Under Rhode Island law, divorcing spouses have a duty to support any children they have together. The parent that lives with the child (custodial parent) is expected to give financial and emotional support directly. Since the non-custodial parent spends less time with the child, the law addresses the financial responsibilities to the child through regular child support payments.
Understanding Child Support in Rhode Island
The amount of child support a parent may be ordered to pay will depend on a number of factors, including income level, debt, and additional support obligations. Once the amount has been determined, the non-custodial parent is required to continue making payments in adherence with the law.
Here is a brief look at Rhode Island statutes with regard to child support:
Child support payments are usually made through wage withholding—an automatic deduction from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck. If this is not possible, the parent can make payments to the Family Court. Child support payments cannot be given directly to the child or the custodial parent.
Length of payment period.
In most cases, child support obligations end when a child reaches the age of 18 or when the child graduates from high school. However, payments do not stop automatically on the child’s birthday. The parent must file a motion to terminate child support with the Rhode Island Family Court. Courts typically cannot order a non-custodial parent to provide child support beyond a child’s 19th birthday unless the child has a severe impairment and continues to live with the custodial parent.
The court allows parents to make changes to a child support order if they have experienced a significant change in circumstances. If a parent loses his job and cannot make payments, he cannot simply stop payments—he must petition the court to adjust the payment amount.
Do You Need To Speak To A Rhode Island Divorce Attorney?
If you are considering a divorce you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help divorce clients in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.