In general terms, the obligor is the individual that has made an agreement to pay another person.  This often happens when someone borrows money from a bank.  The person that borrowed the money from the bank must agree to pay it back.  In the financial agreement, they are referred to as the obligor.

In child support agreements the same term is used.  When child support is established by the courts they determine where the child will reside and which parent gets to determine where the child resides.  The parent that is granted the authority to determine where the child resides is the custodial parent.  The other parent is referred to as the non-custodial parent.


In the court-ordered child support set out a financial obligation between the two parents.  The custodial parent becomes the obligee or the one receiving the child support.  The non-custodial parent becomes the obligor or the one that is required to pay the child support.  This financial obligation is set forth by the courts.  If the obligor does not pay in accordance with the court order they may be taken back to court on an Enforcement of Child Support and potentially face a contempt of court charge that could include jail time.

Changes to child support must also be done in the courts through a Modification of the Child Support.  Both parties agreeing to something other than what the court has ordered will not change the court-order obligation set forth in the child support order.

People often have the following types of questions:

  • What do I do if I owe child support?
  • Do I still have to pay if I don’t get to see my child?
  • What are my rights if I owe child support?
  • What if I don’t owe the back child support?
  • How do I get rid of back child support?
  • Why do I owe back child support?
  • If I file bankruptcy do I still owe back child support?
  • How do I pay child support?
  • Who determines the amount of child support?
  • What happens if I owe back child support?
  • What happens if I don’t pay my child support?
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America Family Law Center
can be contacted by
phone or text at 214-516-7700
Children need their parents