Children can be the light in our life’s, brightening up even the darkest of days. Children are also very expensive. When you have children, you must consider extra food, travel, medical, education and various other expenses that arise from time to time.
In order to help you file for child support, we have enlisted the help of a prominent New York City Child Support Attorney and New York Child Custody Attorney to answer your pressing questions.
I am not married to my child’s father. Can I claim child support?
If you are a single mother and you are not married to the child’s father, you must establish paternity before any payment can be calculated. The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OSCE) will do this for you. As a New York child support attorney, I have seen many cases where the OCSE may need to track down the father to perform genetic testing.
I don’t know where my child’s father is. Can I claim child support?
The OSCE will ask that you provide all recent information regarding the last known residence of the child’s father. The Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) will then input this information into various directories in an attempt to find him. If he can be found, you can claim child support upon proving paternity.
If I seek child support does this mean that the father will be granted visitation rights?
As a NYC child support attorney, I have heard many mothers voice this concern. Merely receiving child support does not mean that the father will be granted visitation rights. In the eyes of the court, child support and child custody are separate issues.
Can I withhold visitation rights for unpaid child support?
As mentioned above, the court views child support and child custody as issues to be dealt with separately. Before you withhold visitation rights, it is my ardent advice as a NYC child support attorney that you strongly consider the following points:
Visitation is the right of the child. A child should have the opportunity to build and enjoy a relationship with his/her parents. If a parent cannot afford to pay child support, they should not be denied the right to a relationship with his/her child.
Child support is the responsibility of both parents. Both parents must be held financial responsible, as far as practicable, for their children. If a non-custodial parent decides not to avail of his/her visitation rights, they are not excused from paying child support.