Child Support Lawyers

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

What is Child Support?

Child support is the amount of money a parent is required by law to pay to the spouse who retains primary custody of the child. Child support is intended for the benefit of the child, and usually pays for:

Who is Obligated to Pay Child Support?

All fathers and mothers can be required to pay child support, regardless of whether they are married or not. If there is a dispute about who the child's father is, a paternity test can be ordered. Stepparents are not obligated by law to pay child support unless the stepparent legally adopts the children.

Determining the Amount of Child Support

Courts generally require each parent to complete a financial statement before making a decision on child support. In the financial statement, the parent must detail his or her monthly income and expenses. Based on the financial information and the amount of time each parent spends with the child, the Court uses a standard formula to determine the child support amount. Child visitation arrangements may have a bearing on how child support is calculated - review the article child visitation guidelines for more information.

Additional Factors in Determining Child Support

Enforcing a Child Support Award

If you are not receiving child support payments that are owed to you, the district attorney of each state can help by serving the delinquent parent with papers requiring him or her to pay. If the non-paying parent still does not contribute their child support, the district attorney can take any of the following actions against the delinquent parent:

Modification of Child Support Payments

Child support payments may be modified if warranted by the situation. Usually, modification requires a showing of a "change in circumstances." A change in circumstance may include:

Do I Need a Family Attorney to Assist Me in Establishing or Modifying Child Support?

Unless both parents agree on a Child Support amount, you will need to go into Court to establish or modify child support. The Court procedure for establishing or modifying child support can be very confusing, so it may be wise to consult with a lawyer experienced in family law to make sure your interests are protected.

Vea esta página en español: Apoyo (financial) de Niños/Menores o visita para más información legal.

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Last Modified: 05-13-2014 09:30 AM PDT

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