It can be a daunting and challenging task to understand the legal complexities surrounding child support. To make things easier for you and to make sure that you do not stress out over common important queries, we have listed out some answers to frequently asked questions regarding child support in Louisiana. We hope that this post enables you to find the answers to questions that you have about child support.
1. What do you mean by Child Support?
Basically, child support broadly covers the everyday living expenses for children. It covers various expenses which include health insurance, camp fees, sports, music or dance lesson fees, and tuition fees for school. It is essential to know that both parents are equally responsible for financially supporting the child’s needs. A rule commonly followed is that each parent’s responsibility is directly proportional to their income.
2. Who is eligible for Child Support in Louisiana?
The following are eligible for child support; any married, unmarried, divorced parent who has the custody of the child is entitled to child support from the other parent. Therefore, child support is paid basically to domiciliary parents. In addition to this, grandparents if elected as guardians of the child may also seek child support from the parents.
3. How does one avail Child Support in Louisiana?
There are two main ways to do this:
i. Agreeing upon an amount with the other parent out of court and getting them to pay you the same from time to time to help raise the child.
ii. The second way is by filing papers with the court. All one has to do is file Rule for Child Support or petition for Divorce. In addition, you may also use the Child Support Enforcement Services to assist you. When you choose this, a caseworker will assist you to file court papers and also help you to get the support of the other parent. While another option available to you is to use a private legal services attorney or choose a legal services attorney if you are qualified for the same. If you do opt to contact the Child Support Enforcement Services, they will have you pay a small fee of $10 or $ 25 for their services.
4. When must you apply for Child Support?
There is no wrong time to seek child support, the moment you start living apart from your spouse or are separated legally you may apply for the same as money is required to fulfill the needs of the child.
5. What court do you have to go to in Louisiana?
Here is what you have to do. You have the option of filing for a petition of divorce wherein you can also request child support or you can file for Rule of Child Support in a state or juvenile court. In addition, you may also file for this in the parish where you reside with your child, or where the father lives.
6. Will you get Child Support if the other parent is avoiding court and in hiding from the agencies?
Yes, indeed, without a doubt but what you must know is that in this set of circumstances it may take some more time to get the same. The Child Support Enforcement Services will help you each step of the way. In case no results come of that too, the court may as a last resort appoint a curator ad hoc which is someone who represents the absent parent. This appointee will represent the ad hoc parent during the hearings. They will also get in touch with the absconding parent in relation to the hearings. Once this process is set in motion you can get your child’s support order from the court.
7. How much can you claim as Child Support in Louisiana?
While the answer to this question really depends upon case to case basis, here are some parameters to keep in mind while demanding the money. They are:
i. The other parent’s income
ii. The number of children you have with them
iii. Your income
iv. Whether or not you both have shared custody or not.
In addition to the above parameters, in the territory of Louisiana, the child support is also based upon the various needs of the children and the ability of the parent to give that sum of money.
8. What to do in cases where the father of the child contests that he is not the biological father?
Well, in such a case, what you will have to prove is that he is in fact the biological father of the child. To do the same all that you have to do is to petition to the court asking them to order for a DNA test. Or the child support enforcement services may order the test. In case the father is found to be the biological parent, the whole expense of conducting the test will be borne by him and he will also be ordered to pay child support.
9. How does one get the amount of child support changed?
One may get the amount of the child support changed if there is a material change of circumstances which means any situation that has led to the change in the custody agreement that the two of you share. Some examples of this are when the change is owing to the changes in someone’s income. Another would be when the needs of the child have increased as he/she grows up.
10. Do I need a custody order to claim child support in Louisiana?
The simple answer to this question is no. You are not supposed to have custody orders as long as you can prove that the child lives with you.
11. Can a parent who is unemployed be forced to keep paying child support?
The State Law requires a minimum amount of child support from non-custodial parents who are not disabled. This means that even if the other parent is unemployed, they are still responsible for contributing to the financial costs of raising their child.
12. What are child support arrears?
Child support arrears can be explained as the amount of child support that is unpaid, or delinquent, by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support arrears may be collected by the state via bank levy, wage garnishment, withholding of Louisiana welfare benefits, or other collection methods.
13. If I choose to remarry, will my child receive less child support?
Offering child support is the responsibility of a child’s birth parents. Therefore, the courts will not reduce the obligor’s child support payments due to the domiciliary parent’s decision to remarry.
In case you are stuck in a legal battle in Louisiana, you can always rely on Edward B. Jones & Associates, LLC for a helping hand. We have an experienced team of personal injury lawyers and criminal defense attorneys that make sure that they are committed to seeking relief that you need. Contact us now if you want us to handle cases in areas such as criminal defenses, family law, or wrongful death in Louisiana.