Child Support & Custody

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Child Welfare Information Gateway is an excellent online tool to get started when looking for information on adoption. The gateway features information on domestic and inter-country adoption. Its resources contain a wealth of information on adopting, especially from the U.S. Foster Care System.

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  • What are a father's rights to see his child?

    Q: What are a father's rights to see his child?

    A: By law, child custody and visitation rights for fathers are identical to those of mothers in every state. While mothers and fathers are technically equal under the law, About.com notes that fathers' visitation rights can sometimes be harder to exercise and enforce.
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  • What is in a sample custody letter?

    Q: What is in a sample custody letter?

    A: According to law firm Ciyou & Dixon, PC, five things should be in a custody letter: complete contact information for anyone providing a character reference, photographs, a timeline of events, recorded conversations (texts or emails) and explanatory letters.
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  • What is the purpose of a child custody letter?

    Q: What is the purpose of a child custody letter?

    A: The purpose of a child custody letter is to provide evidence to the court or mediator that the parent seeking custody is fit, according to LegalZoom. Fitness generally indicates that the party can act for the best interests of the child.
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  • How do you write a child support agreement letter?

    Q: How do you write a child support agreement letter?

    A: To write a child support agreement letter, determine the amount of support that legislation prescribes based on location and income. Contact the other parent or their lawyer to ensure that they are in agreement with these terms. Then, write a letter to a judge, the other parent's lawyer or the parent themselves stating the amount to be paid and when payments shall be made, as reported by Find Law.
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  • How long do you have to pay child support?

    Q: How long do you have to pay child support?

    A: In the United States, the length of time someone must pay child support is governed by the state, not the federal government. The length of child support obligations is dependent on the relevant laws of their particular state.
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  • Can you still get child support if the father does not sign the birth certificate?

    Q: Can you still get child support if the father does not sign the birth certificate?

    A: Each state has its own laws regarding child support and paternity, but in general, a court has the discretion to order a man not named on the birth certificate to pay child support. Paternity of the father can be established after the birth. If a woman files a claim for child support through social services, the agency makes an attempt to establish paternity through DNA testing.
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  • What are the rights of unmarried fathers?

    Q: What are the rights of unmarried fathers?

    A: In general, an unmarried father who has established legal paternity can ask the courts to approve a part-time living arrangement and an equal say in child-rearing decisions. He may also have the right to visitations. In cases where the mother is deemed unfit, an unmarried father may be able to seek sole legal and physical custody.
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  • What is a stepfather?

    Q: What is a stepfather?

    A: A stepfather is the husband of someone's mother by a later marriage. If a mother gets a divorce from the child's father or becomes a widow, she may marry another man who becomes her child's stepfather.
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  • What are the laws regarding child support in Georgia?

    Q: What are the laws regarding child support in Georgia?

    A: All Georgia parents are required to provide adequate support for their minor children, according to Fulton Superior Court. As of 2007, child support in Georgia is calculated using the income of both parents, taking into consideration previous child support orders, which parent is the custodial or non-custodial parent, the proportion of income earned by each parent, the number of children and special circumstances, such as medical needs, according to Nolo.
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  • Do grandparents get visitation rights?

    Q: Do grandparents get visitation rights?

    A: As the American Association of Retired Persons explains, grandparents do not have automatic visitation rights to see their grandchildren; however, some states allow grandparents to petition the court to grant visitation rights in specific situations. The criteria used by courts to grant visitation to grandparents varies by state but generally take into account the marital status of the parents and the prior relationship between the grandparent and grandchild.
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  • Can I legally move out at 16?

    Q: Can I legally move out at 16?

    A: Under specific circumstances, it may be possible for 16-year-old minors to move out of their parents' homes, according to the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School. The process of legally moving out at such a young age is called emancipation, and it is only granted in certain cases.
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  • Where can I find information on adoption?

    Q: Where can I find information on adoption?

    A: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Child Welfare Information Gateway is an excellent online tool to get started when looking for information on adoption. The gateway features information on domestic and inter-country adoption. Its resources contain a wealth of information on adopting, especially from the U.S. Foster Care System.
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  • Am I entitled to child care costs?

    Q: Am I entitled to child care costs?

    A: According to Child Care Aware, individuals might be entitled to child care costs depending on a number of factors and circumstances. For the 2013 tax year, there are Child Tax Credits available for families with earned income less than $51,567.
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  • Q: What legal forms are required for child support?

    A: Legal documentation required to obtain child support payments includes the custodial parent's photo ID and social security number, a copy of the birth certificate of each eligible child, any existing child support order and a divorce decree or separation agreement, if applicable, explains the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Child Support Enforcement. The custodial parent also should provide legal records of child support received in the past and proof of income and assets.
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  • Q: What factors does a court consider to declare a parent unfit?

    A: Divorcesource.com notes that in Arizona, the court considers the parent's treatment of the child, whether or not the parent engages in substance abuse and his criminal record when determining if a parent is unfit. The court may also take into account the parent's behavior and how it potentially impacts the child's mental and physical well-being. A parent can also be deemed unfit if the child is abandoned or neglected.
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  • Q: What is a custodial parent?

    A: A custodial parent is the parent who is given either legal or physical custody of a child after a divorce or separation, according to USLegal. Physical custody determines where a child lives, and legal custody determines which parent makes decisions affecting the welfare of the child.
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  • Q: What is some information about adoption laws in Colorado?

    A: In Colorado, both children and adults can be adopted. Children ages 18 or under and adults ages 18 to 21 with court sanction can be adopted under the Children's Code, explains FindLaw. Consenting adults can be adopted as heirs under the Domestic Matters law; adults may choose to adopt the new family name.
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  • Q: Where can you check your child's support status online?

    A: Most states offer information about a child's support status on the website of the Department of Social Services or the Department of Revenue. Examples include jupiter.dss.state.va.us for Virginia and dor.myflorida.com for Florida.
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  • Q: How can you find child support guidelines for Texas?

    A: As of December 2015, child support guidelines for Texas are on the website for the Texas Attorney General, TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov. The Frequently Asked Questions page explains many of the ground rules for the state, such as what the child support system is, what is it able to do, who is permitted to apply and where to file for support. FAQs also cover what information the attorney general's office needs to locate noncustodial parents and time variations for receiving child support.
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  • What are some types of child visitation arrangements?

    Q: What are some types of child visitation arrangements?

    A: Visitation arrangements for children and a noncustodial parent may include unsupervised or supervised visitation, according to Lawyers.com. States also have grandparent visitation laws allowing a grandparent to seek visitation when the parents divorce.
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  • How do you write a reference letter for child custody?

    Q: How do you write a reference letter for child custody?

    A: According to LegalZoom, a reference letter for child custody should contain information on why a possible custodian is suited to act in the best interests of the child. Reference letters may cite a person's morality, character and personal abilities.
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