CHILD SUPPORT FOR UNMARRIED PARENTS
Can I receive child support even though I was never married?
Yes. There is no requirement that parents be married at the time of a child’s birth (or ever) in order for a custodial parent (the parent the child lives with) to receive child support. Both parents have a duty to support their child regardless of marital status.
However, before child support for unmarried parents can be ordered, paternity must first be established. This is important.
HOW DO I ESTABLISH PATERNITY?
The easiest way is for both the mother and father to sign a Certificate of Parentage. This is often done at the hospital following the child’s birth. It can also be done at the local registrar or local county welfare agency. By signing this document, both parents agree and acknowledge that the child is theirs. However, it should not be signed if there is any doubt as to who the biological parents are.
If a parent does not agree that a child is theirs and is unwilling or unable to sign the Certificate of Parentage, then a genetic test must be done. You can file a complaint with the court to request that paternity be established.
ESTABLISHING CHILD SUPPORT FOR UNMARRIED PARENTS
Once paternity is confirmed, whether it be through the Certificate of Parentage or through genetic testing, a child support order can be established. Custody and a parenting time/visitation schedule can also be ordered. In order to receive a court order for custody, parenting time/visitation, or child support, you need to file an application called a “Verified Complaint” with the court, in the county where the children live, asking them for these items. You will need to be prepared to provide a variety of financial documents and proofs, such as tax returns, pay stubs, health insurance benefits, and work-related child care costs. The court system can be confusing, and even frightening, if you are unfamiliar with it. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a lawyer help you with these processes.
CONTACT THE LAW OFFICE OF JILL JEDRUSIAK, LLC IN TOMS RIVER
If you are a parent who was never married and need help establishing a court order for child support, or custody and visitation/parenting time, Toms River family Attorney Jill Jedrusiak can help you so you don’t have to go through the process alone. Call us at (732) 719-2202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free consultation. You can also visit our website at www.jerseyfamilyattorney.com to learn more about us.