How to Get Child Support in Ogden
By law, parental responsibility falls equally on both parents of a child. If the parents are not together, then the non- custodial parent has to pay their part of the expenses of bringing up a child. Sometimes, parents come into an agreement about how they will meet the costs of the child. Other times, unfortunately, one parent may refuse to honor their obligations. This leaves their partner to bear a disproportionate burden.
If your partner is refusing to pay up, you may be lost on how to get the support you deserve. Fortunately, the state of Utah has an elaborate legal framework that caters to your needs. Here are the steps you should take to obtain parental support.
Step 1: Identify the Other Parent
The first step towards obtaining support for your child is to identify the whereabouts of the other parent. You need to know their names, addresses, employers, and other such details. It would be impossible to claim support from an unidentified person, and the law does not work in futility.
If you are having trouble finding the other parent, some state agencies can help. The Federal Parent Locator Agency and the Department of Motor Vehicles are some of the most helpful agencies in this respect. However, if you find that the state machinery moves too slow, feel free to hire a private detective or to embark on a search by yourself. The sooner you can get the information about the other parent, the less complicated things will be for you.
In case of disputes as to the father of the child, they must be quelled early enough. A court will be hesitant to impose support orders on a parent who claims that the child is not theirs. The best and most effective way to establish paternity is through genetic testing. Courts often rely on the results of such tests to settle the question of parental responsibility, so you need not worry much about contested paternity.
Step 2: Get a Support Order
After you have satisfactorily identified the other parent, the next step is to seek a court order directing the other parent to support your child. You can petition the court yourself, seek the help of the child support office, or engage a lawyer to represent you. Often, the smart approach is to seek professional legal assistance as the advocate is experienced in matters of family law, and they are well equipped to handle your case.
Whereas every parent unquestionably bears a duty to support their child, how much they have to pay in support depends on each situation. The courts in Utah look at different factors before deciding the amount of support. The most pertinent of these are:
• The needs of the child
• The other parent’s financial status, including their wealth and income
• The parent’s financial obligations
• The amount of time the child spends with each parent in cases of joint custody
• The ability of the parent to earn, including their imputed income
After considering these and other factors, the judge will then come up with a figure of how much the other parent should pay. This amount is not cast in stone and can be adjusted if the circumstances change. Additionally, a parent who is willing can pay more than what the court orders, but not anything less than the ordained amount.
You should note that authorities will only enforce a court- decreed support order. This means that even if you and your co- parent have a separate agreement that is not ordered by the judge, it is not enforceable at law. To safeguard your interests, you should have any agreements regarding the welfare of your children ordained by the court.
Step 3: Collecting the Funds
The final step is collecting the money owed to you by the other parent. Ideally, the non- custodial parent should willingly remit the funds to you as they fall due. Realistically, this is easier said than done. If the other parent does not cooperate, the state has some coercive measures it can take against the other parent.
If details of their employment are available, the employer may be directed to garnish their wages and remit the money to child support services. Other measures include:
• Reporting the defaulting parent to credit bureaus for their support debt
• Suspending their professional, driving or other licenses
• Withholding their federal payments and tax refunds
• Denying them passports
• Putting liens on their property
Ogden Divorce and Child Support Attorneys
Raising your child without the support of the other parent can be difficult and particularly unfair to you. Thankfully, the law is clear on parental responsibility, and you should use it to get the support you deserve. If you feel confused about how to get support, talk to a lawyer. It will help clarify the situation.
At Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman, we provide personal, professional representation for a wide range of child support matters. Whether you need to establish child support or are in need of assistance with child support modification, we are prepared to guide you through every step of the process. Our Ogden child support attorneys are dedicated to helping you obtain the best possible outcome to your situation. We handle spousal and child support cases throughout Utah and the Ogden Area.