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In the world of law, child support is one of the most common topics lawyers and clients deal with on a daily basis. Yet despite being common, it is also one of the most complex, often because different states have different rules regarding how much needs to be paid, how long the payments will need to be made, and other factors. If you find yourself involved in a child support payment situation and are confused as to certain aspects of your case, speak to a family law attorney in Los Angeles at Burns Attorneys.
Are Stepparents Required to Financially Support Stepchildren?
Most of the time, the answer to this question is no. In most states, the law requires parents to financially support their children, regardless of whether a couple is married or divorced. When a court is attempting to calculate each parent's financial obligation in divorce cases, the income of the stepparent is generally not included in these calculations. However, it may be used in determining how much income a parent has access to for support, and some states do have laws in place requiring stepparents to contribute financially to support a child. Since these matters are often very contentious, hire knowledgeable Los Angeles lawyers for government mandated familial support payments to handle your case.
My Ex Doesn't Let Me See My Kids--Do I Still Owe Child Support?
Even though it may not seem fair to you that your ex-spouse lets you spend minimal amounts of time with your children, you are still legally obligated to pay child support. With rare exceptions, courts across the United States require biological parents to financially support their children. In many situations, people confuse child support orders with child custody and visitation orders, which are completely different areas. In fact, once a court issues a child support order toward you, failure to meet your financial obligations could find you facing fines, the loss of any professional licenses you may possess, or even spending time in jail. If you believe something is amiss regarding your child support order, discuss this with attorneys for financially backed payments.
How Long Am I Required to Pay Child Support?
While as a parent you may always feel a sense of obligation to help out your child financially, the law in most states only requires you to support your child financially until they reach the age of majority, which is usually 18. However, some states require parents to provide financial support past age 18 if the child is still in high school or attending college.
Should you be a mother who is struggling to handle your child's financial needs due to a spouse that will not meet their child support obligations, contact child support lawyers for mothers at Burns Attorneys to discuss your case.
What if my Parental Rights were Terminated?
Should you be in a situation where your parental rights were terminated by a court, your ex-spouse has no legal right to force you to make child support payments. In any situation where a court has terminated your rights or you have consented to relinquish your parental rights, your financial support obligations to the child end. However, should you still have child support payments that are past due, you will still be responsible for making these payments, unless the court grants you a waiver. If you need legal help for child support, speak to caring and experienced attorneys at Burns Attorneys.
Do Emancipated Children Get Child Support?
Just as it is when your parental rights end, courts have also ruled that emancipated children are not entitled to receive child support payments. To be considered emancipated, children must file a formal request with the court demonstrating their ability to live without parental or state-assisted financial support. In addition, should a child join the military, most courts will consider them to be emancipated, ending whatever financial support obligations you may have had toward the child. To learn more about this complex area of child support payments, consult with a family support attorney to get these matters settled quickly and fairly.
Do Fathers Have the Same Rights as Mothers?
Absolutely. If you are a father who is the custodial parent of your child, you have every right legally to request child support payments from your ex-wife. In situations where a child is being raised by a same-sex couple, courts will still use the same formula as that used for heterosexual couples. As always, the primary factors examined by the court are the income of each parent and how much time each spends with the child. Thus, when you need affordable child care attorneys, make an appointment to consult with a member of our legal team at Burns Attorneys.
I Never Married My Child's Mother--Do I Still Owe Child Support?
If you are a man who had a child with a woman but never married her, you are still required by law to pay child support until the child reaches majority age. However, it is important to note that before doing so, the court must be convinced you are indeed the child's biological father. Most of the time, men acknowledge paternity by signing a document known as a declaration of paternity. In other situations, paternity may be established following a paternity suit that relies on DNA to make this determination. Should you receive documents from a court regarding child support payments that list you as the father, never ignore them, especially if you have any doubt as to if this is true.
Almost always the most contentious issue surrounding a divorce or other situation involving a couple, child support payments are crucial to helping a child maintain a reasonable standard of living. When you need child support lawyers for mothers who will always fight hard for you in court, consult with Burns Attorneys.