Basics of Child Support

Planning for the future care and support of minor children is necessary for separated parents. Child support payments, along with child custody arrangements, are a key topic in a Separation Agreement or divorce. 

Even though the parents aren’t living together, they are both legally obligated to provide for the children. When both parents make financial investments in their child’s health, education, and development, that child’s quality of life is improved. The court may order the “non-custodial” parent, or the parent with whom the kid does not live, to pay a specific percentage of his or her income as child support when married parents split or separate, or when only one of the unmarried parents of a child has custody. 

There are other circumstances in which such support might be required. Less frequently, the court may require parents to pay child support to a third party who looks after their kid if neither parent has custody. 

Child Support: The Government’s Responsibility 

The regulation of child support is a significant societal issue in the United States because nearly half of all marriages end in divorce and roughly one-fourth of all children are born to unmarried parents. Unlike in the past, when it was up to the parents to make arrangements for and pay child support, state child support enforcement agencies are now actively pursuing payments from non-custodial parents. 

The agency and court frequently collaborate to put into effect a child support withholding order, which requires that the payer’s support payment be deducted automatically from their paycheck. If the child support payments fall behind, the agency may use alternative methods of collection, such as seizing real estate or personal property or deducting support payments from tax refunds. 

How can one obtain child support? 

To obtain a court order for child support, either a parent or the county must file a lawsuit. Child support can be ordered by a judge in a 

● paternity action, 

● divorce case, 

● order for protection (OFP) case, 

● and custody case 

A child support magistrate will decide after your case has been filed in the “expedited child support process.” 

Child Support for children of separated parents 

Whenever unmarried mothers are requesting child support, the first step may be to establish the “parentage” of the children’s father in court. The woman may need to file a lawsuit to establish paternity, which is typically done by genetic (DNA) testing if the father chooses not to do this freely. The court will compel the “alleged” father to submit to the testing if he refuses to do so voluntarily. When paternity has been proven, the court will issue a child support order much like it would in a divorce case. 

Regional Transfers and Child Support 

In order to enforce or guarantee the payment of child support when the non-custodial parent relocates to another state, the custodial parent may need to rely on the Revised Uniform

Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act. How a support order granted in one state may be enforced by the courts of another state is provided by this Act. 

A family law Autrey Law Firm attorney can assist if you’re facing a potential child support difficulty or dispute, whether as a single parent or as a result of divorce, by fairly and passionately advocating for either side in a child support hearing. In the establishment of a child support order, the enforcement of an existing order, or the determination of paternity, an attorney will seek to get the best outcome possible. Contact the Autrey Law Firm for any questions you may have regarding child support.