Child support is financial support usually given to a parent who is the primary care giver of the child. This means that the primary care giver has physical custody of the child i.e. the child lives with this parent. The other parent will usually have visitation rights. If the parents decide to have shared physical custody, then the child will physically live half the time with one parent and half the time with the other. The amount of child support will vary depending on factors used in a computerized formula called a dissomaster. This is also called a child support calculator.
Child support is a factor whether you were married or not. If you were married and are now separated, you can then file for child support or you can file for divorce or legal separation and then file for child support. If you wish support without filing for divorce or legal separation, an attorney would prepare a petition for custody, visitation and support. If support is requested after filing for divorce or legal separation, an attorney would prepare a Request for Order to request temporary orders while the divorce or legal separation is in progress. These orders would address custody and visitation as well as support.
If you wish to file for child support and you are not married, you would ideally file a Paternity Action which would establish the father and address custody, visitation and support for the child. You may also file an order with child support services, however this is a long route, typically taking as much as 1 year.
Child support is calculated by a software program called a ‘dissomaster’. Factors such as income of both parents, number of children and amount of time spent with the child are all inputted into the formula. Once the appropriate forms are filed, parents will have a hearing in court to determine the appropriate level of support. It should be noted that parents can agree on an amount and not go to court.
Once the court makes an order, payment is made voluntarily each month or the amount can be wage assigned. If payment is not made as per the court order, the custodial parent may try to collect. Your lawyer can explain the choices.
Legal Action Workshop can help with child support for a flat fee. Call us at 800-HELP-444 (800-435-7444) Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm or visit our website @ www.LegalActionWorkshopLAW.com for more information.