Child Custody and Support
In many different instances, it can end up being some time before the child custody and support matters between unmarried parents are able to get their matter before a judge to enter an order as to custody and child support. This can be tough for parties for many different reasons. Starting with unmarried mothers and their concern about having the financial ability to care for their child. For many unmarried fathers, they might be concerned about getting visitation with their child.
Every case is different and can result in varying factual scenarios. However, for fathers who want to be involved in the life of their child, one thing many unmarried fathers should consider is talking to an attorney as soon as possible. It’s important to talk to an attorney so that you can discuss and understand how child support works in your state and where to begin.
During those discussions, it can often be important to go through informal child support calculations with their attorney based on what is known at that time. For many unmarried fathers, it often makes sense for them to voluntarily pay child support before an order is even entered.
Many would ask why? Beyond simply helping take care of the child and the mother, this can often have a positive impact for many unmarried fathers in terms of the final result. This is called spousal support. By paying child support voluntarily, you are often showing the family court that they are responsible and that they care. You are also showing that you understand the importance of the situation.
Obviously, fathers who pay child support without an order will want to keep careful records of what they have paid to ensure they get credit. This may mean keeping copies of checks, paying through money orders and/or mailing the payments via certified mail, return receipt requested, or taking other important steps to keep records. But paying child support without an order is often prudent for many unmarried fathers.