Child support requirements and regulations can vary from state to state. If the child moves from one state to another, the requirements for child support may change. While the states may have similar child support laws, it is important to know their variations to make sure that you do not face penalties.
Hawaii law establishes child support to pay for the needs and maintenance of a child. The judge decides the custody arrangement, and then he determines the child support payments using on the state child support guidelines calculation. If only one parent gets custody, the other parent normally pays. When both parents share custody, the court may not set a child support order. However, one of the parents may still have to pay based on the incomes of both parents.
A parent can choose one of three offices to seek child support:
- The Hawaii Family Courts
- The Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA), or
- The Office of Child Support Hearings (OCSH)
The family courts handle lawsuits about paternity, custody, visitation and child support issues. The CSEA can deal only with claims about child support. If you do not want to go to court, you can file an application with CSEA. A OCSH hearing officer reviews the application and sets the child support payments using the same state guidelines that family court judges use. OCSH only receives cases that come directly from CSEA. Child support orders from all three offices have the same legal effect.
After filing your lawsuit or submitting your application, you will need the provide information about:
- Location of other parent
- The income of both parents, and
- Information about the ability of each parent to take care of the emotional, physical, financial, medical, and educational needs of the child
Parents paying child support must make their payments regularly and on time. Consequences for late or unpaid payments may include:
- Taking money from your paycheck
- Making an order to take money you may make in the future
- Taking your tax refund
- Suspending your drivers or professional license
- Report your debt to a credit agency
- Possible jail time
An order from a court or agency for child support gives the non-paying parent the right to sue when the paying parent misses payments. To get the unpaid child support, the parent must file a complaint with the family court or a claim with the CSEA to enforce the order.
Many factors determine who pays child support and how much the payment are. When the factors change or end, the paying parent may feel that they should no longer pay. However, you must use legal methods to stop paying child support. If you stop paying on your own, you may find yourself in trouble with the law.
Factors that may stop child support are:
- Your child reaches age of 18
- Your child now lives with you
- You legally ended your parental rights
- Paternity test shows that you are not the father
- Paying parent is seriously ill, or
- Paying parent is unemployed
Contact a Hawaii child support lawyer today to find out your rights and obligations for receiving or paying child support payments.