Divorce is a process that can result in feelings of loss, disappointment, and anger. While you probably want to get the process over with to be able to move on with your life, there is one specific aspect of your case that needs special attention: child support. Whether you will be providing or receiving support, you need to hire a family lawyer and below are ways one can assist you.
1. Applying for child support
A divorce can be overwhelming and can make you forget important aspects like child support. It is good to have an experienced lawyer during a divorce to help you apply for your child support. While you can apply for child support at any time, it is advisable to deal with these issues early.
Your lawyer will help you fill the required child support forms and will advise you regarding what information to include in your application. This can consist of your identification documents, the child’s birth certificate, and the other parent’s contact information. This information will not help determine your case but may prevent any delays since the court will have everything required to help the process along.
2. Determination of amount
Determining child support is usually a hard task that is based on a common formula. However, every jurisdiction has its guidelines on how child support payments are determined. Your lawyer can help you understand what factors determine child support payment in your area.
The main factors used to calculate child support no matter what jurisdiction you are in are usually parents’ income and number of children. Other factors include the time each parent spends with the children and the presence of any additional expenses such as medical expenses. The complexity of calculating child support might change from one case to another. Your lawyer will look at your situation and help you determine an accurate amount that you should be giving or receiving depending on your circumstances.
3. Enforcing existing orders
There are times when a parent who is obligated to pay child support makes late payments or the stop making them altogether. It is usually difficult and tedious process to enforce child support orders on parents not abiding by obligations specified by the court.
A family lawyer can help you when your ex-spouse is not complying with the terms of a child support order. There are several enforcement methods that your lawyer can use to enforce the order. These methods include obtaining wage garnishment orders, seizing property, and interception of income tax returns. In extreme cases, your lawyer can file a motion accusing your ex-spouse of contempt of court. This order is obtained from a judge and can result in penalties for the parent that is not abiding by the conditions of a child support order.
4. Modification of support payments
Support payments can be changed. Your lawyer can help you to modify (either increase or reduce) child support payments.
The lawyer will submit a request of modification before a judge and represent you in the hearing. You will have to show why you want a change in payment of child support. Some of the reasons your lawyer can bring forth include income changes, medical emergencies that have lead to expenses, job loss, or increase in expenses for the child.
5. Collection of past due support
Recovering overdue child support is always hard. This is because a parent may have unreported income or the whereabouts of one party may be unknown. An experienced attorney can help you to locate such a parent and calculate the outstanding amount owed. The lawyer will get their information including all of his/her income and contact information. He/she will use this information to locate the parent and have him/her pay the past due support.
Lawyers use various ways to collect the missed overdue payments. These include tax refund or wage garnishment and revocation of driver’s license or passport.