The custodial parent is entitled to claim the minor children as dependents for all tax purposes. The parties may agree that the non-custodial parent shall have this allowance and enter this agreement into the judgment. If the non-custodial parent is entitled to the allowance by the judgment, that parent must obtain each year, from the custodial parent, a signed Form 8332, which must be filed with the non-custodial parent’s other federal income tax forms. Only the parent taking the dependency exemption is entitled to claim the child tax credit and the interest deduction and tax credits for post-secondary education.
Child support is modifiable on the same basis as spousal support. This support is usually ordered until the child attains the age of 18 years, or graduates from high school, so long as the child has not yet reached 19 years and 6 months and regularly attends high school on a full-time basis with a reasonable expectation of completing sufficient credits to graduate from high school while residing on a full-time basis with the payee of support or at an institution. Enforcement of payments is the same as for spousal support.
Child support is based on a strict formula which considers the income of both the custodial and non-custodial parent. Nonpayment of court-ordered support may lead to a contempt of court citation, resulting in a jail term or a suspension of the delinquent parent’s occupational or driver’s license.
Every child support order paid through the Friend of the Court now provides for the immediate and automatic withholding of child support payments from any source of the payer’s income, unless the court orders otherwise or approves an agreement by the parties.