Child Support Enforcement
According to the Association for the Enforcement of Child Support, over $41 billion is owed to thirty million children in the United States in child support. Child support is quite a touchy topic in the U.S. and non-payment of child support has led to many parents and children getting poor or living below the poverty line.
If you are going through a divorce and you are keeping the child, it is important that you file for child support the moment you and your spouse decide or agree to separate. However, if you are unmarried and you end up having a child, you should file for child support the moment your child is born.
There are laws that require biological and adoptive parents to support their child until the child reaches the age of majority which is 18 years in most states. This time can be extended if the child has a disability.
Whether you are the mother or the father, you have the legal right to get child support as long as you have the custody of the child. However, step-parents are in no way obligated to pay child support for their spouse's child from a previous marriage or relationship. In contrast, a biological father who has never married the mother of his child is obligated to pay child support.
Child support is given based on a court order after a divorce is granted or a marriage is dissolved. This court order is binding and if there is no court order then the parent is not obligated to pay child support.
However, you cannot get child support if you cannot locate the parent of the child. Therefore, it is important that you know where your spouse works. If your spouse does not pay child support, you can resort to child support enforcement and there are laws that deal with issues like this.
A lawyer dealing in divorce and child support issues would be best equipped to tell you all the nitty-gritties of child support and child support enforcement. However, you can also go to legal websites on the internet and educate yourself on child support issues so that you know how to deal with them, if necessary.
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