When you are not living with your child’s co-parent, one of you usually must pay child support to the other. Although state guidelines determine how much child support a parent should pay, discussions of the issue often become contentious.
An experienced family attorney could assist you whether you are seeking child support or will be paying it. A Lincoln County child support lawyer could explain the law, protect your rights, and help you resolve child support with as little conflict as possible.
Negotiating Child Support in Separation or Divorce
Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children. The non-residential parent usually pays child support to the parent the children live with most of the time. If the parents share equal or nearly equal time with the children, the parent with the higher income usually pays the lower-income parent.
Kansas issues statewide guidelines for calculating child support that account for each parent’s gross domestic income minus deductions for:
- Work-related childcare
- Support paid to other children
- Other defined expenses
A residential parent who does not need the money cannot waive child support because the support is the child’s right, not the parent’s.
Each parent must present substantial documentation of their income and assets when calculating child support. This process is often complicated and extremely time-consuming. A diligent Lincoln County attorney could help a parent compile the necessary documentation and complete the required worksheet to determine the child support payment in a specific case.
Child Support for Single Mothers
When a single mother gives birth, and the father does not complete an acknowledgment of paternity form, the mother is the child’s only legal parent. If the father does not voluntarily agree to pay child support, the mother must ask the court to issue an order of paternity obligating the father to pay. When the mother or child receives public aid like KanCare or the Successful Families Program, the state Department of Children and Families could petition the court for an order of paternity.
Unless the father acknowledges paternity, the court will order a genetic test. If the test proves the man is the child’s father, the court will order him to pay child support. A dedicated child support lawyer in Lincoln County could represent the rights of either parent in a paternity action.
The father will have the right to request visitation and custody, but if the mother objects, the court will only grant the request if the father can prove it is in the child’s best interests. Courts treat child support as a separate issue from visitation. A parent must pay for their child’s support even if they have no relationship with the child.
Making and Receiving Child Support Payments
When courts issue a child support order, they usually direct the parents to use the Division of Children and Families’ Kansas Payment Center to process child support payments. Doing so ensures that the state can track the payments and makes it easier to take enforcement action if a parent falls behind. Handling child support payments this way also prevents the parents from paying or receiving money directly from each other, which could interfere with their ability to co-parent cooperatively.
Most child support payments are made by direct deductions from the paying parent’s paycheck. The employer directs the child support payment to the Kansas Payment Center, which then disburses it to the receiving parent by direct deposit into their bank account or through a prepaid Visa card.
Children’s needs evolve as time goes on, and parents’ situations might change. If circumstances merit, courts will modify a child support order. When parents agree on the need for modification, a skilled Lincoln County child support attorney could draft a revised order and submit it to the court. The court will review the order and issue it as enforceable if it supports the children’s best interests.
Seek Legal Guidance from a Lincoln County Child Support Attorney
You and your co-parent want your children to be comfortable and have all they need to thrive and be happy. Despite that common goal, co-parents often find agreeing to a child support arrangement challenging.
A Lincoln County child support lawyer could explain the law’s requirements and take some of the emotional heat out of negotiations. Call now to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.