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Paternity and Child Support

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Paternity must be established before a father can be required to pay child support. The law now allows you to file a paternity action up to the child's 18th birthday. Contact DCSS for help in establishing paternity. You may also call LARC to request more information.

Can a support order differ from the guidelines?

Parents may agree to a support order different from the guideline amount, or a court may order a different amount, if there are special circumstances. Special circumstances may include extraordinary medical, dental or education expenses; significantly high or low income of either parent; or other special circumstances that cause an order to be too low or too high. Court approval is required for any child support order that is different from the guidelines (and DCSS approval is required if a parent receives public assistance).

Can a child support order be changed?

You have the right to request review of your child support order every three years, or earlier if there has been a "substantial change" in your, or the other parent's, financial circumstances.

To request a change in your support order file a Petition to Modify Child Support. You can obtain a Support Order Modification Kit online or by calling DCSS (1-800-852-3345, Ext. 4427).

Date: 
August 2015
Author: 
LEGAL ADVICE & REFERRAL CENTER

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