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Child Support Laws & Helpful Tips
States provide free legal resources for low income families namely no cost and low cost child support lawyers; pro bono family law legal advice and legal aid. It is usually granted and determined by an individual’s income level. If a parent wishes to take the free legal service of a family law attorney, he must have a limited disposable income.State agencies and non-profit associations manage those organizations offering direct pro bono legal help or free referrals.
You can utilize the following resources in finding free child support lawyers.
Who can get Free Child Support Attorneys?
Usually the low income or poor individuals are the primary beneficiaries of pro bono, low cost and no cost legal services and representations. Legal non-profit organizations, BAR Associations and government agencies offer these services to thepublic.
People falling under the following categories are eligible to avail the services of free child support attorneys.
- People with low and moderate income
- Disabled individuals
- Elderly people
- Domestic violence victims
- Military personnel and veterans
Free child support attorneys from Pro Bono Legal Programs
Pro bono community programs offer no cost lawyers and legal services to people with low income. State and county BAR associations manage these programs and some of these programs offer assistance in child support and family law issues. Pro bono lawyers are volunteer licensed attorneys. Every state offers a variety of these programs to help with legal representation. The American BAR association keeps a state wise list of no cost legal services. Eligible persons are offered free lawyers from these services.
Legal Aid Societies Providing Free Family Law Attorneys
Federal and private organizations fund legal aid societies. Every state has a legal aid office to assist low income and other eligible persons. Attorneys who specialize in specific laws work for such offices, including lawyers who specialize in family law and child support. Child custody issues and getting protective orders in domestic violence cases are included in Family law assistance. The Legal Service Corporation maintains a list of Legal Aid programs that can be searched state wise.
Community ServicesOffering No Cost and Low Cost Child Support Lawyers
Low and moderate income people can get legal referral services from Lawhelp.org which is a not for profit organization. They provide attorneys who work as volunteers for free or charge low cost fees. These lawyers offer services including family law, child support advice and other legal topics. By accessing the site lawhelp.org and using the “Family and Juvenile” and “Child Support/Spousal Support” tabs you can find recommendations to free attorneys.
Child Support Enforcement Agency Providing Free Legal Services
Child support orders are established and enforced by child support enforcement agency of each state.Free attorneys' services for persons receiving temporary social services are provided by the agency. The agency may also provide legal services with child support issues, such as collections to low income custodial parents. For legal assistance one can contact the collection department in the enforcement agency.
Child Support Payment Calculators and Formula Components
All states have definite rules to establish child support payments.Nevertheless, there are few standards that are usually used by all the states.Most of the child support formulas include the following points included (added or deducted) which are employed by various jurisdictions. It’s advised that individuals make a note of this information prior to estimating child support payments.
- Income – Almost every state uses income of both parents to calculate child support payment.
- Allowance for deductions - If a parent has been ordered to pay child support previously, allowance for deductions for previous established child support orders are taken into account while calculating child support payment.
- Medical Care –Expenditures linked to medical care are included in the child support amount.
- Childcare expenses – This is the money spent while the parent looks for a job, these are included in the child support amount.
- Additional expenses – There can also be additional expenditures as agreed in the Child Support Agreement.
It should be noted that these formulas provide only the estimates of child support payments and these payments may be raised or lowered by the court.
How to establish Child Support Order?
Custodial or non-custodial parents can apply for a child support order at the local agency in their county of residence or via internet. You must pay a non-refundable processing fee of $25 (money order or certified check) at the time of application. It usually takes 20 calendar days to establish a child support order. The agency will get in touch with you if additional information is needed from you.
What type of enforcement actions can be taken against the non-custodial parent for not paying support?
Some of the administrative enforcement actions taken by the Division of Child Support Services are automatic wage withholding, drivers and professional license suspension, tax refund and lottery intercept and referral to credit bureaus. If administrative enforcement actions fail, contempt actions are taken. The decision regarding enforcement tools to be used is taken by the agent assigned to your case.
Is there a program that will pay the non-custodial parent's support if he/she fails to pay?
No. Right now there are no programs to provide support unpaid by an individual funded by state or federal government.
What happens when the non-custodial parent quits his/her job?
The Division of Child Support Services must be intimated by the employers in writing if a non-custodial parent's job is terminated. Then, the agent assigned to your case will evaluate your situation and decide the next enforcement action to be taken.