Child Support Order Lawyers

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What is a Child Support Order?

A child support order is type of formal court document that regulates how one party is to make monetary payments to the other for child rearing purposes of child rearing.  They are enforceable under law, much in the same way that a court-issued injunction needs to be obeyed.  Child support is important for the proper upbringing of the child or children involved.

Child support payments usually only cover the child’s basic needs, and not any “luxury” or unnecessary items.  These basic needs usually include: health and medical needs; educational expenses; certain traveling expenses; food and clothing; and other more specific needs that the child may have.  

How are Child Support Orders Obtained?

A child support order is generally issued in connection with the legal separation or divorce lawsuit between the parents.  As part of the final judgment, the judge may issue a child support agreement after reviewing evidence from the legal proceedings.

Alternatively, a child support order may often (and frequently does) begin as a child support agreement.  This may be a contract formed between the parents, created on their own without any intervention from the court.  For instance, they may have negotiated on terms and agreed in writing or orally on the terms of payment.  Or, one of the partners may already have been making regular payments.

These terms can then be converted into a child support order.  The parties would have to submit the agreement to the judge, who can then review the order and approve it if it meets the standards and requirements.  After approval, the support order becomes fully enforceable under law.

How Can a Child Support Order Be Violated?

Most people only associate child support violations with the paying party.  However, a child support order can definitely be violated by either party. 

For the paying party, violations include:

For the party collecting the payments, violations may include;

Violations of child support orders can lead to various legal consequences, including fines, a contempt order, and in some cases, losses of privileges such as visitation or custody rights.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Child Support Order?

Obtaining a child support order generally requires the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.  Hiring a lawyer may be necessary when it comes to creating, filing, reviewing, or modifying a child support order.  In addition, you may need to hire a qualified lawyer in the event that you need to sue for retroactive child support payments.

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Last Modified: 12-27-2012 04:01 PM PST

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