What to Do When You Receive a Child Support Petition
If you receive a formal petition for child support, it is important that you respond quickly and appropriately. You are legally obligated to provide child support if you are not the custodial parent, and avoiding this responsibility could lead to significant legal consequences.
The petition you receive will have specific instructions on the steps you need to take moving forward. Often, it will ask you to come to a court hearing, at which a judge decides how much child support you will be responsible for paying. This amount is determined by looking at factors such as each parent’s income, how much time the child spends with each parent and the various costs associated with raising a child.
Ultimately, all decisions courts make in both child support and custody matters are based on what is in the children’s best interests. And while might seem like you are at the mercy of the court in this situation, there are some things you can do to make the hearing go as smoothly as possible.
Getting ready for your hearing
When you go to your hearing, you should be prepared to provide evidence of your income and any other information or documents specifically requested by the court. If it is appropriate in your case, you may request a paternity test. The test will need to be conducted before child support can be determined.
Being sufficiently prepared will reflect well on you and help you avoid potential repercussions. Individuals who fail to show up to the hearing, fail to make their payments or delay in providing the courts with the information they need could be subject to wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension and, in more serious cases, jail time.
To learn more about the steps you should take after receiving a child support petition, contact the experienced Nassau County family law attorneys at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.