Child support is a court ordered sum of money (usually monthly) paid to the custodial parent from the non-custodial parent. This child support is intended and used for expenses of raising a child. This includes housing and utilities, food, clothing, education expenses, health and medical expenses. Child support is intended to benefit the child’s basic necessities. The amount of child support is set by agreement and is required by law. Hiring a family law attorney who specializes in child support can help you navigate through the process. Child support lawyers can help identify your rights. Child support is made to the custodial parent until the child is emancipated, through relinquishment of custody, inducted into the military service, court ordered based on the child’s best interest, or stipulated in the divorce agreement, or when the child reaches appropriate age (which is not always 18).
Your child support attorney can also help you determine paternity and help make a legal determination of who fathered the child. Once paternity is established, the obligation is determined. The fair amount of child support the non-custodial parent will be required to pay by law will be determined according to your state’s guidelines. Your child support attorney can also help you enforce the court-ordered support. The most successful way to collect support is by direct withholding. The court orders the employer to withhold money from the obligated parent’s paycheck, also known as wage garnishment. Your attorney will know the correct steps on how to get a wage garnishment. You also can have federal and state income tax refunds withheld; liens on real property; or seizure and sale of property with the proceeds to be applied to the support debt.
In the process of filing for support, the court will ask each parent to fill out a financial statement. The financial statement will be reviewed before making a decision on child support. The statements must detail his or her monthly income and expenses. The court many times will use a standard formula to determine the child support amount. Payment of child support can be obligated to all parents (fathers, mother, or parents of same sex unions) regardless of whether they are married or not. If you are in dispute regarding paternity a paternity order will be requested. According to law child support does not obligate stepparents, unless they have legally adopted the child or children.
Due to the emotionally intense nature of child custody and child support, the child custody attorney works with the parent to ensure that both sides of the family are carrying out their obligations toward the child. There are many issues that come with child support, along with laws and guidelines from how to get the money to how it should be spent.
Hiring an experienced lawyer can simplify this complex situation into a workable solution, so you can get the best possible agreement and help you resolve the complications as soon as possible.