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Child Support is payment from one spouse to another for support of the children after a divorce or separation. Normally, child support stops when a child turns 18 years old, unless the child is still a full-time student. If the child is a full-time student, the child support can continue until the child turns 21 years old. Child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and is not considered as income by the receiving parent or as a tax deduction by the paying parent. The federal government requires all states to adopt child support guidelines. The formula takes into consideration custody arrangements, how much parenting time each parent has, the income of the parents, the total number of children, unusual medical expenses, day care expenses, and insurance, among other factors. The result of the computation is called the “basic” support amount, which can be adjusted by the court based on several unusual items. Many states have child support enforcement divisions, which can help get child support by bringing actions in court to get child support orders, locating deadbeat parents and getting their income and employment information.

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