One of the most common but most difficult cases to go through in court relates to child support. When couples separate, it’s always the kids that suffered. Apart from the emotional and psychological aspects, there’s also concern about child support. For unmarried couples, the situation becomes more complicated. Once they both have a child together from that relationship and then later on part ways and remarry.
If you’re lucky, as the mom, the father of your child (or children) is easy to deal with and you’re both amicable towards each other. That’s the ideal situation to say. Unfortunately, not all men are the same and some just ignore child support.
If the latter pertains to your situation, this article helps you out. By reading below, you’ll come across some of the best insights on how to handle child support issues.
First Understand How Long Child Support Lasts
It’s important to understand that child support laws vary from one state or nation to another. So, you have to check with your statutes as well. However, a good start in handling child support issues is understanding how long it lasts. That way, you have the proper and legal determination as to whether or not you’re still entitled to child support.
Generally, the law requires that the parent paying child support should continue to do so until any of the following circumstances occur:
- The child is no longer a minor, except if the child has special needs or is still in high school;
- The minor child is declared emancipated by the court, which means that the court has determined that your child is now able to be self-supporting;
- The child is now active in the military;
- Your parental rights to the subject child (or children) are now terminated when the child becomes the legal child of another through adoption or other legal processes.
Remember That The Court Retains Child Support Decisions Jurisdiction
Perhaps you may be asking, how is child support determined in New York, or in any other state you’re from? It’s not either of the parents who determines how much the other parent (usually the father) should give for child support, it’s the court that decides about this matter. The court retains jurisdiction over child support issues, including but not limited to the right to change the amounts, for instance.
The court interprets the child support amount based on factors such as salary and the children’s needs. It also holds the right to change that amount. A child support order also isn’t fixed, in such a way that it can be subject to change when future conditions warrant. The most you can do as a parent is to petition the court for changes. But ultimately, the final say is still in the hands of the family court judges.
Child Support Isn’t Dependent On Marriage Of The Parents As A Condition
This section applies for those who read this wherein your child’s other parent alleges that they shouldn’t be demanded for child support because you both aren’t married. This alibi is something you can bring to court. It’s a legal fact that the marriage or non-marriage of the parents is never the factor to determine child support.
Even if the parents are unmarried, the responsibility to give child support still exists. Generally, the parental responsibilities are determined in either one of these two ways:
- You are established as the father of the child, through a paternity test;
- You acknowledge that you are the father by welcoming the child into your home and caring for them as your own.
A Child Support Order Is An Enforceable Court Order
Despite having a child support order, if the subject parent still fails to obey and provide support, you can practice all available legal remedies to provide the necessary child support. Note that a child support order is an enforceable court order. This means that you can use tools like the following to enforce the order:
- Wage garnishments;
- Seizure of non-paying parent’s property by writ of execution;
- Wage assignment;
- Contempt of court decree.
The unfortunate fact of life is the reality that not all families are meant to stay together as one. Others are better off separated or apart, later on become a part of a blended family. Whatever happens to the parents, however, the children should never be meant to suffer the consequences. This means that the holistic care should still be present emotionally, psychologically and even financially. If you’ve been going through a hard time dealing with child support with your child’s father, the tips above should help you get started. Whatever happens, never neglect child support and do fight for what you know and believe your child should receive.