Easy Questions  
Free Legal Documents

Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Child Support in Charlestown, MA

Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Child Support in Charlestown, MA


You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
 
- Maya Angelou


You do not have to have a lawyer to file for child support. You can file for child support by going to your local Probate and Family Court, collect and fill out the forms and file them. You can also get orders for: 1) protection from abuse; 2) establishing paternity; 3) custody and visitation; 4) divorce; and 5) modification of an existing child support order if circumstances have changed. After you file your complaint, you may need to get it served by a sheriff or a constable. While there may be filing fees involved, you may be able to get them waived if your income is low or if you are on public assistance.

Many judges are patient and understanding with plaintiffs who do not have a lawyer. Child support is usually a standard calculation based on expenses and income and the court can help in enforcing the support collection.The federal Family Support Act of 1988 required every state to establish numerical child support guidelines. The guidelines are designed to overcome three of the persistent problems in the award of child support: 1) insufficient levels of support; 2) inconsistency of criteria used by judges; and 3) inefficiency in the adjudication of child support. They also serve to make the process more straightforward for custodial parents seeking child support without a lawyer.

The state guidelines are designed to balance the child's needs and the non-custodial parents' ability to pay. In most states, the basic child support obligation is calculated by combining the incomes of the parents and multiplying that figure by the percentages set forth in the guidelines. These percentages vary according to the number of children. This number, the total child support obligation due, is then assigned to the parents according to the proportion of their individual contributions to the parents' total income. The guidelines may be modified to award additional support for 1) child-care expenses; 2) maintenance of health and life insurance, or reimbursement of health-care expenses; 3) private school and college tuition; and 4) child-care expenses for parents seeking work.

Courts have the discretion to deviate from the guidelines for unique circumstances such as: 1) educational needs of either parent; 2) the needs of other children supported by the noncustodial parent; 3) extraordinary expenses required for the noncustodial parent to visit their children. In most cases, child support is awarded based on wages of the noncustodial parent reported on income tax returns.

Support is based on parenthood not marriage and may be awarded during or after a marriage, in a divorce proceeding, or in a separate support proceeding whether or not the parties have ever been married. The proceeding is usually relatively simple, because the issues are generally limited to the application of guidelines percentages to the income of the parents. In most states, the court will order that the child support be deducted from the noncustodial parent's wages by their employer and transmitted automatically to the custodial parent.

If the noncustodial parent falls behind on child support payments, there are many enforcement vehicles available in most states. These include income garnishing (deducting money from the noncustodial parent's wages), making a negative report to credit reporting agencies, collecting past-due child support from lottery prizes, intercepting tax refunds, seizing property (e.g. real estate and bank accounts), etc.

Many states have a parent locator service. If the noncustodial parent lives in a different state, the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act ("URESA") or a comparable statuteprovides for interstate collection of child support.

Transfers of assets to avoid payment of child support can often be set aside by a court. Furthermore, if the court determines that a parent transferred away resources to avoid child support obligations, that could form the basis for a finding of willful violation of a court order and result in a jail sentence.

Contact your local child support enforcement agency for more information.

If you are the noncustodial parent who is faced with child support that is more than you can pay, it may be possible to get the support order lowered to a more manageable level, especially if circumstances have changed.

Only you can decide if hiring a lawyer is right for you. Check out 1-2-Law.com for listings of lawyers in your neighborhood.
 
Personalize & Print a Free MA Last Will Download this Document
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
 
Personalize & Print a Free MA Living Will Download this Document
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Related Legal Services near Charlestown, MA
Mc Cool David
56 Roland St # 207A
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 625-8899
Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Stephen K Ault
10 Tremont St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 227-8801
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Cambridge Lawyers Group
1 Constitution Rd
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 241-8800
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Keane Klein & Duffey
1 Church Ct
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-8383
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys
Mary Ann Chase
437 Main St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-8111
Attorneys
Branson Richard P
18 Tremont St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 263-7711
Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Askenase Richard
1 Thompson Sq # 4
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 241-7555
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys
Dineen Timothy P
299 Main St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 241-7200
Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Whalen Susan M
24 Russell St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 241-7100
Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Attorneys/Personal Injury
10 Tremont St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 227-7000
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys
Ceruolohagstrom Wht Law Office
197 8th St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 398-6740
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Rivera & Waters Law Offices
2 Shipway Pl
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 398-6726
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys
Pearlstein Gerald
10 Tremont St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 523-6707
Immigration Law Attorneys, Attorneys, Immigration & Naturalization Consultants, Legal Service Plans
Cullen Joseph
54 Russell St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 337-5403
General Practice Attorneys
Timothy P O'Connell
2 Shipway Pl
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-4806
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys
Troiano III Anthony
1 Thompson Sq # 303
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-4400
Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Gallagher & Associates PC
1 Constitution Rd
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 598-3800
Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Morrissey Sweeney
261 Main St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 580-3104
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys
Campbell Campbell & Edwards
1 Constitution Plz Ste 3
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 241-3000
Attorneys, Labor & Employment Law Attorneys, Civil Litigation & Trial Law Attorneys, Environment & N
Mc Nally Paul
43 Green St
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-2266
Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
Callahan Brian G
33 3rd Ave
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-2100
Attorneys
Callahan Brian G
13 Shipway Pl
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-2100
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys
Richard L Iandoli Law Offices
38 3rd Ave # 100
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 482-1010
Administrative & Governmental Law Attorneys, Attorneys
Lydon Gerard T
8 Shipway Pl
Charlestown, MA 02129
(617) 242-0950
General Practice Attorneys, Attorneys, Legal Service Plans
12Law.com   |  NASHVILLE, TN USA   |  CONTACT US