FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILD CUSTODY
Why do we need to have a child support order?
- Your child has a legal right to financial support from both parents.
- Each parent has a legal responsibility to support his or her children.
What if the child’s mother has filed for child support, but I don’t think I am the father?
- In most cases, the judge will allow you to have a paternity test if you ask for one. The judge will decide who pays for the test.
- If the mother is the one who filed for support, the court might order her to pay the cost, or might divide the cost between the two of you.
How do I know that the amount of the child support order is fair?
The law wants the amount of child support to be fair. Factors that help decide what is fair include where the child lives most of the time, the income of both parents, the cost of the child’s education and health insurance, each parent’s other child support obligations, and the age and number of children in your case.
I really don’t know anything about the other parent’s income.
You can ask the judge to order the other parent to bring proof of his or her income to court in the form of an affidavit of means. Proof might include bank statements, payment receipts etc.
What if the other parent is not paying what the court ordered?
- You can file a Motion for Contempt for Child Support Order asking the Court to make him or her pay or to commit him or her to civil jail.
What if I do not want to pay the child support that the court ordered?
- You must continue to pay what the court ordered until the court changes its order.
- If you do not pay what the court ordered, the judge could find you in contempt for disobeying its order, and might order you to pay a fine and/or spend time in jail.
How do I change the child support order?
- You can file a Motion to Modify Child Support Order if you or the other parent’s financial circumstances have changed. This Motion could be to
- Increase Child Support
- Decrease Child Support
- Suspend Child Support (for example, if you were temporarily laid off) or
- Terminate Child Support
I was ordered to pay child support a few years ago, but now the children are living with me. Can I stop paying?
- You can only stop paying after you have a court order telling you that you may stop.
- You can file a Motion to Terminate Child Support or a Motion to Modify Child Support, explaining to the court how the circumstances have changed.
How do I file court papers for child support?
- Send this and any other inquiry regarding child support to firstname.lastname@example.org