Do You Have To Pay Child Support During The Separation Before Divorce?

child support divorceBy Daniel Exner

Cordell & Cordell

Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer

There is a gray area when it comes to paying child support after a couple has separated but before any paperwork is filed or court orders issued.

Many divorcing dads wonder if they should be paying child support during this separation period. Should you pay if there is no court order? Is it considered abandonment if you do not pay?

There is a legal and a practical answer to those questions.

Legally, you are not required to make child support payments to your spouse unless the court orders the payments. Parties are always free to make arrangements and offer agreements on child support, but the court retains the final word for the best interests of the children.

Parents are obligated to support their children, though. After the divorce paperwork is filed, and if you two cannot agree on support payments, the court may order you to pay temporary or permanent support. This order will generally be based on the child custody schedule, the number of children, and the comparable income of the parties.

How Much Should You Be Paying?

Child Support Calculators

Practically, a voluntary payment of support may affect the progression of your case. For instance, if you pay $100 per week and those payments satisfactorily cover the children’s expenses, you may be able to avoid temporary orders on the subject. Additionally, the opposing party may be more willing to negotiate on other issues.

As mentioned, you should also consider the disparity in income between you and the opposing party and the parenting time schedule you’re currently exercising.

If you make significantly more than the opposing party and she exercises more visitation with the children, you may end up paying much more than $100 per week if this goes to court.

A divorce lawyer would need more information on your surrounding circumstances before giving direction on how to proceed. I recommend discussing your matter with a family law attorney before taking any major action in your case.

Cordell & Cordell:

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divorce lawyer Daniel ExnerCordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer Daniel Exner, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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6 Comments on "Do You Have To Pay Child Support During The Separation Before Divorce?"

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5 months 24 days ago

I’ve been separated a year I haven’t give her any money hand to hand because it isn’t court ordered but I have been paying the mortgage every month buying clothes shoes diapers and my son cell phone bill …extra I have every receipt totaling a lot while I am trying to survive myself I have text messages on wanting my kids and denied will the court take. That into consideration when it comes to Child support

David Dyche
1 year 1 month ago

I live in Texas and have agreed with my wife to separate, not involving the courts.
Am I required to pay child support if there is no court order telling me to do so?

1 year 4 months ago
My wife told me she didn’t love me anymore wants a divorce I quit my other job turned in my 401 k month before this happend pay bills I was a stay at home dad with my boys 2 and 7 year olds she works as a nurse for the state prison she had a affair with a officer there months down the road I got a job moved out he moved in I live 250 miles from my kids got a new job I can’t see them I’m so far round trip is 500 miles I pay her 500… Read more »
2 years 4 months ago
Not sure what to doMy ex girlfriend and I have been split for awhile. During that time I had a period where I had no job and couldnt pay child support (we never have had anything legalized or done in courts). But when I got a job q began to pay child support. She constantly tells me I cant see my son or talk to him when I say something she disagrees with. She also tells me im gunna go to jail for back child support. ? I just need some clarification on this situation can you help? I live… Read more »
Atty. Daniel Exner
3 years 7 months ago

Case law and ethical obligations prevent me from recommending the use of magic in any lawsuit.

4 years 2 months ago
help to stop a divorceMy name is ALISON from England, would want to tell you all that i was able to put an end to my divorce issue and restore my marriage again, because i never wanted it to happen. i don’t know what came over my husband that he was filling for divorce, i tried to talk him out of it when he told me and he didn’t listen to me, i had no other option than to seek for the help of a spell caster and now am glad i did. Because if not for the help of… Read more »