Child support issues can be contentious during divorce proceedings. For many divorcing parents, the decision whether to hire a lawyer to work out child support issues is an important one.

State and Local Child Support Agencies

Many individuals choose to use state and local child support agencies to set up child support orders. These agencies will give free child support services to individuals who receive public assistance such as Medicaid or food stamps. For individuals not entitled to public assistance, these agencies may help with child support matters for a small fee.

The major disadvantage of only using a state or local child support agency is the limited authority of these agencies, which cannot provide assistance with other related matters. If there are any problems related to child custody or child visitation, court proceedings may be involved. Situations such as these are better if handled by an experienced family law lawyer.

Using a Private Attorney

Obtaining and enforcing child custody and child support orders can be a burdensome and time-consuming process. An experienced family law attorney can help reduce the stress associated with obtaining and enforcing child support orders by ensuring court documents are filed properly and served in a timely manner. Family Court proceedings generally require that both parents are present and provide accurate financial information. It can be extremely difficult to locate a noncustodial parent without assistance. Unlike local or state child support agencies, private attorneys will have the resources to locate parents who may be obligated to pay child support.

A dedicated divorce law firm will also have the ability to conduct the proper investigation into the true financial situation of your ex-spouse. The proper calculation of child support is essential and without determining the real income of an ex-spouse, custodial parents may be left with less than a fair amount of financial assistance for their child.

Enforcement Issues

Establishing or filing for child support is only the beginning step for many divorcing parents. Unfortunately, there are many times when one party does not follow through on their child support obligations and the other party may be forced to file an enforcement action. Child support agencies can assist in this matter as well as private attorneys. If your ex-spouse is employed, you may seek a garnishment order to obtain the court ordered child support.

An experienced child support lawyer also can assist you in pursuing other enforcement remedies including an order of contempt, the interception of tax refunds, placing holds on passport applications and filing liens against the person’s personal vehicle and real estate holdings.