Child Support FAQ

How Can I Get Child Support?

So you are wondering how to get child support, the best thing to do is contact your local or State CSE (Child Support Enforcement) office. When filling out a child support application give them as much information as you can: if you know the identity of the parent tell them their name, where they live and work. They can help you locate a missing parent and also help you establish paternity. With enough accurate information, they will be able to establish an order for Paternity Child Support.

What is child support used for?

The level of a child support order depends on state guidelines, but is intended to cover more than just a minimum standard of contribution towards the child's life for food, clothing and shelter. The child is intended to have a standard of living commensurate with both parents. If, for example, the non-custodian parent is very wealthy but the custodian parent is of relatively modest means, the amount will reflect the wealth of the non-custodian parent. This is the case even though the payments will indirectly benefit the other members of the household to whom the non-custodian parent has no obligation, such as the custodian parent's spouse, or other children.

How is child support paid?

Although the specific arrangements vary from case to case, and each state has its own requirements and means of how they calculate child support. Child support payments are increasingly deducted at source from the non-custodian parent's wages, on a monthly basis.

What if I have lost my job and cannot pay child support?

In these circumstances, you can ask for the level of the child support order to be addressed. Going through the court for this purpose will incur fees, so in the first instance it may be worth writing to the custodian parent or their lawyer to ask for a temporary reduction or period of non-payment, if required. If this is unsuccessful, you will need to go to court to explain the circumstances for the child support arrears. It is highly advantageous to have an attorney to help you with this application.

My child's parent has stopped paying child support. Can I refuse access?

Visitation rights and child support payments are two different things. A court grants a non-custodian parent access to see their child because it is deemed to be in the child's best interests. Although it may be very hard for you to do so, you must not stop the parent from seeing their child because they have stopped paying child support. If you do, it could lead to the non-paying parent applying to the court for a change in custody.

My Child has reached the age of majority but I never asked for support. What can I do?

This will depend heavily on the laws of your State. Some States have a statute of limitations that provides a period within which you should establish paternity. Check with your State to establish your options.

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