Father’s Rights: What To Do To Get Support From The Mother
The customary practice is that child support comes from the father while the mother maintains the primary custody. However, there are instances when fathers are entitled to child support.
Who Receives Child Support?
Often times, the parent who is granted primary custody over the child is entitled to child support. In some states, unwed mothers have automatic custody rights over their child while the father has to first establish paternity to receive rights toward his or her child. Other states however, allow a parent to receive child support even if the parents have joint custody in the case where the other parent makes more money than the other. In addition to this, a child who is caring for a child who is not his or her biological child may sometimes be entitled to support, such as when raising a family member or foster child.
How Is Paternity Established?
The father is sometimes asked to establish paternity as part of an action to receive rights regarding custody, visitation or support. Paternity can be established in a number of ways, such as by signing the birth certificate, by signing an acknowledgement of paternity or by DNA testing accepted by the court.
Who Assists with Getting Child Support?
Laws concerning child support and child support system vary from state to state. There are some states where the child support enforcement agency assists custodial parents with seeking child support orders from the court. Other states provide such support only to individuals who have under a specific amount of income or who are receiving financial assistance from the state. A private attorney can often assist fathers with acquiring child support.
What Information Do I Need to Provide?
Providing certain information in order to help establish a court order will likely be asked of you upon contacting your state child support agency or even a private lawyer for any assistance. This information may include the mother’s contact information and last known address and place of employment. The birth certificate and proof of paternity may also be required. Furthermore, certain financial information like information with regards to your assets and income and expenses related to the child may also be needed.
How Much Child Support Am I Entitled To Receive?
Most state child support laws say that children are entitled to financial support from both parents. Basing on a number of factors, the state establishes child support guidelines that determine how much an average child will need. However, these guidelines will provide for a basic amount of support the parent who receives it is entitled to base on the other parent’s income and number of children to be supported. Nevertheless, special circumstances may be present to justify the court from ordering a standard amount of child support as provided under these tables. Extraordinary expenses can be taken into consideration, including medical expenses or high childcare costs.
What Does the Child Support Order Say?
Every child support order is different, based on the child and the specific aspects of the case. However, most child support orders will state how much weekly child support the mother is required to pay. The child support order may also indicate a different amount that will be withheld due to retroactive support. States vary on how far back they will go when ordering retroactive support.
The child support order may specify that the parent’s income will be directly withheld from the mother’s paycheck. This step often helps avoid problems with mothers not paying the ordered amount.
What Do I Do If She Doesn’t Pay?
In the instance where the mother refuses to pay court-ordered child support, there may be a number of enforcement options. The mother can be held civilly or criminally liable under a contempt of court action for not obeying the court’s mandate. If found guilty of this, the mother may be required to post a bond equal to the amount of child support that she is behind or may have to serve time in jail.
There are also other enforcement mechanisms in order to propel the mother to give support, such as suspending the mother’s driver’s license or professional license, intercepting tax refunds or federal payments, denying passports, placing liens on property and reporting the debt to credit bureaus.