Rhode Island Child Support

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In every society some laws and rules are developed so that the citizens can abide by those and live a decent, secure life. These laws curb several societal issues. Divorce is such a serious matter that breaks the bond between two marital partners. At times a divorce also breaks a family when children are involved. It is the responsibility of both parents to take care of their children and their needs post the divorce. Thus, child support laws are formed that define the legal duties of both parents and the financial contribution they have to make towards the upbringing of their children. With a similar aim in view, Rhode Island divorce child support guidelines are laid down. A non-custodial parent has to continue paying the support amount till their children become emancipated. The support order can be modified or suspended by the Family Court at certain circumstances.

Example of Rhode Island Divorce Child Support

The support amount is calculated by following the specified guidelines and with some adjustments done by the Family Court judge. The judge takes into account certain circumstances and may deviate from the set standards.

An example of child maintenance calculation is provided here:

  • Father earns 8,000 USD per month
  • Mother earns 2,000 USD per month
  • Both have medical insurance payments of 400 USD per month
  • Thus, the adjusted gross income of father is 7,600 USD
  • Also, the adjusted gross income of mother is 1,600 USD
  • It follows that the combined adjusted gross income is 9,200 USD
  • The support amount is determined from the guidelines using the above data
  • The father is required to pay 82.6 percent (i.e. 7,600/9,200) of the support amount obtained from the guidelines as well as daycare costs

Modification in Divorce Rhode Island Child Support

Let us assume that a parent thinks that after the previous order of child maintenance was issued, there has been a considerable alteration in the conditions. Such a parent can file a motion to alter the child support amount. When the combined gross income of the parents changes by minimum 10 percent, it is said that there is a considerable alteration in the conditions.

Some of the factors leading to a "substantial change in circumstances" are provided here:

  • Unemployment
  • The child is attending work and thereby making some input to the income of the household
  • Discontinuation of overtime from the employer
  • Either parent has given birth to a new child
  • Either parent has joined a new job that disburses a different amount of money
  • Hospitalizations
  • The employer is no longer arranging for paid medical benefits
  • There has been a layoff or loss of employment
  • Either parent is out on TDI (Temporary Disability Insurance)
  • Any other reason that has led to minimum 10 percent alteration in the combined gross income

Child Support Lien Network

In 1999, the state of Rhode Island launched the CSLN (Child Support Lien Network). The states that lie out of the boundaries of New England were given the right to join this network after forming an interstate agreement with Rhode Island. The functions of this network are elaborated here:

  • Collection of data from the defaulting child subsidy obligor file
  • Publishing it in a single, easy to use and accessible database
  • This would be useful for matching of assets and interception of insurance settlements that is owed to such obligors.

The Rhode Island Child Support Enforcement Program is expected to update the above mentioned database on a monthly basis. However, the frequency of update can be altered any moment. So, the users who are accessing this database are advised to note the date on the file.

Retroactive credits

Let us assume that a person has filed a motion to modify child support on a certain date. The family court judge, who has been allocated this case, is authorized to his/her discretion and award credit to this person retroactive to the specified date.

Motion for Relief

A Motion for Relief proves helpful for parents who want to make some changes to an existing condition on the basis of justified grounds. There is a difference between Motion for Relief and Motion to Modify Child Support. In the first case you need not meet the requirements of 'substantial change in circumstances' test.

Suppose, a divorced parent is ordered to disburse child support for each week at a time. If the parent is unable to do so because of valid grounds, such a parent needs to file a 'Motion for Relief'. In such a case, instead of a weekly payment, the parent may request a bi-weekly or monthly payment.

A non-custodial parent has to continue paying Rhode Island divorce child support until the child turns 18 and graduates from high school. If a child is disabled, the support amount has to be disbursed until the child becomes 21 years old.

Thus it is clear that divorced parents in Rhode Island have to abide by the guidelines. Any failure to perform the defined legal duties will make them the subject of enforcement. Denial of passport, interception of insurance proceeds, reporting to credit bureau, placement of liens on assets and contempt of court charges leading to imprisonment are some of the common measures. So you should realize your duty and fulfill all the responsibilities legally.

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