Divorce is not just a fact of two people; there are more that goes with it- the children, their future, all. The children already go through a difficult time, even without being at fault.
Equally, this is one of the most difficult challenges parents can take. It becomes more stressful they need to divide their earning to fix child support. Depending on where you live, the law and amount of child support may changes.
However, child support can be confusing for both parents as the law often vary. A lot of us don’t know how to apply for child support? In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know to apply for child support.
Let’s get started!
What is Child Support?
Child support or child maintenance is a regular payment made by parents for the child’s best interest. Both custodial and non-custodial parent is payable for child support. Mostly father as a non-custodial parent pays for the child to the mother.
This is not always the case. Mother is equally responsible for paying for child support. In some jurisdictions, both parents act as the custodial parent. The parent who has higher income are bound to pay to another custodial parent.
No matter what the circumstances, the purpose of child support is to split the financial responsibility. The amount of child support entirely depends on the parent’s earnings.
Child support consider three factors;
- The annual income of both the custodial and non-custodial parents.
- The number of eligible children for child support.
- The province where the parents live.
What Does Child Support Cover?
There is a misconception about child support that it only covers basic needs like food and clothing. But, the truth is, money paid for child support covers a range of expenses. It intends to maintain the child’s living and all the basic needs.
- Basic necessities including, food, clothing, furnishing, and other things that the child will use.
- Shelter- to ensure that the child is living in a safe place.
- Educational expenses, including school/college fees, books, supplies, etc.
- Medical expenses, including doctor’s fees, dental care, medications, and similar expenses.
- Childcare- if the parents cannot take care of their child, they have to pay for daycare, nannies, babysitters, and other childcare costs.
- Extracurricular activity costs, including summer camp, sports activities, etc.
Eligibility for Child Support
The eligibility criteria to apply for child support varies from state to state. Below are some standard criteria that a parent and child have to meet.
- The children have to be under the age of 18.
- The parents are divorced or separated. There was no child support issued during the divorce.
- Paternity is established.
- Any agency, caretaker, or a third party, took the child’s custody.
How to Apply For Child Support?
Earlier, we mentioned, the laws for child support may vary from states to states. If one parent lives in a different country, you should contact a local family lawyer. Regina family lawyers can also help you in this case.
However, you can apply for child support with little preparation. Here is a guide to using for child support;
Step 1: Preparation for the Application
The first stage is to look for the local Child Support Division. The Office of the Lawyer General can file for child support. You can also contact the country prosecutor’s Title IV-D child support office.
Step 2: Meet the Lawyer
As we said before, applying for child support can be troublesome. There involves a lot of resources that you have to gather. As a general citizen, it may be challenging to work on it. You need professional help here.
You can contact Regina Family Lawyer to get the support. It will help you find out whether you are eligible for child support. Or what amount you pay for child support.
Step 3: Establish Paternity
When a mother is looking for child support from the father, she needs to establish the paternity. This can be established by voluntary acknowledgment, by presumption or by court order. Here the mother may need to sign a legal form by father with proof that he is a child’s father.
Step 4: File for a Primary Order
As an initial stage, you have to file for a motion for child support. You need to file it where the non-custodial parent lives. There is a petition form available to apply for child support.
Along with petition form, you’ll need some supportive forms. The forms include;
- Information on family relationship
- Income cover-up order
- If the other parent lives out-of-state, you’ll need Out-of-State Affidavit
One you got the form, fill them carefully. There you may need to include the child’s name, birth date, your name, SIN number, address of both parents, etc. As a preparation for the filing, you may need to sign some form in front of a notary. After that, sign all the forms.
Step 5: Copy the Forms and Serve Other Parent
Before you take the forms to court for filing, make several copies for yourself and another parent. Send a copy of the motion to the other parent. You can send it by agreement, personal service, or publication. In all three ways, you are giving legal notice.
The first way describes that the other parent is agreed to the waived service. Through personal service, you may use a private process server to deliver the forms. If you are unable to find the other parent, you can give the notice through publication.
Step 6: File the Child Support
Take all the signed forms along with the court clerk. The clerk will stamp all the copies of your form with the date. The court clerk should give you the “cause number” and “court number.”
Write the numbers in your petition and ask the clerk to file your forms. You may need to pay filing fees.
Step 7: Receive Child Support Payments
After the judgment, you’ll receive the amount of money for child support. The court may ask the non-custodial parent to buy an annuity to maintain payment. However, the fee for child support can be weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
How to Enforce a Child Support Order?
Sometimes the non-custodial parent skips the child support. Even after establishing a child support order, the non-custodial parent does not obey the order. Well, in that case, a custodial parent can enforce a child support order.
You can contact the local Office of Child Support Services or ask for help from a lawyer. Here are steps to be taken to initiate an enforcement action.
Step 1: Draft a Motion
Firstly you’ll need to draft a motion to enforce child support. Ask the court clerk for printed “fill in the blank” forms. If there is no form available, you can ask a lawyer to draft a motion or do-it-yourself.
The draft must describe the order violated, state relief requested, and state the manner of refusal. You may also include the amount the non-custodial parent paid or payable. With all the necessary information, sign the motion.
Step 2: File Your Draft Motion
Then you need to draft the motion where you’ve to file the initial child support order. You may need to attach the original copy of the child support order along with support payments.
Step 3: Inform the Non-custodial Parent
In the meantime, you must inform the non-custodial parent about the enforcement. Use the same method that you’ve followed before to send a legal notice.
Step 4: Enforcement Hearing
Once your enforcement action takes place, the court will ask for a hearing. The court will mail about the hearing to both the parents. You must attend the hearing. Make sure to bring all the necessary copies of motion.
If all the papers and attachment of the motion is presented correctly, the decision will go in your favor. The judge will tell the amount that the non-custodial parent is payable. In case the non-custodial parent does not attend the hearing, the court can issue an arrest warrant.
Step 5: Collect Child Support Payments
The court will ask the non-custodial parent to pay the arrearages. If the parent failed to do so, the court would follow alternative options. The court may freeze that parent’s bank account and federal income tax return.
They can also seize the property of the non-custodial parent. Also, in some cases, the judge cancels the person’s state-issued licenses. The non-custodial parent can be jailed for contempt.
No matter what you are paying or receiving the child support, it is meant for your child’s best interest. It can be challenging for parents to maintain support. But, note that your effort means a lot for your child’s well-being.
So, it’s a smart choice to act responsibly. Only the responsible parents work together to ensure their children getting everything they deserve. If you cannot understand yet how to apply for child support, take help from the Regina experts.