Child Support Help

You may be one of those parents wondering if you are qualified to receive child support from the “other parent”. You may also be one of those parents who do pay child support but would have questions as to how to pay it. The following are factors to consider in child support help.

Who Pays for Child Support?

Child support help would generally be paid for by a “noncustodial” parent, a single father with established legal paternity, and by an ex-partner who has agreed to pay for child support anyway. Other special considerations also apply.

The “noncustodial parent” would be the parent who does not primarily reside with the child. The “custodial parent”, on the other hand is the primary caregiver of the child, the parent who primarily lives with the child and is usually entitled to child support help from the noncustodial parent.

Generally, child support help would benefit the child or the custodial parent until: (1) he or she reaches “age of majority”; (2) the parent’s responsibilities and rights have been terminated; (3) the child has been declared as “emancipated”; and (4) he child is now on active military duty.

Other individuals who are supposed to pay for child support help are noncustodial parents who would not want to take part in the care of their children; noncustodial parents kept away from their children; fathers who never married but who is a legal parent of a child; separated or divorced couples who have agreed in a child support help system; and any noncustodian man nor woman separated from his or her partner who has a child.

Paying for Child Support

In paying for child support, remember that there are certain contributory factors to the payment of child support according to state, living expenses, parent’s incomes, and the special and basic needs of children. Often, these state guidelines calculate how much child support should be given by a parent. In some instances, there are exceptions and special considerations according to how the courts or a family judge sees the situation. Judges wil usually review income statements and financial sheets completed by the parent in detail that lists all the sources of income and expenses before reaching the net child support to be given regularly by the noncustodian parent.

The payment of child support help is largely dependent on the income of the noncustodian parent. This universal standard states that child support is fundamentally “income driven” and thus, it is significant for parents to know what composes the legal definition of “income” under child support guidelines and what funds can be derived as income.
Other Considerations in Child Support

The most important factor in considering child support help would be the unique discrepancies per state in setting child support. Other situations affect child support like college expenses, summer vacation, mode of payment of support and joint custody situations and informal out-of-court agreements.

Child Support Fraud

Discrepancies in child support and child custody may give rise to child support fraud. In many cases, child support fraud would refer to paternity fraud. In this article we study paternity fraud and how to avoid it.

Paternity Fraud

Paternity fraud is when a mother claims that a man has fathered a child for her to get child support even if she knows that the man is not actually the biological father of the child. Paternity fraud has been a constant issue by father’s rights activists. This form of child support fraud plays upon the “non-paternity event” wherein there is a discrepancy in paternity involved.

There have been many stereotypical victims to this child support fraud: the biological father deprived of his relationship with his child, the child deprived of his or her relationship with the biological father and the non-biological father. The primary motive for this modus operandi is to solicit finances where it is not due by opting a non-biological father to pay off child support for the benefit of the mother and the child that is not even his. This happens when a man has paid up child support for another man’s son or daughter.

Genetic Testing to Fight Child Support Fraud

The advancement in technologies have taken fraud-busting to the next level. The most accurate and high-tech ways to prove paternity or child support fraud is through genetic fingerprinting. Genetic fingerprinting allows men with suspicions of parentage to clarify and confirm actual fatherhood of a child. To avail of this, a man would usually inquire for a paternity test – a test that proves positive genetic identification to the father. Consent from the mother to avail of this test is not universally true on al situations.

Because it is sometimes considered a move that is not in the best interests of children, genetic testing been discouraged in some forms and jurisdictions. This would be incredibly frustrating if a man would really want to prove that he is the actual father of the child he is supporting. A man would very likely reject a woman and her child if ever he finds out that the child is not his. Non-paternity has been proven to be a common occurrence around the world.

Avoiding Child Support Fraud

Preventive measures are needed to make sure that you are free from child support fraud. Avoid illicit relationships with women of ill-repute. Avoid casual sex with women you don’t trust or abstain from casual sex all together and be faithful to one woman. It is also wise to keep track of your sexual partners for health and paternity reasons.

