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Filing for Child Support

After a divorce, it is the responsibility of both parents to contribute towards the upkeep of their child. If one of the ex-spouses is proving unwilling to pay child support, the other can make a formal request to the court for assistance in receiving child support. To open a child support case, the parent needs to get in touch with an attorney, who will direct the parent to fill out an application form online or have it sent to their house for $25. In order to get the order enforced, the noncustodial parent's location and place of work need to be known.

This might take a while if the parent's whereabouts are unknown, so all the personal details of the ex-spouse need to be provided to assist in finding him or her. The paternity of the spouse needs to be established for a child support order. A blood or saliva test can be carried out for this if the paternity of the child is in question. After the parent has been located, served the papers and been confirmed as the biological parent, now comes the actual matter of calculating the amount that needs to be paid in child support. For this, both the parent's incomes are considered. Other factors such as medical insurance taken out in the child's name are also taken into account as part of the payment.

Once the order has been put in place, a support amount gets deducted from the parent's paycheck every month. This cuts the parent out of the equation and prevents him or her trying to skip a payment installment. A record is kept of the parent's income status. If the parents tries to make excuses not to pay, the court can enforce its order. The parent is held in contempt of court, which can lead to a fine, jail time or both. This step is taken if the parent is found to be withholding checks, unemployment benefits or worker compensation.

The parent's tax returns can be intercepted, driving licenses can get revoked, lottery winnings can be confiscated. Bank accounts can be seized along with their passport. Once the order has been put in place, it stays in effect for three years. A hearing can be requested to change the order if there is a drastic change in the living circumstance of the parent who needs to pay child support. The request to change the terms of the child support amount needs to be put in writing and filed before the court. It will then be up to the court to determine whether the terms of the arrangement should change. 

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