How to File for Child Support. There are many reasons why parents may chose to file for child support or custody and visitation separately. For example, if you are involved in a domestic violence situation, you might want to file for a divorce first and handle all related matters later.

Nevertheless, what ever your reason is you must file for child custody in the same court where your divorce was handled. Filing for custody in the same divorce court does not necessarily mean that the same judge who granted your divorce will decide this other petition. What it means is that you must file in the same judicial territory or jurisdiction, even if you have relocated to another state. One reason for this is so that the court can apply the same rules and regulations for both proceedings. Another reason is to avoid conflicting results in different states.

When filing you may want to hire a lawyer or you may choose to do it yourself. To do it yourself you must first obtain from your local family court a set of child custody forms that are normally available at no cost. You must set aside at least one hour of quiet time in a comfortable environment to fill out these forms. To fill out the forms you will need all basic information regarding you, your spouse, your divorce case and your children. You must have all your children's complete names and dates of birth. You will also be required to provide a physical address where your ex-spouse can be located. These forms do not address the issue of child support. Child support is a separate proceeding that requires different forms. You may file for child support and child custody separately or in conjunction. The general preference is to file both requests together and have all your children's issues taken care of at one time.

If you choose to hire an attorney, he or she will provide the forms for you, fill them out and file them at the clerk's office of the proper court. The attorney will keep you informed of the process, prepare you and offer you advice all throughout the proceeding. When filing for child custody, if you anticipate that your ex-spouse is going to oppose to your petition, you should most definitely consider hiring an attorney.


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