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Can I Sue for Child Support?


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No child was asked to come into the world; therefore all parents have an obligation to support their child to the best of their ability. Child support is the term by which a non-custodial parent makes periodic payments to custodial parent, guardian or care giver directly or indirectly for the child’s maintenance. The obligation of supporting a child is the shared responsibility between a mother and father and neither party bears a heavier burden. Therefore, if the father has custody of the child the mother pays child support and vice versa. Where the parents have joint custody then a parent might still have the obligation to support the child by paying child support. The US government considers the issue of child support to be a serious issue as such it goes over and above to ensure that a child is support by the parents where the parents are able to do so.

Can I sue for Child Support?

A parent can file for child support where they are the custodial parent or the child lives with them. A parent should normally file for child support where the other parent has not played a role in maintain the child financially. However, before a claim is filed for child support the paternity of the child should be established which is normally done by a DNA test. Establishing the paternity of the child is essential since many males generally seek to escape liability by disowning the child. However, if the parents were married the need to establish paternity decreases. A child support order will then be given by the court after the parent fills out all the requisite form for child support with the fee. The court order will state how much the non-custodial parent should pay and the frequency of such payments whether weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Where the non-custodial parent defaults the custodial parent can bring a claim against him for the default.

Can I sue an Estate for Child Support?

Where child support is owed a parent can sue the non-custodial parent’s estate as creditor because of the child support in arrears. The claim would be filed in the probate court of the county where the estate is being probated. The parent can also ask the case work to claim for back child support. A person can only sue where the parent owed money for child support, the parent or child has no case where the deceased parent was current with payments. In this type of situation a person should always file suit as soon as possible before the statute of limitations expire. The parent should receive the money outstanding before anything is bequeathed. Additionally, if all the moneys in the estate are distributed before a claim is made then recovering moneys owed will be difficult.

Can I sue for Court support in Arrears?

Where the court has made a permanent order for child support then a parent has all right to exercise his/her rights and make a claim for all money outstanding with interest. The court will enforcement judgment against the non-custodial parent as it takes child support issues very seriously. The law stipulates that a person can in be punished in the following ways where he/her has failed to pay child support in arrears:

  • Denial of Passport. If more than $2,500 is owed in back child support then the non-custodial parent is not eligible for a passport.
  • Wage Garnishment- where back child support was claimed then the government can garnish the wages to pay your child support debt.
  • Jail Time- where a party is non-compliant and has not made any arrangement to try to pay back child support then he/she may be incarcerated.
  • Suspension of Licenses- the government can suspend a parent’s licence where he/she fails to pay their child support.
  • Seizure of Tax Refund. The government may seize your tax refund if you owe back child support.
  • Property Seizure. A parent might find his or her property seized to help pay the debt.

Can I sue for Child Support from my Father?

A mother can claim support on behalf of a child from the father once paternity is proven. However, where the child becomes an adult and his/her father did not have play a financial role the laws gets complex. If no order for child support was ever made then the adult would have to seek retroactive child support which is dependent on how far back state laws permit the court to go. For example if the state law permits the court to go back a year and the person is 25 then her/she would have no claim since a parent is only obligated to provide for an adult in limited circumstance. If the adult is claiming for back child support that was outstanding based on a court order the person has a stronger claim to recover such the money. Child services in the respective state can be contacted to find if a person is eligible for back child support.

Can I sue for more Child Support?

A custodial parent can also seek to have the child support payment modified but it is in the discretion of the court make an award. The court examines whether the present order for child support can adequately maintain the child. A modification of child support is dependent on whether the other parent can financially afford paying more money and the interest of the child. The court also takes into consideration if the non-custodial parent financial position has changed such as if he/she has received an increase in salary. A change in the financial position for the better is an indication that he/she can afford it provided that he/she does not have more financial obligations. But one should remember that is it is the discretion of the court.

Child support is based on the fact that both parents are obliged to financially support their children, even when the children are not living with both parents. Child support is just financial support which is to be paid by the non-custodial parent. A parent who has primary care of the can file for child support and where there is unpaid support it can be recovered by the parent. The parent can also ask for a modification of child support to additional financial support.

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