After the birth of his new daughter, rapper and actor Christopher Bridges, better known to fans as Ludacris, is attempting to have a cap of $1,700 put on his alimony payments. However, in a lawsuit, the baby's mother contends that he should pay more than that, claiming that he spends more money on his lawn and pets. In addition, she wants him to pay her legal fees so that she can secure the services of a good lawyer.
In Orange County, California, like elsewhere in the country, many divorced or unwed parents depend on child support, which is important for a child's well-being. Delayed or inadequate child support can compromise the best interests of the child. Additionally, missed payments place an additional burden on custodial parents because they then have to depend solely on their own income to provide for their children's needs.
The amount of child support is decided by court order. Once the amount is set, the paying parent has to comply or face the penalties.
Also, a child's needs may change over time, requiring the noncustodial parent to pay a higher amount. On the other hand, noncustodial parents may face challenges that render them unable to pay the required amount. Although some payers are delinquent for no good reason, many noncustodial parents are forced to delay child support payments because of valid reasons, such as failing health or limited income.
Luckily, both noncustodial and custodial parents have options when their circumstances change. If they are having difficulty collecting child support, custodial parents may report the issue and ask for legal help. If noncustodial parents have legitimate difficulties making payments, they can seek a court-ordered modification. If the support amount is either inadequate or too high, either parent may seek a child support modification.
Source: ABC23 KERO, "Ludacris in Child Support Battle over Baby Daughter," Jan. 5, 2013