Also, be diligent in proving paternity. Be cautious with your dealings with women who may claim that you are he father of her child. Take extra steps for her to prove that this is true. Otherwise, you may also opt for a paternity test to prove if a probable child support fraud exists.

Child Custody Modification

“Modification” would mean “change”. Child custody modification is filing a court action so that you can change the terms, conditions and stipulations of a final court order especially on where and with whom your child lives and with whom your child visits. Other names for this would be a Parenting Plan, a Residential Schedule, or a Custody Decree.

Child custody modification would be between the parents of the child – you and your ex-spouse or you and your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or you and a relative or someone else who has the right to time with a child.

There are actually two kinds of modifications: (1) major modification and (2) minor modification. Major modifications allow you to make big changes in your Parenting Plan like asking the court to change custody. Minor modifications only make small changes in your Parenting Plan like changing the dates of holiday visits.

Major Child Custody Modification

There must be good grounds at the first “Adequate Cause” hearing for a major modification to occur. Once a good reason has been proven, the court will have to set a date for the next trial. Once the other parent disagrees to the proposed change, a trial will take place where a judge will decide to allow or disallow the major modification.

During the trial, the parent who opts for major child custody modification has to prove that a life-altering changes have occurred while the current Parenting Plan has taken effect. This “change” is called a “substantial change of circumstances”.

Substantial change of circumstances necessarily occur in major child custody modification if: (1) both parents or guardians agree to the proposed major modification; (2) the parent or guardian with the custody under the existing Parenting Plan has allowed the child to reside with the other parent or guardian for a substantial and meaningful period of time; (3) the place the child is living in as mentioned in the  existing Parenting Plan is not physically, emotionally or mentally safe and may cause harm to the child if the child continues to live at this place of residence; and (4) the other parent or guardian who is not following the terms and conditions of the current Parenting Plan has been held in contempt by the court for a minimum of two times in three years or if the parent or guardian is criminally convicted of “custodial interference” in the first and/or second degree.

It’s not enough that the parent or guardian wanting the change thinks that his or her life has improved so much, enough to warrant a drastic child custody modification and the eventual custody of the child.

Minor Child Custody Modification

A minor child custody modification may be prompted by the rule of the courts if: (1) there has been “substantial change of circumstances” in either the parent’s life or in the child’s life; and (2) the modification or change is in the best interests of the child. An example of a minor modification would be a change in the parent’s work schedule or if one parent wants to take the child on a longer vacation than mentioned in the existing Parenting Plan because the child is now older and can now spend an even longer time away from the other guardian or parent.

Minor modifications may not change the status of the child custody except if the guardian or parent is moving to another home with the child.

Child Custody Mediation

The moment parents cannot agree on a compromise on who will gain custody of a child or of the children, a judge sends them to child custody mediation.

The term “custody” would mean the person who the child resides or lives with and/or the person who makes important legal decisions for the child regarding education, health care and other major decisions. Custody, kinds of custody or the manner in which custody is carried out would often be called a “Parenting Plan”.

Role of Mediators in Child Custody Mediation

When parents cannot decide or agree on a compromise, the judge calls on a “mediator” to assist and facilitate in making a Parenting Plan during child custody mediation procedures. A Parenting Plan mentions the primary physical caregiver or the parent or guardian the child will live with and who between them would be making important legal decisions in the care of the child.

Mediators work for courts in instances of child custody mediation. The provide help to parents or guardians in making appropriate Parent Plans that would benefit the child. Mediators are usually qualified individuals who especially know how to work with separated or divorced parents. They usually talk about and provide help in matters of legal custody, physical custody, supervised visitation, child’s attorneys and evaluators. For parents or guardians who do not speak English, an interpreter is usually called in. If an interpreter is unavailable, you must bring someone to interpret on your behalf. You must not use the child in interpreting for you.

