Whats steps do I need to take in getting child support for my daughter?

Asked on January 14, 2013 under Family Law, Massachusetts


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Your first step is to file a divorce or custody suit.  If you are married to the other parent, the custody suit would be combined with the divorce.  If you are not married to the other parent, you would only need to file a custody suit.  After the suit is filed, you can try to work out an agreement regarding custody with the other parent-- or request a final hearing.   At the hearing or by agreement, the court will officially declare each of you "mom" and "dad."  The court will also set up a parenting plan which included set periods of visitations.  And, finally, the court would order the non-possessory parent pay child support.  Each of these items will be contained with a final order or decree.

If the other parent is in agreement, the process will go much quicker.  If it's going to be a contested matter, it would be better if you had a family law attorney to help you.  They can also help you with enforcement efforts after the child support order has been granted.

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