Collecting unpaid child support is an on-going problem for many custodial parents. High unemployment and the national economic situation leads to more people than ever unable to meet their financial obligations including child support payments.
There are a growing number of individuals who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and cannot find work. Bankruptcy, while offering relief from a variety of consumer and medical debts, does not offer relief for a former spouse who is behind in support payments.
Establishing paternity, or determining a parent child relationship, is legally necessary in order to collect child support. If a child’s parents were not married to each other when the child was born, the law does not recognize the father unless paternity is legally established by a court order. Establishing paternity will give your child the same rights and benefits as children born to married parents. Unmarried parents can establish paternity by signing the voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This can be done in the hospital after the child is born. A Declaration of Paternity may also be signed by parents either before or after they leave the hospital (Wikipedia). The federal government provides a payment to the hospital for each Declaration of Paternity signed. The signed Declaration of Paternity has the effect of a legally binding Judgment of Paternity.
An acknowledged father is a biological father of a child born to unmarried parents, for whom paternity has been established by either the admission of the father or the agreement of the parents. An acknowledged father must pay child support. An unmarried man who impregnates a woman is often referred to as an alleged father until there has been a finding of paternity. An alleged or unwed father will be required to pay child support if a court determines or he acknowledges that he is the father; in addition, an alleged or unwed father has the right to visitation with his child and may seek custody (Babycenter.com).
Divorce can cause a range of emotions from anger to sadness to relief. Divorces can be both mentally draining and time consuming. As such, sometimes finances can be an afterthought. As things get hectic, it is a mistake to forget about your credit situation. Before we start going through the tips, here’s a bonus tip: pull your credit report. You will be using it a lot to prepare for your divorce
Below are some ways to protect your credit during a divorce as well as a brief analysis of California Family Code Section 2040 and the automatic restraining orders that take place to help protect your finances:
Financial problems are often a source of stress in marriages. Sometimes this stress can lead to divorce proceedings. A bankruptcy filing can be the most severe form of financial stress. It is not unusual for a bankruptcy filing and a divorce proceeding to occur at nearly the same time. There are ways for the parties to a simultaneous or near-simultaneous bankruptcy and divorce proceeding to ease this process.
A required step in the divorce process is preparing and exchanging preliminary financial disclosures. A judge will not grant a divorce without the completion of this step. Not filling out the forms or filling financial disclosures out incorrectly can cause problems for both parties.
California is a community property state, which means that with few exceptions everything acquired during marriage is community property. Community property includes asset, liabilities and pensions. Whenever a person wants to get divorced in California, the court requires that all issues that were created during the marital period also be resolved at time of divorce. This includes dividing the assets and the debts, resolving custody and support issues. California Family Code section 2104 requires the preparation of financial disclosures known as Preliminary Declarations of Disclosure detailing all assets comprising the marital estate, both separate property assets and community property assets.