What does a Child Support Attorney do?
A child support attorney represents clients in legal proceedings to calculate, enforce or modify child support agreements. This type of lawyer will often provide legal representation on matters concerning child custody disputes, establishing a parenting plan, establishing a timesharing plan, and dealing with claims of domestic violence. People often refer to a child support attorney as a divorce attorney or a family law lawyer. Divorce attorneys must know how to deal with child support and custody disputes, because these issues can arise when a couple seeking a divorce has children.
When a parent goes to a child support attorney for representation, the attorney will conduct an interview to determine what types of problems a parent is facing. The attorney will then advise the client on how a court calculates child support and help the client understand what to expect from the process. Depending on the situation, a parent may need legal representation establishing child support for the first time or help modifying an existing child support order. An experienced child support attorney will know what actions to file in court to obtain a child support order or modify an existing order.
When parents divorce or separate, a child support attorney will help his client establish a parenting plan and a timesharing plan. A parenting plan is an agreement between the parents as to how they will make major decisions for the children. This plan includes provisions that establish what school the children will attend, the process the parents will use when making decisions for the children in the future, how future disputes concerning the children will be resolved, and many other provisions to help both parents participate in the raising of the children. The parenting plan also includes a timesharing plan, or a visitation schedule, that sets up how much time the children will spend with each parent. A child support attorney will help a client develop this plan, which is unique for each family because the work schedules of parents and school schedules of children will vary for each family.
A child support attorney will help his client calculate child support. Many jurisdictions have formulas for calculating child support, which depends on the income of both parents and the percentage of time the children spend with each parent. Conflicts sometime arise when parents cannot agree on how much time the children should spend with each parent. Some parents will also attempt to hide income sources to reduce the amount they must pay for child support. A child support attorney will advise a parent on how to deal with these types of issues.
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