Child support laws are the state rules that govern the collection and distribution of money for child-related expenses paid from a non-custodial parent (the parent who doesn't have custody of the child) to the custodial parent. Although state courts have jurisdiction over child support decisions, federal child support guidelines encourage states to have policies in place regarding many issues, such as establishing paternity, ordering support, and collecting support. These laws may vary from state to state.
The custodial parent is entitled to child support by law, whether it's needed or not. Child support lasts until a child is considered an adult (usually age 18, but this varies by state).
Child support orders are court orders and will be enforced. The Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE)- a federal, state, and local partnership-provides government assistance in obtaining child support. CSE services include locating non-custodial parents, establishing paternity, and securing and collecting child support.
Child support may not be terminated until the child reaches the age where support is no longer legally required.
Federal laws require states to establish laws in the following areas:
Cornell University Law School: U.S. Code Collection (federal laws) (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00000666----000-.html)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families (Office of Child Support Enforcement Fact Sheet) (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/opa/fact_sheets/cse_printable.html#support)
American Bar Association Family Legal Guide (see Family Law chapter) (http://www.abanet.org/publiced/practical/books/family_legal_guide/)
Divorce Support (Support Award Schedules) (http://www.divorcesupport.com/divorce/Support-Schedules-3006.html)
Back Child Support (http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/back-child-support)
No Child Support (http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/no-child-support)