Mediators help parents create a Parenting Plan in child custody mediation that will (1) protect both parents and guardians and the child; (2) state how both parents and guardians will make the decisions for their child; and (3) state when and how much time the child will spend with each parent or guardian. They also help you formulate a “safety plan” with the other parent or guardian for you and your children. These plans help in suggesting visiting plans, housing, financing and counseling.

Mediators and Domestic Abuse

Sometimes, parents or guardians could not decide during child custody mediation procedures because of threats and coercion from one parent or guardian. Mediators are aware of this and understand the workings of domestic violence and child abuse. For instances of domestic violence and child abuse, you may report this to the mediator when talking to him or her alone. It is the discretion of the mediator to tell the other parent what you say. He or she may immediately report domestic and child abuse. Given the broad nature of a mediator’s roles, it is important for you to clarify these roles especially those pertaining to privacy rules.

For instances of domestic or child abuse outside child custody mediation, a mediator or court may prompt parents to agree on “supervised visitation”. Supervised visitation would mean that a child may visit the other guardian or parent if another adult is present to supervise or facilitate the visit. The mediator may help with you in implementing supervised visitation if a supervised visitation center is present. Otherwise, he or she may provide you with alternatives to solve this problem.

Child custody mediation procedures appreciate both parents’ or guardians’ opinions and decisions regarding the prospective custody of their child. It also provides them a common ground to solve visiting, housing, financing and counseling plans for the benefit of your child’s interests. Mediators are called in to help facilitate and supervise child custody mediation. For most part, it is incredibly and surprisingly easy for parents to settle on an agreement so long as they put the good of their child in their minds.

Who Gets Custody Of Child In Divorce?

Deciding on who the child gets to live with or residency arrangements for your children after you and your partner break up or separate is a complicated issue. On the condition that both of you cannot decide who gets custody of child in divorce, it is the court who has the final say. Depending on the situation and individual circumstances, child custody in divorce can be a very painful process.

Who Gets Custody of Child In Divorce: Parental Responsibility and Residency

Even if a married couple separates, both individuals have to perform parental or mother and father roles to the children that they leave behind. If the parents are unmarried and decide to break up, it is always the mother who gets custody of child in divorce or separation.

This has changed since year 2002 when unmarried fathers can now have a say in who gets custody of child in divorce. A father gains parental responsibility if he jointly registers the birth of his child with the mother. A father can also gain parental responsibility if, together with his former partner, he signs a Parental Responsibility Agreement. This agreement can be signed in any phase or time period of the relationship or in separation. This power can also be ordered by the court during and after separation and divorce.

Whether or not fathers have parental custody and responsibility, fathers have the responsibility to financially cover and support their children.

Other than these, a statement of arrangements is usually filed after separation and divorce which suggests who gets custody of child in divorce or separation, where, which schools the children are going to attend, who visits them and how often, and who will care for them.

The divorce petitioner usually present the statement of arrangements to the other party for agreement before it is submitted to the courts. The courts encourage both parents to compromise and set mutual goals in the physical care and legal decision-making of the children, among others.

Who Gets Custody of Child In Divorce: The Best Interests of the Child

The main criteria on who gets custody of child in divorce would be the best interests of the child. The following factors necessitate the best interests of the child.

In considering the “best interests of the child”, the court, and the parents or guardians must consider the following criteria in no exact ranking or order: (a) preferences of the children and (b) their emotional ties to each parent; (c) lifestyle and social factors of each parent and (d) the ties their children have to the home, school and community; (e) the capability and willingness of each parent to provide for the needs of the child; (f) the family’s history of domestic abuse, child abuse and substance abuse in their many forms; and (g) the continuing special health needs and age of the child.

For a child custody agreement to work, parents must agree on a specific child custody arrangement. A child custody agreement is usually informal and voluntary, out-of-court decisions while child custody arrangements would normally focus on the decisions of court on who gets custody of child in divorce and separation and whether parental responsibility and jurisdiction covers physical, legal, sole or shared responsibility.

