Child Support & Custody

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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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Q: How can you avoid child support?

    A: Child support, once ordered by a court, cannot and should not be avoided until the child is of age of majority or is adopted, according the Department of Justice. However, the noncustodial parent may address the amount of child support by filing a motion in court or reaching an agreement with the other parent.
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  • Q: How do you find a free child support lawyer?

    A: To find free child support legal help, filers should first review available legal information provided by their state, and then they should access their state's courts website to view a list of available low-cost or free options, notes the California Courts website. Many courts also offer court-based self-help services that filers can utilize for legal information.
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  • What is the best way to record a child support payment?

    Q: What is the best way to record a child support payment?

    A: Child support payment methods determine how to record payments. Payment methods include direct payments to custodial parents or legal guardians, payments made to child support agencies and voluntary or involuntary payroll deductions. Payroll deductions and payments to agencies should provide excellent records according to LegalZoom.com. Direct payments merit documentation.
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  • Q: Is it possible to find downloadable child custody forms?

    A: Parents can find downloadable child custody forms from non-profit organizations, county websites or law sites, according to the TexasLawHelp.org, Maricopa County and RocketLawyer websites. Consult a lawyer, mediator or other professional with questions regarding child custody forms.
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  • Q: What are the federal labor laws for minors?

    A: Under federal labor law, children between the ages of 14 and 15 must work outside school hours, for no longer than three hours on a school day, for no more than eight hours on a nonschool day and for no more than 40 hours per week when school is not in session, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. Children between the ages of 16 and 17 can work an unlimited number of hours in jobs not deemed hazardous.
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  • Q: How do you obtain legal guardianship of a child?

    A: Establish legal guardianship of a child by filing a petition with the court, says FindLaw. The petition should state an interest in obtaining guardianship and should be accompanied by a letter of consent from the child's parents.
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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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  • Q: What is a child support MasterCard?

    A: A child support MasterCard is a safe, secure way for Child Support Services to deposit child support into someone's account electronically. There is no need for paper checks or trips to the bank with the card. If someone does not have direct deposit already set up, he will not get the card until the first payment is placed on it.
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