Parents who have separated from their child’s other father or mother, may eventually have to go through the legal process of establishing child support. Both parents are to attend a court hearing, where the judge will examine financial documents to decide which parent and how much he or she is to receive. The intention of child support payments is to help provide the child with his or her needs for living, including food, shelter, medical care, and education.
Many parents confide in a lawyer during this time for advice, and to see that they are as prepared as possible for potential outcomes. When parents meet with a lawyer, they may have already written down a list of questions about what to expect for the child support hearing:
Q: Do I have to provide all of my financial information to the courts?
A: Yes, it is important that you gather and have ready all of your financial information the day of the hearing. If you are unsure what documents are most influential, your lawyer can give you examples of paperwork to obtain beforehand. If you are required to complete any forms prior to the hearing, be entirely honest. Do not try to under or overestimate how much money you make, in hopes that it will benefit you. If the judge finds out you had fibbed on legal paperwork, this can reflect poorly on your side during the hearing.
Q: What if I receive something in the mail I don’t understand?
A: It isn’t uncommon for the average person who isn’t knowledgeable in family law legalities, to need some help interpreting documentation they receive in the mail. Parents may turn to their lawyer for clarification about what certain terminology means, and how it can impact the child support verdict.
Q: What can I do to make the best first impression to the judge?
A: Never disregard the impact a positive first impression can make on a family court judge. Show up on-time, be prepared with necessary documentation, dress professionally, and hold yourself calmly. Family related matters can get turbulent in court, so it is key that you are able to remain in control of your emotions. If your former partner gets worked up during the hearing, do not engage back in such behavior. If you don’t lower yourself to this level, it will only make him or her look silly to be reacting with such intensity.
Q: How can I make sure that the child support verdict will be fair?
A: Unfortunately, there’s really no way to ensure 100% that the verdict will seem fair in the eyes of both you and your former partner. The judge will do his or her best to calculate a child support amount based on state laws, both parents’ income, and the needs of the child. Your child support lawyer in Rockville, MD can help you prepare for the hearing, so the judge has up-to-date and accurate details to use during child support calculations.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and child support hearings.