Top Legal Advice Child Custody

No other situation compares to a child custody war. It takes much choice, deep thought and preparation in strategizing out of a child custody war. Here are five top legal advice in child custody that you could use in every child custody battle.

Step One: It’s No Battle After All: Be Objective and Cooperative.
Now more than ever is the time to be objective and cooperative. It doesn’t mean that the both of you separated and divorced that you both do not have the obligation and responsibility of being a parent. When parents DO fight, nothing is truly resolved. Children would need the additional measures for parents to get together and show them some love and support despite the fact that the parents are separating anyway. Rather than just taking each other and cancelling each other out in the court room, compromise and get into mediation. Child custody is all about your child and his future. Not everything’s an ego trip. Not everything’s about you nor is it about your ex-partner.

Step Two: Consider Your Child’s Best Interests.
In considering legal advice in child custody, remember to work towards the “best interests of the child”. The court, and the parents or guardians must consider the following criteria in no exact ranking or order: (a) preferences of the children and (b) their emotional ties to each parent; (c) lifestyle and social factors of each parent and (d) the ties their children have to the home, school and community; (e) the capability and willingness of each parent to provide for the needs of the child; (f) the family’s history of domestic abuse, child abuse and substance abuse in their many forms; and (g) the continuing special health needs and age of the child. Think about how these factors affect the future life of your children as well as yours.

Step Three: Initial Custody Determination.
If you really think that you could give your child a better future as potentially compared to your ex-partner, you will have to convince the courts that you are the right parent for the job. You have to prove that you have adequate resources, values, abilities and skills enough to raise children on your own. To really get good at this step, you have to think primarily about the child’s best interest.

Step Four: Requesting a Change of Custody.

If you think that winning the custody of your child over your ex-partner would improve the child’s quality of life and condition, you have to have a strong basis on how to prove it. For many reasons, our courts would not want to uproot a child from a familiar environment and you have to work against the court’s natural favor towards letting your child stay with your ex-partner. You have to be flexible in meeting the needs of your child as well as strong in your decision to get your child’s custody from an ex.

Step Five: Win (or Lose) Graciously.
After a decision has been reached, you have to learn how to accept or respect this decision. or Think about it this way. If you have won custody, remember your duties and responsibilities as a parent. If ever you’ve lost, remember that your duties and responsibilities as a parent have not ceased. Come to think about it, no one has really or technically “won” anything.

How to Prove Emotional Child Abuse Custody

Emotional child abuse would involve verbal put-downs, taunting a child, withholding affection, threatening physical harm, or destroying the child’s valued possessions or harming his or her pets. Often, proving that emotional child abuse exists, you may need the testimonies of experienced psychiatrists who specialize in child psychology, along with the statements from your child and other witnesses involved during the situation of abuse to show you how to prove emotional child abuse custody. You will also need a vast knowledge-base on how to prove emotional child abuse custody.

The following are steps on how to prove emotional child abuse custody.

How to Prove Emotional Child Abuse Custody: Solid Steps

Step One: Confirm the standard for emotional abuse in your state. Do a little background check on how your state defines emotional abuse. There are may be some unique criteria per state when it comes to proving emotional abuse. Research by using child psychology and psychiatry books on how to prove emotional child abuse custody. These findings may raise your awareness and help you build a case for your child’s emotional abuse.

Step Two: Have your child evaluated by a specialist or an experienced child psychologist specializing in the dynamics of child abuse and child neglect. Although much of her assessment will be qualitative, by nature. His or her testimony in court written reports and depositions can help on how to prove emotional child abuse custody.

Step Three: Consult your child’s other immediate caregivers, teachers, peers and counselors. Adults who see your child on a regular or daily basis are most appropriate in evaluating changes in your child’s behavior in court. These negative changes in behavior and demeanor may prompt you of signs of emotional abuse.

