What You Need to Know About Child Support

If you have a child with your partner and the two of you have recently divorced or were never married, you may be entitled to child support, which is money paid by the parent without full-time custody to the parent who is the primary caregiver to be used for providing for the child. Each state has its own complex laws and regulations surrounding child support, which is why it is smart to speak with a lawyer when working out a child support agreement and/or tying to collect on unpaid child support. With that said, though, there are a few tips to keep in mind and things to be aware of as it relates to child support. 

Should You Handle Child Support Privately?

You should be aware that you do have the option of handling child support matters privately if you prefer. If you have a good relationship and good communication with the child's other parent, and the two of you can come to a reasonable agreement on what should be paid and when, then this can sometimes work.

However, do keep in mind that private arrangements cannot be enforced by law, so if the other person suddenly stops paying the child support, you would have no recourse to collect the agreed-upon amount. Furthermore, many people who handle child support privately often end up getting much less money than they are actually entitled to. Because of these facts, it is often best to have a legal arrangement set up with the help of a lawyer.

In the end, though, you are the only one who can determine what will work best for you and your situation.

What About Non-Payment?

One unfortunate thing about child support is that, in some cases, it can be difficult to collect on.

If the child's other parent does not make a child support payment, then you have a couple of options. If there is an official, legal child support agreement, you can speak with your lawyer and potentially go back to court to get the child support that you are owed. Depending on where you live, the state may also enforce the payment.

Without a legal agreement, though, your only recourse is to see a lawyer and get one put in place, which can mean you and your child go quite some time without financial support.

Obviously, child support is a tricky thing, but by educating yourself as much as possible and having a qualified child support lawyer to depend on, you can navigate it a bit more easily. For more information, talk to an attorney like those at the Cotto Law Firm P.C.