When couples separate, child support and child custody usually become huge legal battles. It is important to know what your parental rights are in relation to child support. North Dakota residents can turn to the North Dakota Department of Human Services for assistance if they have any major issues with child support.

Who Needs to Pay Child Support?

The noncustodial parent is responsible for paying child support to the custodial parent, which is the parent with whom the child resides. Your custody arrangement, whether it is partial or joint, can also affect the amount of child support that needs to be paid, since it can impact the distribution of the financial burden of raising the child.

How Can I Get Child Support?

In North Dakota, you can petition for child support either through the court or by filing an application with the Department of Human Services, Child Support Division. In your application, you need to include the names, date of birth, and social security number for your child. You should also provide the noncustodial parent’s name, address, date of birth, a physical description of the other parent, the name of their employer or previous employer, and if paternity has been established.

What If I Do Not Pay Child Support?

Failure to pay child support can lead to your arrest if you are found in contempt of court. Usually, before that the court will have your paycheck or tax refund garnished or have the money taken from your bank account. You can also lose your license, be denied a passport or have liens put on your property.

Will the Other Parent Do Anything If I Do Not Pay?

Aside from what the court and the Child Support Division can do to punish you, the other parent cannot really do anything to retaliate against you for nonpayment. Even if child support is not being paid, you cannot be refused visitation. If you have a court order for visitation, the other parent cannot stop you from seeing your child. Any interference with visitation from the other parent can be taken to court, and you can ask the court to enforce the visitation agreement.

How Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

Child support in North Dakota automatically ends during the last month of high school or age 19. If a court terminates your parental rights, voluntarily or involuntarily, then you are no longer responsible for child support. Also, before child support can even be established, the court has to establish paternity, if it already has not been done. Even if you believe child support should be ended, do not do this on your own. Make sure you take all the right, legal steps to properly terminate child support.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

You should contact a North Dakota child support lawyer if you are dealing with a child support matter. Legal representation can make all the difference in your child support case. You need to take the time to find one that works for you and your individual circumstances.