support enforcement will not allow direct pay child support when someone is receiving full services from the state of Rhode Island, Child Support Enforcement.
- Therefore, all cases involving Child Support Enforcement must be by wage garnishment.
- However, if the child support obligor / payor is an independent contractor, paid cash under the table or self employed then wage garnishment may not be possible.
RI child support calculator
There is no official RI child support calculator. In order to calculate your Rhode Island child support obligation you need to use the RI Child support worksheet utilizing the 2017 RI child support guidelines.
Establishing Child Support in Rhode Island
How is child support determined in Rhode Island divorce, child custody and visitation causes of action?
- The “Rhode Island Family Court Child Support Formula and Guidelines” is utilized in the vast majority of child support cases in RI.
- The RI guidelines establish the minimum child support an obligor is required to pay to the parent with physical custody of the minor child or children.
- A parent who has residential placement of minor children may seek a support order more than the minimum guidelines.
- The child support guidelines are used in the vast majority of cases.
- The guidelines set the minimum amount a noncustodial mother or father will be required to pay for child support.
- The RI support minimum Guidelines were intended to be the floor rather than the ceiling for support in Providence Family Court.
- The minimum child support amounts are utilized in the vast majority of RI divorce, visitation and child support cases.
The Providence Family Court is entitled to look at the assets of a party in determining child support
- The Family Court can also look at extraordinary expenses of either party.
- The Providence Family Court can look at the needs and expenses of the parties.
- The Court can look at any circumstances the RI Family Court believes is appropriate including the assets of the party.
- If a person is underemployed or refusing to work, when capable of working, then the court can determine the earning capacity of the party.
- The Court can impute income the person does not actually make.
- The gross income of the parties is what determines child support in the vast majority of cases.
Income shares model
The Rhode Island guidelines uses an income shares model in which the adjusted gross income of both parents are used to determine the correct amount of child support. Essentially, the guidelines look at the combined adjusted Gross income of both parties. Adjusted gross income means the gross income of a party, with certain required deductions from gross income for medical insurance & dental insurance. Another required deduction is for additional minor dependents (children). There are also certain discretionary deductions that some judges may allow such as life insurance costs.
After determining the combined adjusted gross income of the parties, the Rhode Island Guidelines should be utilized to determine what the state of Rhode Island believes that two parents with that amount of adjusted gross income would pay for support if the parents were still residing together. After that number is determined daycare expenses are added onto that amount. The non-custodial parent pursuant to the minimum guidelines should be obligated to pay a percentage of that amount set forth above that is the same percentage of that persons adjusted gross income to the total adjusted gross income of both parties.
For example: If Mom earns $1000 a month and dad’s income is $4000 a month and each has $200 dollars of medical insurance payments then the adjusted gross income of mom is $800 and the adjusted gross income of dad is 3800. The combined adjusted gross income of both is $4600. Dad makes 82.6 percent of the combined adjusted gross income of the parties and is required to pay 82.6 percent of the minimum guideline amount guideline amount plus the daycare expenses.
Private School Education:
In Rhode Island (RI) Divorce and Child support cases, can I get the father or mother of my child to be ordered to pay for private school education?
- No. Unless there is a contractual obligation or a stipulated consent order.
- If there is an ongoing divorce, the Providence Family Court may order such payments to maintain the status quo so not to pull the children from their school in the middle of the school year.
- Most judges take the position that there are suitable public schools for children to attend.
- However, If there is something in writing such as a property settlement agreement obligating one parent to pay for the private school education of the child, then the parent may be obligated to pay for the private school education.
Also, the parent could be ordered to pay for private school education in a divorce on a temporary basis, especially when it is in the middle of a school year and it would be disruptive for the child to transfer to a public school. Parents can certainly negotiate payment of private school education and the judge of The Family Court in RI will usually approve the settlement in a court Order. That stipulated consent order could be enforced in a Family Court contempt proceeding.
Can a judge go over the minimum child support guidelines in Rhode Island?
The types of circumstances that may justify a judge issuing a child support order above the Rhode Island guidelines are:
- Substantial assets
- standard of living and expenses that far exceed reported gross income.
- extraordinary necessary expenses and needs related for the child such as a special diet for a child the child that is medically required.
If the parties agree to child support below the Rhode Island child Support Guidelines, in some limited circumstances, it may be allowed. These circumstances could include, visitation exceeding the norm, extraordinary payments of the child expenses or even sometimes based on the parties agreement.
Modifying Rhode Island Support:
How is Child support modified in Rhode Island divorce and family law cases?
- Rhode Island Child Support is not automatically modified when there is a change in circumstances.
- The parent must file a motion to modify.
- When a motion for modification is filed a court date will be set by the clerk of the Rhode Island Family Court.
- In order to modify child support there must be a substantial change in circumstances.
- Under RI Law, a new child support amount does not run retroactive to when the circumstances changed!
- The new order should run retroactive to the date of the filing of the motion and service of process.
