Georgians who watch the television comedy "Two and a Half Men" may find it entertaining, but the series also shows how complicated divorce can be for parents and children and how settlements over money issues can be difficult to reach.
In fact, the ex-wife of one of the show's principal cast members, Jon Cryer, recently lost her bid for increased child support. Last October, Sarah Trigger petitioned a court for more than the $8,000 per month Cryer was already paying. The reason? So the couple's 13-year-old son could avoid the ridicule of his wealthy peers and keep up with their lavish lifestyles. Trigger also contended that the increase to $88,000 - 11 times the current support - would be fair because she spends 50 percent of her time with their son rather than the four percent she spent with him when support was ordered in 2011.
The court disagreed and found no changes that would merit an increase in support.
The couple divorced in 2004. Cryer has remarried and has a daughter with his current wife.
Divorce may end the direct relationship between spouses, but they remain tied through their child. Both parents are critical to their child's well-being and each parent should look after his or her best interests. One way to meet a child's needs is by paying child support on time. Failure to do so can compromise a child's needs. A custodial parent who does not receive support as scheduled often must rely on his or her own finances to meet the child's needs.
For the noncustodial parent, nonpayment or delinquent payments also can have serious consequences, including charges of contempt of court, garnished wages and jail time if failure to pay is willful and deliberate.
If there is a valid reason why a noncustodial parent fails to pay child support or a custodial parent fails to receive it, then modification may be necessary.