If your spouse submits a formal written request for child support during the divorce process, it is important that you understand exactly how to respond. You likely will not be able to avoid responsibility for child support, as it is considered to be a right of every child. Therefore, you must comply with all of the instructions you are given to avoid potential legal problems.
When you receive the motion for temporary support , you may also be provided with a court date that you must attend. At this hearing, a judge, magistrate or child support hearing officer will set what he or she believes to be the appropriate amount of child support after closely analyzing factors such as each parent’s income, the amount of time the child is expected to spend with each parent, time spent in day care and special medical expenses. The judge’s primary concern is developing an arrangement that fulfills the best interests of the children involved.
What to do before your hearing
The child support hearing is incredibly important, so you should prepare for it and all potential outcomes in advance. Collect and bring evidence of your income, including W2s, pay stubs and other requested documents. If applicable, you may request a paternity test. This typically occurs in cases in which the two parties were not married. If you do choose to request this test, it must be completed before child support payments can begin.
If you do not show up to your hearing or simply fail to make your child support payments, the court may take additional measures to collect that money, including wage garnishment. Some jurisdictions also seek driver’s license suspensions for delinquent parents, along with fines or jail time.
A skilled child support attorney can help you understand your obligations. Contact the Jacksonville attorneys at Combs Greene, PA for the assistance you need when dealing with these matters.
Attorney Andrea Jevic contributed to this blog post.