Most single parents who are struggling to make financial ends meet will want to know if they can receive child support money from the other parent of their child. To determine your right to receive this helpful support, there are several questions single parents will want to ask:
Are you the custodial parent?
In most cases, the custodial parent of a child -- i.e., the parent with whom the child lives -- will be able to receive child support payments from the noncustodial parent. The noncustodial parent is the parent who has visitation rights, but is not the primary caretaker of the children on a day-to-day basis.
In many cases, the mothers of children end up becoming the custodial parents and the fathers are the noncustodial parents. However, this is by no means a requirement of New Jersey law. The courts will usually award the "primary caretaker" with custodial parent status.
Do you share joint custody with the other parent?
In many cases of joint custody, when the children spend time living with each parent equally, neither of the parents will need to pay child custody. However, if there is a significant income disparity between the parents, then one of the joint custodial parents may need to pay the other parent child support.
Other questions to ask to determine child support eligibility
There are a few more questions you'll want to answer "yes" to if you hope to receive child support payments:
- Is the location of the other parent of your child known and do you have this individual's basic details?
- Has the parental status of the other parent been legally verified?
- Have you gone through the legal steps necessary to obtain a child support order?
After reviewing the above questions, you should have a general idea about your capacity to receive child support payments. A deeper understanding of New Jersey family law will also give you a clearer picture regarding the steps you'll need to take in order to secure this vital financial assistance.