by Moses Apsan, Esq.
In an effort to collect more than $2 billion in unpaid child support payments, Indiana lawmakers passed a bill to hold back casino winnings from those who pay no attention to their court-ordered obligations. The Indiana Department of Child Services estimates more than 165,000 “deadbeat parents” each are indebted more than $2,000 in support payments. Colorado passed a parallel law in July 2008, resulting in more than $320 million in delinquent payments. Other states are following suit.
Every child, no matter, whether they are legal in this country or not, has the right of support from both parents. Many times, as a result of disputes between the parents, the child comes out the looser. In New York, the New York State Child Support Services, a not for profit agency, provides free assistance to parents in many ways. They can help you find an absent parent, establish legal fatherhood of a child, get a support order from the court for a child, including medical support, enforce unpaid child support, collect child support payments from a parent, review and change your support order for more support and even help you if your spouse is in another state. And best of all, to be eligible for these services you only have to be the custodial parent or guardian of the child.
Everything is free. Once you apply the following services are provided: Computer searches are used to find the parent, orders are taken for blood tests to prove paternity, support orders are obtained from the court for collection of support, arrears, and medical coverage to be automatically deducted from the paying parent s job. Every three years, the Support Collection Unit, can review your support order to make sure it is the correct amount allowed by law.
If you need this type of assistance go to your nearest Child Support Enforcement office. Be prepared to provide as much information about the absent parent as possible. The more information you provide, the faster you will receive support. You should have in your possession, the full name of the parent, current or last known address and phone number, current and last known work address and phone numbers, social security number (look at old pay stubs, tax records, military or medical records), income information (tax records, pay stubs, bank records), the child s birth certificate, marriage license, if applicable, divorce papers, any prior child support orders, a list of all your child related and personal expense, per month.
What is the amount you will receive in child support. Well, that depends largely on the non-custodial parents income and the state you reside. For example in New York, the general rule is that he will have to pay 17% of his salary if there is one child, 25% if there are two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children and no less that 35% if there are more than five children.
In additional there will also be an additional amount for medical coverage and baby-sitting expenses, when the custodial parent works. If an order for support is entered and the non-custodial parent fails to pay, the agency will help you get and order from a judge that will take the support payments directly out of his or her pay. And don t worry if he lives in another state. An inter state order can be entered. The court will then send the order to the state that your spouse lives. They will contact him, obtain a lawyer to represent you at no charge, and proceed to collect the child support for you.
For more information on locating the Family Court located in the county you live in go to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) site. Most importantly don’t give up if you are not receiving child support form the non-custodial parent. You must collect the child support, not for yourself, but for your child. The money belongs to him.