To properly prepare for your Child Support Enforcement Hearing if you are the Petitioner you must bring a copy of the order of child support that you are enforcing. If the obligation is in your Divorce Judgment and/or
Divorce Agreement you must bring that with you to court.
If you are claiming that the non-paying parent owes you basic child support (weekly payments) and you kept a calendar or log of payments received have that with you in court. Calculate the amount of weeks that are owed so that you can tell the Support Magistrate the amount of the arrears.
If you are claiming that other child support expenses have not been paid such as child care, medical expenses, extra-curricular expenses or other ordered obligations you must bring with you the original bills AND proof of payment whether by check, credit card or cash. Without proof of the expense and proof of payment the court will not determine that you are owed money. Your oral testimony without documents may not be sufficient to obtain a money judgment.
If you have written the non-paying parent and previously requested payment, bring the copy of the letter/email or other proof that you notified the person of the obligation and sent copies of the bills. If you needed the other parent's consent to the expense prior to it being incurred, be prepared to testify or provide proof of the consultation and agreement to the expense.
The Family Court also requires that you bring your most recent tax return, recent pay stubs and that you complete the financial disclosure affidavit. Whether these documents will actually be necessary for the parent seeking to enforce child support may depend upon the individual facts of your case.
If you believe that the non-paying parent is willfully refusing to pay child support, be prepared to show that the other parent continues to incur other large expenses which are paid, or refuses to work or seek employment. Proving that the other parent has unreported income may require the assitance of an attorney as it can become complicated.
My next blog will discuss how to defend against an enforcement hearing and avoid a determination of a willful refusal to pay child support.
If you need help with your child support case, please call my office to arrange a consultation so that you will have the best chance of success.