Step Four: Give the court specific instances on how to prove emotional child abuse custody. These examples show how your child’s behavior has been negatively changed or how he has suffered. Create a constantly-updated and concise list of the types of abuse he has been through. You can get these accounts by means of reports from other caregivers or by teachers. As much as possible, list down specific dates and times when these incidents have occurred.

Step Five: Prove that emotional abuse and harm has been inflicted deliberately. In most cases, you will have to prove that the abuser intended to cause emotional abuse and harm to your child. This may involve you to prove that such abusive acts are done frequently, repeatedly or on a regular basis and that the abuser understood that these actions will cause harm to your child.

Summary: How to Prove Emotional Abuse Custody

Proving emotional abuse is really hard on the parent especially to the primary caregiver who has full responsibility over the child. What’s worse would probably be if the primary caregiver, himself or herself, is inflicting the harm and that it’s up to he noncustodial parent to come to the rescue. Since the child lives with the abuser, how to prove emotional abuse custody is extremely necessary.


How to Get Temporary Custody of a Child

Temporary custody is a short-term solution while waiting for divorce to be finalized. Not only can temporary child custody help avoid further disputes between parents but it can also provide you with some recourse once the other parent does not comply with the set custody arrangement. It is important then, for parents to know how to get temporary custody of a child as a band-aid solution while waiting for the finality of divorce and agreeing upon child custody. Also, emergency temporary child custody orders also help prevent a parent from kidnapping his or her child.

Understanding How to Get Temporary Custody of a Child

Temporary child custody orders can be made while carrying out divorce petitions, as a totally separate court order or as a restraining order in special cases in some states. A temporary child custody order is NOT a permanent solution to child custody. Instead, decisions on final custody is determined by custody trials or during or at the end of divorce proceedings.

How to get temporary custody of a child? To get temporary child custody, you will have to file this petition for emergency temporary custody. The family court will assist you in completing the proper paperwork and how to get temporary custody of a child. Depending on state laws and court schedules, it is possible to get a temporary custody order the same day. Temporary custody orders usually state how long it would be valid for, which is normally the next court appearance.

If a temporary court order is absent, both you and your ex-partner have equal rights to the custody of your children and he or she cannot take your children away from you. If you are concerned that a temporary child custody order won’t work, carry out an order of custody and visitation before the divorce which will soon determine this issue of custody. Also, when in doubt, clarify on how to get temporary custody of a child to appropriate authorities.

How to Get Temporary Custody of a Child and Modify It.

Remember these facts when figuring out how to get temporary custody of a child. You may file for a petition to modify the existing temporary custody order. If your ex-partner does not agree to this, both of you will have to attend a trial and settle at an agreement while the judge will base a decision on the best interests of your child. Temporary custody is in effect as long as it is stated to be in effect which is usually the next court hearing. If temporary custody does not specify this, then it is for an indefinite period of time.

Moreover, you can appeal temporary child custody orders but this makes little sense anyway since child custody serves as a remedial solution to a short-term problem. Besides, by the time an appeal on the temporary order has been heard, a permanent child custody arrangement has already been made. You always have the right to appeal and file the necessary paperwork when it comes to temporary child custody orders.

How to Get Joint Custody of a Child

We have said a while back that joint custody works when separated or divorced parents or parents not cohabiting together consensually share the physical caregiver role and decision-making role in child care by scheduling and child custody agreements. How to get joint custody of a child to work for you both is another thing. Joint custody is awarded to parents who would want to share in child care responsibilities.

With these being said, we examine how to get joint custody of a child.

How to Get Joint Custody of a Child: Things to Consider

As much as possible hire a certified and qualified Family Law Specialist or any similar experienced individual specializing in custody disputes and family law. Your attorney will enumerate the forms you would need to fill up or the procedures you would have to go through. Complete them properly, accurately and truthfully. Also, think of conditions that would be in your child’s best interest. Consider these while you consult with your attorney. Preparation is one of the most crucial steps on how to get joint custody of a child.

