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Other Child Support Questions

Your caseworker is the best person to ask questions for your specific case. The answers to the questions below, however, provide general information for specific cases.

Find out what you need to do when:

  • a parent is in jail.
  • a parent is in the military.
  • a parent lives in another state.
  • a child is adopted.
  • a child is over 18.

What should I do if the other parent is in jail?
If the other parent is in jail, s/he will probably have a hard time paying child support.  If, however, s/he is working from jail, you may be able to get partial support. Once they are out of jail and working, payments can start up again.

What should I do if the other parent is in the military?
If the parent is in the military and is refusing to pay child support, the Department of Defense can require payment. That payment can be taken directly from the parent’s paycheck. Your caseworker can help you enforce this.

What should I do if the other parent lives in another state?
The other parent is still required to pay support. In fact, not paying support from a different state is a federal crime. If the parent owes more than $5000, ask your caseworker if the case can be forwarded to the U.S Attorney’s Office in your state. Even if the parent lives in another state, you should file your child support order in the state where you and your child live.

What  should I do if the child is adopted?
If you and your partner together adopted a child, then the child gets the same amount of support as if s/he were your birth child. If the child is receiving special adoption assistance benefits, this continues to go to the child. It’s not a bargaining chip between divorcing parents and it cannot be counted as income in the child support calculation.

What should I do if the child is over 18?
While the cut off date for most children is 18 (it varies by state), the court can decide to make orders for support and the cost of education for children between 18 and 21 if they are mainly dependent on their custodial parent for support. Talk to your caseworker about including this in the court order if you want to get this kind of support for your child.

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