Several important steps need to be taken if you have not yet applied for child support. It is possible – and not unlikely – for the parents to reach an agreement for child support outside the court. In such a case, mediation can take place.
If that is not an option, you can get a child support order from your nearest court. Whatever the case, both parents must be tracked down. Legal paternity must be established, and then the appropriate amount of child support will be determined.
Although child support by a non-custodial parent is established at the state level, there are some universal guidelines. Some of the states give a judge some leeway in determining and deciding upon the amount. This is allowed as long as the general guidelines are followed.
Other states are very strict and do not allow for judges to make decisions that are up to their discretion. Usually, the most important factors are the child’s needs. This includes education, health insurance, daycare, and special needs. The custodial parent’s income is also taken into consideration.
It should be noted that the paying parent’s ability to make child support payments is also an important factor.