Filing for child support is often a simple and straightforward process. You will need to obtain a court order and fill out some paperwork. That said, some stages can be difficult to navigate on your own, especially if you are involved in a contested separation. At Alliance Law Group, we can guide you through all the stages of filing for child support.
Generally, child support begins on the date you file a court order. This means the sooner you do it, the better for your child. There are also other critical deadlines that could affect your eligibility. Here is an overview of everything to expect on how to file child support.
Filing for Child Support
The first step in filing for child support is to contact your state’s Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). Here, you will file a child support order and begin the process of enforcing it. The OCSE will start by establishing paternity if you were never married to your child’s father. In some cases, this could mean looking for the parent to perform a DNA test.
Sometimes, your case could be subjected to the presumption of paternity. This is a situation where the state presumes that the person you were married to when your child was likely conceived is their biological father.
Tracking Down the Non-Custodial Parent
It is not unheard of for parents to not know where the other parent of their child is. In this situation, the OCSE will request information such as the other parent’s most recent home and work address. They will then utilize this data to track them down and serve the child support order.
The OCSE usually works with the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) to complete this task.
Fees Associated with Filing for Child Support
Parents who receive Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) must not pay a fee when filing for child support. However, if you don’t, you could be charged up to $25 at your state’s Office of Child Support Enforcement. You can find out about any applicable fees at the office or through the official website.
How Long Will the Process Last?
As mentioned, filing for child support involves establishing paternity, obtaining a child support order, tracking the liable parent, and serving the order. It also involves several separate agencies working together. This could draw out the process, increasing the time it takes for you to receive child support payments.
Working with an experienced attorney can make filing for child support significantly more straightforward. Because the attorney is well versed in the process and the laws surrounding it, they can cut through the red tape to get you a speedy solution.
Hire an Attorney to Represent You
Child support is an effective way of protecting your children’s’ rights after a separation or divorce. It ensures their basic needs are met until they become legal adults. Consequently, it is advisable to entrust the vital process of filing for child support to a family law attorney.
The attorneys at Alliance Law approach every case with a clear, objective mind. This allows us to maintain perspective and defend the rights of your child. We have extensive knowledge and experience in family law, child support, and custody.
If you have questions on how to file child support, contact our office online or call us to schedule a consultation with our attorneys.