Therefore, you should not wait too long after circumstances change until you file for a modification of Rhode Island Child Support. There must be at least a ten percent change for a modification to occur unless the parties agrees otherwise. Every three years , a party can file a motion for review and adjustment even if they do not have a substantial change in circumstances. You should contact a Rhode Island child support lawyer to see whether you are eligible for a modification.
What may constitute a substantial change in Circumstances pursuant to Rhode Island family law?
3. new dependent child
4. decrease in income of either party
5. increase in income of either party
6. increase in cost of daycare
7. increase in cost of medical insurance
8. a change in the financial circumstances of the either parent such as inheritance, acquiring assets
9. either party obtaining social security benefits (SSI or SSDI) or afdc benefits
10. new RI Child Support Guidelines promulgated.
11. loss of overtime income
12 a substantial bonus of either party
13 any other change in circumstances that is recognized by the Court.
Child support contempt in Rhode Island (RI):
Many people are wondering this question: “how to get out of contempt of court charges for child support.” If a person violates a Rhode Island Family Court order by not paying child support, the parent with physical custody may file a motion to hold that person in contempt for failure to pay. A person accused of not paying has a right to a hearing. The obligor parent has the right to proper notice under the Rhode Island Family Court Rules. If the person owed child support (the parent with physical placement / custody) is on AFDC Benefits (welfare) than payment may be owed to the state of Rhode Island. In that event, the motion may be initiated by the State of Rhode Island, Child Support Enforcement rather than the father or mother with physical custody of the minor child.
The right to an attorney if facing jail
A contempt proceeding could be part of a Rhode Island divorce, child custody, Complaint for Separate Maintenance, dcyf petition, child visitation, paternity or other type of Family Court legal action. If there is a potential for incarceration and a person cannot afford a Rhode Island Family Law lawyer then the Family Court must insure that the person has an attorney representing him or her. The Judge usually has a list of Court Appointed attorneys who are paid for by the state. Otherwise, the Court will appoint one of the lawyers from Rhode Island Legal Services to represent the person.
Typical contempt settlements
There is often an opportunity to settle the matter prior to any hearing in which a judge may find a person in willful contempt. A settlement typically may include any one of the following or a combination:
- the obligor agreeing to remain current,
- paying a lump sum,
- a payment plan,
- staying current in addition to an arrearage order, etc.
In some situations, the parent with physical custody or Child Support enforcement is unwilling to settle the matter and insists on a hearing.
If a person is found in technical contempt after a hearing, it means that the person has not complied with the RI child support order. However, the Court believes that the person had a legitimate reason or excuse for failure to pay, such as loss of job (being fired, laid off), decrease in income, disability, injured at work, unable to work, medical problems, or a myriad of other excuses or explanations. The judge also may not accept any of the above stated excuses as justification for failure to pay.
A person found to be in technical contempt will not be sentenced to the Adult Correctional Institution (aci) (jail)! However, the person may be ordered to find employment, raise a lump sum, stay current and / or make payments on the arrears, pay attorney’s fees, make certain lump sum payments, obtain a second job etc.
Most Judges have little patience for people who do not support their children
Most Judges have little patience for people who do not support their children. If the person has an excuse for nonpayment it better be a good one or they may find themselves in Jail. The amount of arrears and the person’s history for compliance or noncompliance is often crucial in a judge’s determination! If a person has a long history of non-payment then that person has a much higher likelihood to be held in willful contempt.
“how much can you come up with to stay out of Jail and how quickly can you pay?”
The more a person owes the more likelihood that the person will be held in willful contempt. At a hearing the judge will look at all relevant supporting documentation that has been offered into evidence. The judge will almost always ask what the person can pay at that moment or whether they are able to immediately borrow money from friends or family. The Usual Dialogue is – “how much can you come up with to stay out of Jail and how quickly can you pay?” The RI Family Court judge may also be interested in whether a person has assets that he or she can sell.
If you did not file a motion to modify that is on you
If a person’s circumstances changed then they need to file a motion to modify or suspend their child support rather then not make the payments! Child support does not automatically modify upon circumstances changing. If a modification is granted. then the modification will be retroactive to the date of filing of the motion to modify not the date the circumstances actually changed. This does not mean that a person can unilaterally change their child support when they file a motion. It means that the child support will run retroactive after the RI Family Court issues an order modifying the child support. Therefore, if a person loses their job, becomes disabled, their hours are reduced or their pay decreases they must immediately file a motion to modify.
Child support can only be changed or modified if a motion is filed and an order enters. In many instances the judge’s response to a person’s plea to not hold them in contempt because they lost their job or their income decreased will be something like: “you should have filed a motion to modify or suspend child support when your circumstances changed rather than not pay.”
A finding of willful contempt means that the judge believes that a person is thumbing their nose at the Court or has no reasonable justification for nonpayment. It could result from the judge not believing that the stated excuse for nonpayment is a justifiable excuse. A finding of willful contempt could also mean the following:
- The person has the ability to pay and has not made payment.
- The person has not made proper efforts to find suitable employment.
- The person is able to work yet either isn’t working.
- is underemployed or not making proper efforts to find employment.
