Austin Child Support Lawyer
What is Child Support?
In the United States, parents are obligated to provide for their children. Even if the parents' relationship with each other ends, their obligation to care for the child continues. If one parent is absent from the child's home, he/she may be required to pay child support to make sure that the child's financial needs are taken care of. Simply put, child support is periodic, ongoing payment made by a parent to provide for his/her child.
The Office of the Attorney General Child Support Program helps parents obtain fair child support agreements. Through the office, custodial parents can receive help to locate an absent parent, establish legal paternity, enforce child support payments, collect child support, or review/modify a child support agreement. Many child support services are required by and funded by the federal government. Thus, they are offered to parents at no cost.
How is child support determined?
There are several ways in which child support agreements can be reached. The parents can informally (out of court) negotiate the agreements between themselves or when there are disputes, a formal alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process may help. If all are in agreement and there are no disputes, the parents can work out the details and then submit them to the court for final approval. It is strongly urged that when this method is done that each party seeks the counsel of a legal professional who will review the agreements before they are submitted to the court and ensure that the parent's legal rights are intact and that there is little possibility for future problems.
When the parents are having difficulty agreeing on one or more points of child support, ADR can be very helpful. It is less formal than a court setting and thus will bring a more rapid resolution. When the disagreements are severe and attorneys are unable to bring agreement between the parties, the case will have to be brought before the court and judgment will be made and ordered.The experience and knowledge of an attorney can be invaluable no matter how the child support agreement is reached. In any legal matter, compelling arguments can be made for having your own lawyer whose sole purpose is to achieve the best possible outcome.
Child Support and Paternity
In order to obtain a child support order, the child's paternity must be legally established. This can be done by filling out an Acknowledgment of Paternity form (AOP). It is easiest to establish your child's paternity at birth; however, paternity can be established at any time. If one parent is reticent to sign the AOP, paternity testing may be used to determine the identity of the child's father. Without establishing paternity, neither parent can obtain a court order for child support – even the parent has informally agreed to pay. If the child's father is currently paying support but decides to stop at some point in the future, the moth cannot demand child support enforcement without establishing paternity first. If you need help obtaining a reasonable child support order, contact our Austin family lawyers today. We have the skill, experience, and dedication to help you get the fair support order you need and deserve.
Get an Austin family attorney on your side!
Modifications of child support can be requested when circumstances of life change. These changes are sometimes unavoidable but the original child support order, when properly and thoroughly executed can include reference to future changes that can help any necessary modifications in the future. Enforcement can also be sought when payments are not received. Confident and trusted legal representation, when child support is being negotiated, will help protect your rights and your future. If you are working out child support issues, contact our firm today.