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3 Ways to Get Child Support Fast
How long does it take to begin receiving child support payments? The answer varies, but usually takes a few months and in some cases even longer than a year. Because preparing for your little one's arrival is expensive, pregnancy often limits a woman's work availability and post partum recovery takes several week in addition to the fact that you'll want to spend as much time bonding with your baby as possible, being able to receive child support payments quickly can make a big difference in how fast you recover financially from pregnancy.
As a single mother, I'm well aware of the many tricks that father use to avoid paying child support for the children they sire. There are so many ways that a man can use the system to avoid paying child support indefinitely (I've seen cases drag for years) that you have to think smarter and be a step ahead if you want your case to be handled quickly before your ex can do something sneaky like become fully self-employed to mask his income or become a full-time student to drastically decrease his child support requirement. While these tips won't produce miracles, you'll see faster results and hopefully start seeing payments for your child in well under a year.
1) Pick up the packet from you local Office of Child Support Services BEFORE the baby is born. Depending on what state you live in, it's often part of the Department of Family and Children Services and you can get contact information through them. The packet is several pages long and requires very extensive information (including relationship history, alternate contacts, financial information, drivers license and car tag numbers, bank account numbers, income history, permissions for disclosure, etc.) which takes time and concentration to completely and accurately provide. It will be hard to do this after the little one is born, so make use of your down time during pregnancy. After the baby is born, sign and date all the necessary pages and drop it off with Child Support Services. This usually involves a face to face meeting with a social worker so allow time for that. Filling out the child support paperwork early means you'll be able to file within a week of the birth.
2) Make sure ALL the signatures lines are signed, dated, and notarized where applicable. Failure to do so could delay the child support process significantly. At least one signature is required on almost every page and sometimes the line hard to see because of all the fine print. On some pages, the signature line(s) are in the middle of the document, so look carefully. Going through the child support paperwork packet with a highlighter or color pencil before you start working on it will help make these lines readily visible.
3) Use the months of your pregnancy to begin collecting the information needed for the non custodial parent (NCP) so that you have it all ready. You child's father may be unwilling to divulge most of these things to you, so be discrete and patient. The most important information to get will be 2-3 alternate contacts for your ex including addresses and phone numbers (if you can get his parents' or new girlfriend's contact info, that should help get his attention), his complete work contact information including supervisor's name and phone number, his gross income, drivers licence/tag numbers so they can suspend his driving privileges for nonpayment, and at least one bank account number so you can set up auto draft payments. Of course, Child Support Services will verify all of this, but if he goes into hiding to avoid paying child support, they'll have his bank account numbers and driver's information.
Follow these steps and you'll have your application on the fast track. It can still sometimes take a few months or even up to a year, depending on many variables with the father's side of the paperwork and how much legal work is required. Providing as much information upfront will expedite the results.