Are You in the Middle of a Child Support Dispute?
During a separation or divorce with children, parents must determine child support, which is a monthly payment intended to cover a child’s needs, including those for food, clothing, and shelter. If parents can’t agree on a child support amount, they’ll have to go to court and ask a judge to decide. If you’re wondering how much child support you owe, or how much you’ll receive on behalf of your child, it’s a good idea to speak to an experienced family law attorney in your area.
All states have their own child support guidelines, which provide the starting point for every decision about support. The exact amount of child support will depend on a variety of factors, including how much income each parent earns and how much time each parent spends with the child. However, a judge may consider many additional factors, depending on the laws in your state.
If you’re in the middle of a child support dispute, you should meet with a local family law attorney, who can identify and explain your state’s laws and help set your expectations for what a judge may order you to pay or receive. Look for a lawyer who has worked on many child support cases, understands the child support laws in your state, and is familiar with the local judges and court rules.
Looking for a Lawyer?
At Lawyers.com, you’ll find a user-friendly search tool that allows you to tailor results by area of law and geography. You can also search for attorneys by name. Attorney profiles prominently display contact information, list topics of expertise, and show ratings—by both clients and other legal professionals.
Ready to Meet With a Lawyer?
Before hiring a lawyer or law firm, make sure to speak directly—preferably in person—to the attorney who will be primarily responsible for handling your case. Consider bringing to the conversation a list of questions and any documentation related to your case. Remember that you don’t need to hire the first lawyer you consult and that, first and foremost, you want a lawyer you trust.
What to Ask a Lawyer
When gathering your thoughts and documents, think about what you’ll want to ask the lawyer. Consider including on your list questions about:
- the attorney-client privilege
- the lawyer’s experience with child support issues like yours
- the lawyer’s familiarity with the local court system
- how often the lawyer goes to trial (as opposed to settling)
- who else will work on your case
- attorneys’ fees and other expenses related to the case (including how the cost might increase as the case moves to other stages, like trial)
- how long the case might take, and
- the lawyer’s initial impressions of your case and options.