How to Get Child Support
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Obtaining child support can sometimes begin through the creation of a child support agreement. This is an agreement, basically a contract, that outlines the terms of child support payment from one parent to the other. It may contain provisions regarding:
- The amount of support to be paid in each payment
- When payments should be made
- Under what circumstances payments can be adjusted
- What types of legal recourse can be pursued if non-payment occurs
Child support agreements can be created independently, outside of court, through negotiations between the parties. They should be written down and should meet all the requirements for a valid contract. If desired, they can be submitted to a judge to be converted into a formal child support order. This will help the agreement to be enforceable in the future.
If paternity, maternity or parenthood issues are a factor, these generally need to be resolved before a request for child support can be addressed. Child support can also be obtained as part of divorce or separation proceedings.
What if I Need the Child Support Order Changed?
Child support orders can usually be modified if necessary. This can happen due to a change in circumstances, such as when one party moves or if the paying parent loses their job. A modification may need the assistance of a lawyer, as proof of the change in circumstances will usually be required.
A modification of a child support order can also be helpful if the paying parent is refusing to make the required payments. Sometimes all that is needed is to adjust the support order to accommodate the needs of the paying parent. Any modifications to a child support order must serve the child’s best interests.
What Does “Retroactive” Child Support Mean?
Retroactive child support refers to payments that are due because they were missed in the past. This term can also refer to payments that were missed before a support order was actually issued. In some cases, a court may require the paying payment to pay retroactive child support in order to provide the child with the monetary funds that were supposed to be paid to them in the past.
This can sometimes be difficult to do, and may often require other measures such as a garnishment of the paying parent’s wages.
When attempting to get child support, you should be sure to follow all the laws and court procedures for the process. Remember to treat the other party with courtesy and to conduct yourself ethically, as any violations or questionable acts can harm your child’s chances at receiving child support.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance With Child Support Issues?
Child support matters are important for the upbringing of your child or children. If you need legal assistance with child support issues, you may wish to contact an experienced family law attorney in your area. Your lawyer can help you negotiate and finalize a child support agreement, and can help you obtain a formal order from the court. Also, in the event of a lawsuit or legal claim, your attorney can provide you with legal representation during the court proceedings.
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Last Modified: 04-07-2014 10:17 AM PDT
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