Child Support and Child Custody - Frequently Asked Questions

Child SupportChild Support and Child Custody

How do I request/establish child support?
You can file a Petition to Establish Child Support in the Family Court. Alternatively, in certain circumstances you may seeks the assistance of the Department of Economic Security (DES) to file a petition for child support on your behalf.

How do I modify and/or enforce current child support payments?
You may file either a Petition to Modify Child Support (Standard Process) or a Petition to Modify Child Support (Simplified Process) in the Family Court.

How can I enforce child support payments?
You may file a Petition to Enforce Court Order for Support in the Family Court.

How can I terminate child support?
You can file a Petition to Stop an Income Withholding Order in the Family Court.

What should I do if I can't locate my child's parent to request child support?
You must properly serve a parent with a Petition to Establish Child Support in order to compel that parent to appear in court. You might consider options available to you to locate the parent, such as hiring a private investigator or a process Server.

Do I have any rights as a grandparent?
In certain circumstances, an individual, such as a grandparent or other person who can demonstrate the existence of a beneficial relationship with the child, may be able to acquire visitation and/or legal decision making rights concerning a child.

Do I have to allow for parenting time if I'm receiving child support?
Generally, a child support order alone does not establish a parenting time schedule between the parents. A parent seeking a court order regarding parenting time should file a Petition to Establish Paternity, Legal Decision-Making, Parenting Time and Child Support or a similar document in the Superior Court.

How do I enforce court-ordered child support? Can I modify child support?
You may file either a Petition to Modify Child Support (Standard Process) or a Petition to Modify Child Support (Simplified Process) in the Family Court. You may file a Petition to Enforce in the Family Court.

What do I need to do if I'm relocating?
If you are involved in a pending Family Court action, you must keep the court informed of any change in your mailing address.

Child Custody

How do I prove paternity?
You may file a Petition to Establish Paternity, Legal Decision-Making, Parenting Time and Child Support in the Family Court.

How can I terminate father's/parenting rights?
You may not terminate a parent's parental rights in Family Court. Instead, you must file an action in Juvenile Court in order to terminate a parent's parental rights.

How can I request grandparent's rights?
You can file a Petition to Establish Visitation - For Grandparents Only.

What are my rights as a grandparent?
In certain circumstances, an individual, such as a grandparent or other person who can demonstrate the existence of a beneficial relationship with the child, may be able to acquire visitation and/or legal decision making rights concerning a child.

Can I travel outside of the country with my children?
Whether you may travel with a child outside of the country may depend on a number of factors including, but no limited to, whether the parents agree to such travel and whether there is a court order addressing that issue.

How do I resolve parenting time conflicts?
If the parties are in conflict over an established custody order and parenting time plan, options to resolve the conflict, depending on the circumstances in the particular case, include filing a petition with the court for an order resolving the issue or seeking the services of a private mediation.

Custody and guardianship modifications/petitions
The Family Court does not address guardianship matters. Therefore, you may neither establish nor modify a guardianship in Family Court. You must file a proper petition in Juvenile Court to address guardianship issues.

Parenting time modifications/petitions
You can file a Petition to Modify Parenting Time in the family Court.

Medical consent and decision making in legal matters
You can file a Petition to Establish Legal-Decision Making, Parenting Time and Child Support in Family Court.

 




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