Child support is an often tricky subject for many individuals to figure out after a divorce or in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. It can be difficult for anyone to negotiate with an ex-spouse or with the other parent of a child, especially if there is unresolved anger or hurt between the two of them. But with the right help, child support can be a much less complicated conversation. That is why it is important to contact a qualified and experienced divorce attorney.
We at Kaufman, Nichols, & Kaufman can advise you on what to do in this situation and answer any questions you may have. A question that we often get at our firm is whether a custodial parent needs to file for a court order to get paid child support. We are also frequently asked if the non-custodial parent has to pay child support before court orders are issued. Continue reading to explore the answer to these questions.
What Is Child Support?
The definition of child support is the amount of money/resources that the non-custodial parent must give to the custodial parent every month that is intended to support the child. The custodial parent is the parent who lives with the child for the majority of the time. Parents are legally required to support minor children until they reach the age of 18 or graduate high school, whichever is later.
In cases where parents have joint custody of the child, parents may still be required to pay child support. In Utah, both parents are financially accountable for the child if they have joint custody. The amount that each parent must pay depends on the custody arrangement, the number of children that need support, and each parent’s income.
Does The Non-Custodial Parent Need To Pay Before Court Orders Are Issued?
The simple answer to this question is no. The non-custodial parent does not have to pay child support to the custodial parent until there is a court order in place. Sometimes parents will create an agreement on their own to make payments to the custodial parent. However, these types of child support agreements cannot be enforced by the court. That is why it is important to go through the right legal avenues when navigating divorce and/or co-parenting.
How To Establish Child Support
Parents are legally required to support their children. However, in order to have child support enforced by the court system, you must legally establish it in court. As part of that process, the child’s parentage will be reviewed, monthly child support costs will be put in place, income and insurance information will be collected, and both parents will be served the tentative child support order. The order can be further reviewed if one of the parties objects. The timeline for securing child support can look very different for every situation. However, if you move through the right hoops and have legal assistance, the process can be much smoother.
A Family And Divorce Lawyer Can Be Helpful
If you are trying to see your child more often, need help securing support for your child, or would simply like to go through legal avenues to communicate with your ex-spouse, we at Kaufman, Nichols, & Kaufman are here to help. We provide expert legal advice to individuals and families who are going through the divorce process and/or negotiating child support and visitation rights. We are experienced in several practice areas including family law, personal injury law, business law, criminal law, real estate law, and estate planning. If you are in need of representation or legal counsel, reach out to our office today.