The judge may believe that the contempt is willful because the person is lying, exaggerating his excuse or that the person is not acting in good faith. If a person is found in willful contempt for not paying Rhode Island child support, the person could be sentenced to the aci from day to day. Contempt sanctions are technically not criminal proceedings! However, since the sanctions could lead to jail time, they are quasi criminal proceedings. Contempt proceedings are not technically criminal because they are intended to compel compliance with child support orders rather then punish for nonpayment!
If a person is sentenced to the aci from day to day, then the judge of the Rhode Island Family court will usually state that upon payment of certain amount the person will be released from jail. In child support contempt proceedings there is always a ticket out of jail by making a certain payment. A person could be held in willful contempt and not be sentenced to the aci. If you are facing a contempt proceeding, you should contact a RI child support lawyer.
“According to the law, either parent may request that the Rhode Island Family Court modify the child support order. However, the party requesting the modification, must show a substantial change in circumstances.” State of Rhode Island, office of Child Support Enforcement, Department of Human Sevices http://www.cse.ri.gov/services/modifying_order.php
- “About 85 percent of child support providers were male and 15 percent were female.
- Annual child support payments averaged $5,450 from male providers and $3,500 from female providers.
- About three of every four child support providers had some type of an agreement or court order for support.
- About six-in-10 child support providers paid support for one child, three-in-10 supported two children, and the remaining one-in-10 supported three or more children.
- About 2.1 million providers supported people other than their children younger than 21, with 32 percent of these providing support for their parents.” United States Census Bureau 2010 http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb12-109.html
- cse ri gov
Financial support seems to be one of the most contentious areas surrounding a divorce with children. Support issues are a big hassle to deal with and the parent, who is without the needed support, often feels they are fighting a losing battle. The courts have heard just about every excuse in the book when it comes to the reasons why someone cannot pay. Here are the top five reasons used commonly.
I Can’t Afford The Payments
The most classic excuse is that the payment amount that was ordered is not affordable. Some non-custodial parent will claim that their circumstances have changed or cost of living increased.
My child doesn’t need anything
The parent who is ordered to pay may believe that their child does not need anything. The non-custodial parent doesn’t feel justified in paying the other parent. He or she may feel that the money is being spent on frivolous expenditures and not going to the child. It’s really about spite more than the child.
You make more money than me
If one parent makes more money than the other one, they may feel that they don’t have to pay the funds because there is an unfair advantage. The custodial parent usually feels the brunt of the financial responsibilities no matter how much they make.
I am not working anymore
Some parents are so determined not to pay child support that they will work under the table to keep from being caught. Believe it or not, there are parents who quit their jobs and work a meager job off the books so that they can avoid paying this support amount.
It’s not my responsibility
When one parent is the custodial parent, the other person may feel that they don’t have an obligation to take care of their child anymore. This often comes again from spite and the fact that they lost the custody war. Some people will avoid child support because they don’t feel they are responsible for the child, because they are not living with the child. It is always advisable that parents co-parent and work with the other parent for a good parenting relationship. Some parents will be able to work through and support each other and the child without issue. However, there are always those cases where one parent feels they shouldn’t have to pay for the support of their kid. It’s these cases that make RI divorce and child custody in Rhode Island matters so difficult.
Arrears in child support payments in Rhode Island Family Court are gender neutral. There are deadbeat dads and deadbeat moms too. What they have in common are the reasons why they fall behind in their court ordered child support payments. The following are some of the reasons.
Job loss and support arrears
Even when times are good, jobs can still be lost daily. As a result of unemployment or underemployment, some parents are falling behind on their child support payments in RI. Because they’re behind, they’re afraid to go into court and ask for a temporary reduction. Their living situation may have become desperate and a judge is still going to order that part of those benefits be paid, even if a reduction is granted.
Loss of hours
Many parents want to work full-time. However, some people are unable to find full time employment in their chosen field and they’re relying on part-time job status along with any governmental benefits they might be able to get. If the child support obligation was set when the parent was working full-time, and their job was reduced to part-time status, they may fall into arrears on their obligation. This includes those who are self-employed, but it’s also easier for them to hide money, particularly if cash is involved.
When a person pays child support, they have no control on how the money is spent. Children might not be aware of the fact that the non-custodial parent is contributing to their support. The recipient of the payments might even be using that income for purposes other than caring for the kids. The person with the child support obligation might ignore it, but they’ll buy things like toys, clothes or other material things for their children instead of giving the custodial parent money. That act of love is distinguished from the act of providing. A judge might consider this, but it doesn’t pay the rent or put food on the table on non-parenting time days.
Some people wholly and completely refuse to recognize any moral duty to provide for their children. These are the people that usually end up being jailed for their willful refusals to pay child support in Rhode Island.
Providence family Court judges would rather see children provided for than cut off any chance of support by jailing a parent for child support arrears. Most will work with you on arrears issues, particularly if you have the benefit of an experienced Rhode Island family law attorney or Rhode island child support lawyer representing you.
If you are in need of a RI child support lawyer, contact RI child support attorney, David Slepkow.
More Rhode Island Child Support info here