Archive for March, 2017
When noncustodial parents cannot pay the child support payments that they have been ordered to make, they need to contact the court clerk and the Office of the Attorney General right away. The court does not reduce or reimburse payments if parents fall behind on providing the funds, and notifying the OAG or court clerk does not automatically result in lower monthly payments. To achieve this, the parent needs to file for a modification to the child support orders and obtain a new one.
Noncustodial parents could qualify for child support order modifications if substantial changes have occurred in their lives and are affecting their ability to make payments. There are two main criteria considered for a modification. The child support order must be at least three years old, and the amount of the payments must differ by $100 or 20 percent compared to what the parent would pay if the order is changed.
One reason why noncustodial parents may seek modifications to child support orders is the loss of employment. The court might require parents in this position to demonstrate that they are searching for other jobs or are part of employment training schemes.
As soon as noncustodial parents lose their jobs and are unsure of when they could obtain employment again, it may be in their best interests, as well as those of their children, to seek a child support order modification. Doing so could help them avoid being fined or even imprisoned.
Family law matters are not something that courts take lightly, especially when there is a child involved. When parents are battling for custody of their child, there are several things that the courts will look at to help them make the right decision. A parent’s income and physical condition are both very important to the courts, but so are things like the child’s wishes and who has acted as the primary caretaker. Of course, before they can factor this in, they will have to determine who the primary caretaker is by looking at what responsibilities each parent has taken on.
When trying to determine which parent is the primary caretaker courts will look at which parent is responsible for the following:
• Planning and preparing the child’s meals.
• Grooming, bathing and dressing the child.
• Assisting with the learning of reading, writing and other skills.
• Purchases clothing and other necessities.
In many situations, there is one parent who has taken on all of the responsibilities, even though both should be contributing. This important factor could be what helps the court make its final decision in your case. However, just because the courts will look at who has been the primary caretaker, doesn’t mean that the other parent has no chance of being awarded custody.
Resolution around child custody cases are difficult for many parents. They want what is best for their child, but what they feel is best may not be similar to what the judge decides. That being the case, parents will want to work hard to prove that they are the best fit to be primary caretaker and deserve custody.
Remember, ultimately the Court will do what it believes is in the best interest of the child.