A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Get Child Support Payments

A non-custodial biological parent is often held liable to pay certain amount of money to the ex-spouse who is having the custody of the child. If you are considering filing a petition in the court to get child support payments so that your child could enjoy a higher standard of living, you must have proper knowledge about the procedure and how you should move on to maximize your chances of winning the case by seeking professional help from a family law attorney. The process can become smooth and easy if you are well aware of what the laws say about it. In almost every state, there are several child support lawyers and government-approved agencies that you can contact to get help with the procedure. Following is a step-by-step guide on how to choose a good agency and how to prepare yourself for the case.

Contact The CSEA

CSEA stands for Child Support Enforcement Agency. You can get the ball rolling even before you file the petition to get child support payments by contacting the local CSEA office. Some of these agencies allow you to file your claim right there in their office. Others that do not provide this convenience will refer you to another agency or the specific State Department where you will be able to get further help with the process. The kind of services that CSEAs offer may vary significantly from one state to another. You are advised to give a call to them before you make a personal visit to their office. Choosing the right agency is a crucial step; so, it is always worth spending some quality time in doing your research.

The Basic Details About The Non-Custodial Parent

Though the court does not require you to find out these details on your own, if you know the whereabouts and other such information about the non-custodial parent, it will accelerate the process. The basic information that you need to gather may include the phone number, social security number, date of birth, job, and current address of the non-custodial parent. When you provide this information in advance, it saves a great deal of time for the court and eliminates the highly time-consuming process of locating the other parent. Make sure the information you provide is accurate, otherwise you will end up wasting your and the court’s precious time. If you miss some information, you can find out the same with the help of the agency.

Proof Of Your Relationship With The Child

Your petition to get child support payments may straightaway be rejected if you do not provide documents to prove that the child really exists and that you are having the said relationship with him/her. For this, you must provide the birth certificate of the child. If this certificate is signed by the non-custodial parent, it almost makes it certain that the judgment will come in your favor. Likewise, you are also required to provide a valid social security number for the child. It is up to the state agency or the family court to decide whether they want to see the physical copy of that social security card or just the number should be sufficient. Accomplished family lawyers can help you gather legal documents that may help support your case.

Court Hearing

Though in most cases, you are required to appear during the court hearing, it is not always necessary. But, you are at least likely to be asked to meet with other legal representatives, the non-custodial parent, and even a judge in order to finalize an agreement. If you have certain safety concerns, you can inform the agency about the same; they will advocate for different terms in that case. If the non-custodial parent denies being a parent of the child, the DNA testing is the only solution. In order to establish an order for such testing, you will have to appear in a court.

If the court gives the judgment in your favor, but if you still do not get child support payments, you can take further legal actions against the parent liable for the payments with the help of your local CSEA office.