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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • Q: How do you file for temporary custody?

    A: Parents seeking temporary custody during separation or divorce proceedings need to submit the necessary paperwork and attend a hearing before a judge, explains Nolo. To grant temporary custody to friends or relatives during work-related travel or illness, parents should complete a temporary custody agreement form and have it notarized, according to About.com.
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  • Where can I find an example of a child custody letter?

    Q: Where can I find an example of a child custody letter?

    A: A sample child custody letter can be found at legal resource and resume sites like Greatsampleresume.com. A typical child custody agreement contains the terms for custody, including full-time custody, partial custody and visitation arrangements, notes Greatsampleresume.com.
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  • Q: Do I have to pay child support if I'm not on the baby's birth certificate?

    A: Nolo explains that a parent is not required to pay child support until he is established as a legal parent, by a paternity test, court order or other legal means. An unmarried father who signs an acknowledgement of paternity pays child support, even without his name on the birth certificate.
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  • What are the benefits of the FMLA?

    Q: What are the benefits of the FMLA?

    A: The benefits of the Family and Medical Leave Act, also known as FMLA, include one-on-one time with family after the birth or adoption of a child and time to recover from medical issues. FMLA was designed to promote equal employment opportunity for employees, according to the U.S Department of Labor.
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  • Q: What are some groups dedicated to fathers' rights in child support?

    A: Some groups dedicated to fathers' rights in child support and custody cases include the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, the Children's Rights Council and National Fathers Rights, reports About.com. The main mission of fathers' rights groups is to prevent the family court system from separating fathers from their children.
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  • Q: Why are child support laws in Texas unfair to noncustodial parents?

    A: Non-custodial parents in Texas feel that child support laws are unfair to them because they pay more child support payments than custodial parents. Also, the laws do not consider the capacity of the parent to make payments after having other children in another marriage, as detailed by DivorceNet.
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  • Q: What are the common rules on child custody?

    A: In most states, both parents have equal rights and joint custody of a child they had during marriage, according to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School. However, courts sometimes alter those rights and custody arrangements if it is in the best interests of the child to do so.
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  • Q: How do you report a deadbeat dad?

    A: According to About.com, mothers who have not received child support payments from their children's father may report a deadbeat dad to the child support enforcement office in their state or to the federal Office of Inspector General. Mothers reporting on deadbeat dads should be prepared to provide information regarding the payments due as well as the father's contact information and last known location.
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