If the paying parent for child support ends up in jail, in most cases they will still have to continue making payments as ordered by the court. As the recipient parent, it is important to know that the paying spouse will have a couple options available to them. The other parent can file a request to the court to have the child support modified so they pay less each time, or ask that the payments halt until they are released.
Of course, if either of those things happen this is probably going to cause financial challenges for you and your child. Here are actions you can take to fight for payments to remain in effect:
File An Application
You will need to complete and turn in the appropriate child support paperwork to the court, along with supplemental information. Be sure to print legibly and fill in every box on the paperwork. If you leave anything out or skip sections, your application may be denied from the start. If you need help, many parents recruit a family law attorney to review this documentation before submittal. In general, you will have to provide the following details on this application:
- Your full name
- Mailing address, phone number, and email
- Your date of birth
- Your social security number
- The name, date of birth, location of birth, gender, race, and social security number for the child you are pursuing child support payments for
- Physical attributes of the other parent
- Who has physical and legal custody of the child
- If a paternity/maternity test has been performed
Provide Supplemental Documents
Along with your application, it will help if you can provide copies of other important documents. If you are unsure what types of paperwork to submit, you can contact your local family law attorney for insight and as a way to confirm you are filing the most thorough application possible. Examples of useful supplemental paperwork include:
- Divorce/separation agreement
- Acknowledgment of paternity/maternity
- Evidence of past child support payments
- The child support court order
- Birth certificates of the child
- Tax returns, bank statements, assets, and paychecks for each parent
Your attorney can recommend child support enforcement agencies to contact about having a paternity/maternity test performed. This can be especially helpful if the parent is being resistant and intentionally not paying child support because they claim they aren’t the biological parent. This agency can help establish paternity/maternity through the court.
How Your Attorney Can Help
The parent in jail may try to put up a fight against paying child support. This means that you may have to hire an attorney, like a family law attorney in Fairfax, VA, to represent you from start to finish. The other parent may have filed a motion to modify the child support order. Your attorney can give you information on how to oppose this motion to modify, by providing reasons why you believe the incarcerated parent has the ability to continue paying child support.
Thank you to the experts at May Law, LLP, for their insight and expertise in family law.