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Child support and an uninvolved father

Single mothers trying to establish child support outside of a divorce can face an uphill battle. Before the child support agency can even begin to start the calculations for the support order, paternity must be established. The agency also has to get in contact with the father to find out how much he is making a year. This can be difficult if the mother has lost contact with the father or he does not live locally.

If you know who the father is and where he lives but he lives out of state, it's not as complicated to get a child support order in place as it may seem. The first step is to establish paternity. This normally involves notifying the potential father, setting up a DNA test and then going through any court procedures, such as custody issues, that may arise. A California family law attorney can help you through all of this.

If you know who the father is but have lost touch and no longer have a current residence, it can be more difficult but not impossible. The first step is to notify the courts and/or the child support agency as necessary. If the father is listed on the birth certificate, paternity is already assumed. This means that the case can go directly to trying to establish a child support order. If necessary, an attorney can help you locate the father and subpoena financial records to get an accurate income.

While all of these situations may seem difficult and time consuming — and that may be true — having the assistance of a family law attorney throughout the process makes it much easier to navigate.

Source: California Department of Child Support Services, "Establishing Paternity (Fatherhood) FAQs," accessed March 04, 2016

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