Together with the attorney who will assist you in how to get joint custody of a child, you will draft a joint petition or you will first have to file a motion to amend an existing child custody order if one is already in effect. In filing for a petition, you have to cite justifiable reasons for the change or modification or the reasons behind joint custody. Your main arguments must focus on why joint custody is in the best interests of your child. If a custody order is not in effect, you will have to file a ‘new’ motion of joint custody or include how to get joint custody of a child in the petition for divorce.

How to Get Joint Custody of a Child: Filing the Petition

You will now have to file this petition to the clerk of court or proper authorities or court. Expect filing to be complicated if there is more than one state that is involved. Your attorney would naturally favor the home state where the child has resided or lived in for a minimum of six straight months. After filing the petition, you will have to pay a filing fee which generally ranges from $50 to $100.

After filing, you will have to serve a notice of filing. This notice must be served in part for the other parent. This can be done by you through the sheriff, regular or certified mail, or, in some limited cases, through publication in a paper of public circulation. Your attorney will have to handle this step for you.

Compromise with the other party and consider the best interest of the child in mind. Once the other party or parent has the opportunity to file his or her response to your petition or notice, you and the other parent or guardian are likely to settle in mediation especially on how to get joint custody of a child to work for you. For most part, joint custody arrangements are a compromised outcome from mediations. Many courts mandate parents and guardians to come up with Parenting Plans during mediations.

Lastly, go on a trial or hearing as supervised or facilitated by the court. If no compromise has been reached, then the parties will have to go to court and prove or present reasonable evidences and testimonies on whether or not a joint custody arrangement is the best interest of the child.

How To Get Full Custody Of A Child

Getting full custody of a child is very similar to the steps of getting any kind of custody agreement to work for you. The question is how to win it. For hints and tips on how to get full custody of a child, read on these common themes.

How to Get Full Custody of a child: The Common Themes

Choose The Right Qualified Lawyer, Opt For A Family Law Specialist
The most important investment you would hope for in how to get full custody of a child would be skilled, qualified and experienced legal counsel. Find a reputable attorney who has a good batting average of winning custody cases that are similar to yours. Just don’t decide on a lawyer at the whim of a nice fancy ad or simply by looking at a phonebook, look for a Certified Family Lawyer.

Organize Your Financial Records

More than ever, financial stability plays a key role in how to get full custody of a child because it proves how adequately you could provide for the care of your child. Settle your debts, bank statements, stubs, notes and investment reports for they may soon be required as proof in courts. By taking hold of these information, you will set yourself on a considerable vantage point viable enough to get you into custody consideration.

Recall And Record Child Care Costs

Keep track of how you care for your child. The more you are aware of your child’s special and daily needs, the more the courts will favor you. Consider food, clothing, medicine, child care and health care expenses as well as detailed procedures on how to get legal custody of a child. These will soon determine the amount of the other parent’s child support payments.

Clean Up Your Past Personal History

As much as possible, get rid of negative evidence that could possibly destroy your reputation as a parent in the courts. Try to erase or rid of evidence that traces back to substance abuse, drug use, alcoholism, infidelity and instances of unemployment as these will soon put you in a negative light. Courts will favorably consider people who are trying to deal with and fix their past issues therefore, cleaning up your messed-up past should take an immediate priority in how to get full custody of a child. Prove to the court that you are indeed working hard to correct your past self and make amends in your life.

Dig Some Dirt

Remember that your spouse will not get into a court hearing for child custody unless he or she is apt on how to get full custody of your child. Your spouse can manipulate past events in your marriage to his or her advantage just to win child custody. Though it may be a little bit too cutthroat to use your spouse’s secrets against him or her, still, you must familiarize yourself to the events that led you to separate in the first place. Document these events and, as much as possible, back them up with matter-of-fact evidence.