For a parent, needing to use the services provided by the family court system is likely to be stressful and undesirable. Of course, if a parent does not satisfy their obligations to their children, there is not a lot of options a person is left with besides seeking child support. If you need to file for child support or make a modification to the court’s order, call our Fort Smith child support lawyers.
Bringing a dispute for child support could be emotionally draining for a parent, but Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP is here to help. Our team of Fort Smith child support lawyers is highly experienced litigating family law cases, so let us fight for you. To schedule a consultation, call us at (479) 439-9840.
When to Apply for Child Support in Fort Smith
Whether you were married when you had children or your child was born outside of marriage, each parent carries a financial duty to support their child. In some cases, parents that are on good terms may try to create an arrangement where they each care for and fund the needs of the child. While private agreements may be favorable for the parents, this will not stop problems from arising in the future.
Despite the existence of a private agreement, there may be multiple times where one parent has the burden of caring for the children alone. Additionally, if communications between the parents break down, one parent may choose to ignore the terms of the agreement. Even if the deal is placed into the form of a written contract, it may not be enforceable in the same way a court order would be.
There is no perfect moment for a person to seek child support payments. Though, if you believe that your child’s parent will be unreliable when it comes to caring for the child, it would be wise to discuss your options with a Fort Worth child support lawyer.
Applying for Child Support in Fort Smith
To obtain child support services, there are a few requirements that must be met in accordance with Arkansas law. For example, you could only request child support when the child is under 18 years old, and you are the child’s parent, caretaker, or legal guardian. This means you must also be the custodial parent or guardian of the child, which means that you live with the child and handle their day-to-day needs. Additionally, if your child’s parent owes you child support, you could file a petition to collect on these past due payments.
The application for child support must be filed with Arkansas’ Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). The OCSE also provides residents of Arkansas with the following services:
- Assistance with finding the noncustodial parent to render services
- Paternity tests for a child
- Establishing and enforcing court orders for medical and financial support
- Modifications to a current child support order
- Collection of payments from a parent
It is also important to note that the OCSE employs attorneys. However, the attorneys employed by the OCSE are not present to represent either parent. Instead, they have the sole purpose of representing the state’s interest in ensuring that the children’s rights to receive financial support are met.
Many people make the mistake of believing that OCSE attorneys will help them if a noncustodial parent makes a request for visitation or to modify their monthly payments. To avoid a scenario where you are blindsided without legal representation, contact our Fort Smith child support lawyers for your family law needs. While you do not need a lawyer to handle a case for child support, we will quickly prove why our firm is invaluable to our clients.
Reasons a Child Support Case Would Be Closed in Fort Smith
When seeking a claim against your child’s parent for child support, you should know that the OCSE will not approve of every petition. There are certain actions that the OCSE will use as grounds to terminate your case and your opportunity to receive payments from a noncustodial parent.
Withholding valuable information is one reason why the OCSE may end your claim. For example, if a parent omits that they equally share custody of their children at the time they file for support, this would be evidence that should be disclosed to the court as it could affect the calculation of support.
Also, if you accept child support payments from your kid’s parent and you do not report them to OCSE, this is a valid ground to close your case. Additionally, failing to update contact information or a new residence may also be used to shut down your claim for support.
Depending on your relationship with the noncustodial parent, hearings for child support have the potential to get messy. A parent may want to challenge the order for support, which could drive up court costs and other related expenses. That is why it is essential to have Fort Smith child support lawyers by your side to get you through this ordeal.
Fort Smith, AR Child Support Lawyers are Ready to Litigate Your Case
Making a request for child support could be a lot to handle for a parent. Allow our Fort Smith child support lawyers to aid you through this process. At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, we consider it an honor to give our clients high-quality legal representation. To make an appointment with a member of our legal team, contact us at (479) 439-9840. Appointments can also be made online.