Filing for Child Support: 4 Steps
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Filing for divorce can have a serious impact on your finances, especially if you want to gain custody of your children. The cost of education, clothing, food, and medical needs can add up quickly and be overwhelming. Applying for child support can help you balance your finances, and there are several steps you can take to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
- File the Appropriate Papers
Filing for child support may be accomplished online in most states. However, if you are unsure about how to go about filling out the forms properly, you may want to seek legal counsel or go to your local courthouse for assistance. If you have not yet finalized your divorce, you may be able to add a request for child support in the decree.
- Prove Paternity
If there is any question of any of your children’s paternity, you may want to consider having a court-ordered test performed. This can help to establish financial responsibility on the part of your partner, especially if there is any denial on his part once you try to file for child support. Even if you are sure of your children’s parentage, having proof may be helpful for the filing process.
- Obtain a Court Order
Some jurisdictions may file a court order for child support for you, but you could ask your lawyer about the laws and proceedings in your area. If you do not yet have a lawyer, this may be the best time to secure one, as filing on your own can be confusing — especially during a time when your emotions could be running high. Allowing a lawyer to represent you and file an order for child support may give you peace of mind and help you focus on your children’s welfare during this time of transition.
- Inform Your Ex of the Court Order
Your spouse may be informed by mail that you have filed for child support; however, this may not be where your personal responsibility ends. Setting up payment schedules and tracking payments might be something you and your spouse have to settle. If you do not feel comfortable doing so alone, then ask your attorney to accompany you to any meetings you have concerning child support so he or she can represent your best interests.
Filing for child support can be daunting, especially during a time when your marriage is ending, but seeking assistance from a lawyer and going through proper channels can help expedite the process. Contact a child support lawyer, like a child support lawyer from Rockville, MD, for more information or to schedule an initial consultation.
Thanks to The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into the steps to take to file for child support.