Suing for Child Support in Small Claims Court
If your child's other parent habitually falls behind on child support payments, it may be time to take action. Getting the money you and your child need shouldn’t be a burden or a hassle. If your ex consistently disregards the established conditions or one your income has significantly changed, you may want to consider suing them for child support in small claims court.
Although you can file a lawsuit on your own, working with a professional will give you a better chance of getting the results you want. DoNotPay makes it easy for anyone to begin the legal process with the click of a button and take care of the heavy-lifting along the way.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit Against Someone for Child Support
Suing for child support can be an appropriate step to take if you find yourself in need of more funds to adequately care for your child. It may also be necessary to take such a step if you find that your child's other parent is not pulling their weight. Regardless of the reason, it’s essential to be sure you are doing so for the right reasons in order to have the best chance of succeeding.
Here are two legitimate reasons to consider suing for child support.
|You and your child's other parent have unequal income||You may have been awarded custody of your child based on your overall ability and willingness to care for him or her, but that does not mean you should be expected to handle all his or her expenses yourself. This is particularly true if your child’s other parent earns significantly more than you do, as your child is generally entitled to the best standard of living possible regardless of whom he or she primarily lives with.
Although child support amounts are usually determined by considering both parents' typical incomes before suing for child support becomes necessary, you may be able to file a lawsuit to request more money if you lose your job or receive a significant pay cut or if your child's other parent gets a new job or promotion that results in significantly more income.
|Suing for back pay or arrearage||Although it is generally not appropriate to immediately sue your child's other parent if he or she needs to send child support payments a week late for financial reasons from time to time, you may be able to file a lawsuit if he or she has the means to make payments and has simply stopped doing so. Any owed and unpaid child support payments are due in full and, often, back pay of more than a month may trigger income withholding, affecting the obligated parent’s personal finances.|
File a Lawsuit Against Someone for Child Support by Yourself
If you feel confident that you know what you are doing, you may choose to file a lawsuit against your child's other parent by yourself. If you choose to go this route, you will need to:
- Draft a complaint to submit to your local Pro Se Intake Unit that details why you are seeking a lawsuit and what compensation you are seeking. This is a very detailed document that must be completed properly to avoid delays in the process.
- Serve a demand letter to the defendant.
- File your case in your county and pay any necessary fees.
- Go to court.
That being said, taking this approach may not be your best course of action.
Dangers and Issues With Filing a Lawsuit by Yourself
Although you are certainly allowed to file a lawsuit by yourself if you choose to, this is generally not the best course of action. Simply filing a lawsuit does not guarantee that you will win, and working with a professional or utilizing our digital services can help you:
- Present your case in a way that portrays your argument in the best possible light and gives you the best chance of a favorable outcome
- Determine whether your argument is strong enough to produce the results you would like to see
- Decide whether a demand letter or court filing forms is your best course of action
- Determine your next steps
How to Sue Someone for Child Support With DoNotPay
DoNotPay makes it easy to take the next step to obtain the child support funds you need. Our process consists of four steps that allow you to tell us what you need, and we will use that information to contact your child's other parent for you to request the money you are owed and outline the next steps he or she can expect to be taken if you do not receive it.
- Log into your DoNotPay account and select Sue Now
- Enter the dollar amount you are owed
- Select whether you are seeking a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details, including photo proof
Once we receive this information, we can automatically generate the type of paperwork you request and submit it to the necessary parties to get your lawsuit started.
Trust DoNotPay for All Your Small Claims Needs
Need help with other small claims suits? DoNotPay makes it easy to skip the red tape and lawyer-wrangling and get paid. Check out some of our other articles for tips on everything from how to sue anyone from wireless carriers to airline carriers.