Men With Minor Children

holdinghands.pngMen who have gone through a divorce with children, or a paternity action, become very familiar with the rules in their State regarding child support. They think that once the case is done, child support and other expenses have been decided. However, many men do not know that the State they live in can affect or overrule the child support amount ordered by the Court. Nor do they know that the State can actually help them in locating their former partners or keeping track of the history of your child support payments.

Men who have gone through a divorce with children, or a paternity action, become very familiar with the rules in their State regarding child support. They think that once the case is done, child support and other expenses have been decided. However, many men do not know that the State they live in can affect or overrule the child support amount ordered by the Court. Nor do they know that the State can actually help them in locating their former partners or keeping track of the history of your child support payments.

 

The State you live usually has a department or division that handles child support. Their responsibilities can include locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing child and medical support orders, monitoring and enforcing compliance with child and medical support orders, reviewing and initiating modification of support orders and distributing support collections.

 

The purpose of these agencies is to make sure that every child has a right to receive support from both parents even if the parents are divorced, separated or never married.

 

So, you are finally done with your court case, and an order of child support has been awarded to or against you. Then you receive a notice from the State you live in requesting your financial information to form a child support amount owed by you. Or that they are reopening your file to assess if the support order needs to be changed. If you do not respond or participate in the proceedings, the State will form their own calculations, and will order a child support amount that you may not think is accurate. This amount may be based on old income calculations, or even numbers supplied by your former partner. The repercussions of this can be very serious. This amount will be reported to a credit agency. You may not be able to receive loans for your new car or house. If you are in the military, it could cause you to lose your security clearance. You may also be ordered to pay health insurance for your child when you do not have insurance available through your work.

 

A further problem arises if you have never even read the mail that comes from the State. If you do not participate, nor do you read the final order from the State, you may not know you are supposed to pay child support. Regardless of whether you know or not, the amount keeps on growing. The State can also order up to a 12% interest a year on the unpaid amount, thus increasing your arrearage significantly. If your arrearage is increasing significantly ever month, you need to be aware that this could begin to affect your everyday life.

 

If your arrearage is a certain amount, the State can take away your driver’s license, or any other professional license you may maintain. This includes attorney’s bar licenses, or teaching certificates. They can also deny you the issuance of any type of license in that State, from driver’s licenses to recreational licenses, such as fishing licenses. The State can also put a hold on your passport, so you cannot leave the country. They can charge you with a felony for unpaid child support, and you can spend time on probation or in jail. And finally, if you do not respond, you may not realize that in addition to child support owed, the State has charged you for any public assistance the mother of your child has used.

 

Other services most states provide are: Withholding income through wages, Workers’ Compensation benefits, unemployment compensation benefits, etc.; intercepting federal and state income tax refunds; filing liens on personal and/or real property; intercepting lottery winnings; and working with other states to collect support when noncustodial parents live outside of your State.

 

However, the State can also help men. It can help men who are seeking service over their former spouses or girlfriends. The State has the addresses of those parties who pay or receive child support. Disclosing addresses by the State can be complicated, as it can be a misdemeanor. You can join the State in your action as a third party and have a motion heard to order them to release the address. The State can also help you by keeping a total of all child support paid and owed. This detailed payment history will help you if your former partner ever brings a claim against you.

Being aware of all the options is important for men to know, as the repercussions can be serious, and in some cases severe.

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