What Will an Opposing Attorney Ask in a Child Support Hearing?

By Angie Gambone

In most states, child support hearings are initially held before a magistrate, administrative law judge or other court officer rather than an actual judge. This keeps the process much less formal. If a parent is unhappy with the results of the initial hearing, he may request a hearing in front of a judge. It is not uncommon for both parties to be without attorneys at the initial hearing, although at a hearing in front of a judge, there are oftentimes attorneys representing one or both parties. The questions will likely be the same or very similar whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent.

Work History

Establishing your work history will be very important during a child support hearing. The opposing attorney will ask you about your educational background and any special degrees or certifications you hold. You will also be asked about your current job as well as your employment from the past few years. If you are unemployed, the attorney will ask you to explain why. You will also be asked what steps you have taken to find employment and what jobs you have applied for in recent months. If you are underemployed, you will also be questioned about this. Determining your work history is important because it lets the judge know what you are capable of earning.

Proof of Income

The opposing attorney will question you about your income from all sources, including your full-time or part-time employment, and unemployment and disability compensation. You will be asked about your receipt of public assistance or Social Security. You will also be asked about income you may receive from a pension or from your assets, such as dividends on stocks. It is a good idea to bring paperwork with you to prove your income. This paperwork would include your pay stubs, IRS W-2 forms and your latest tax returns.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Additional Considerations

In addition to using your income to determine how much child support you will pay or receive, the court will consider some other facts as well. For example, if your children are in day care or camps while the parents are at work, this can affect your child support. The opposing attorney would ask you about the costs for child care and may ask for proof. If you cover your children under your health insurance, the attorney would ask you about the premiums you pay since this also affects child support. Also, if you pay mandatory retirement contributions or union dues, many states use these figures in determining child support.

Children from Other Relationships

Whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, it is important for the court to know if you have children from other relationships as this can affect child support. The opposing attorney will ask you if you have any other children and how often they stay with you. You will be asked to give your children's ages and whether or not they have any special needs. Also, if you are remarried, your new spouse's income can sometimes be considered in determining child support, so be prepared to answer questions about that as well.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Why Do I Have to Give My Payroll Stubs to My Divorce Attorney?



Related articles

Divorce & Financial Affidavits

A financial affidavit is a comprehensive document that both spouses are usually required to complete during a divorce. The financial affidavit paints a picture of your family's financial history and current financial situation. This document becomes very important during a divorce when the judge is determining issues such as alimony and child support. Financial affidavits can be time-consuming to complete, but it is very important to complete them as accurately and honestly as possible because they will be used at all stages of your divorce.

How to Split Expenses for Kids in a Divorce

Both parents are obligated to provide financial support to their children during and following a divorce. Child support is usually provided to the custodial parent by the noncustodial parent. However, there are many additional expenses, called extraordinary expenses, that are not included with the payment of child support. These additional expenses can be divided between the parents in several ways, depending on the circumstances of your case. If you are paying child support, you must be prepared to pay additional money above and beyond your support obligation in order to fund your children's additional expenses.

Income Discovery in Family Law Cases

If you and your spouse are divorcing, you usually have only one chance to get the terms right. If you agree to a settlement or a judge orders provisions in a decree, both events are based on the financial information available to you or the court at the time. If certain information is unknown, you typically can't go back later and renegotiate your deal or request a new trial. This is where discovery comes in – it's the phase of divorce proceedings when facts are gathered so you know exactly what you're dealing with. Based on the information you receive, you can make educated decisions regarding a settlement -- or the judge can do so in a decree.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Write a Petition to Reduce Child Support Payments

In order to reduce your child support payments, you must petition the court and allow a judge to make a decision. This ...

How to Defend Yourself in Child Support Cases in Court

When you receive a petition for child support, you must file your answer within the time specified in your state's ...

Can the Defendant in a Divorce Reschedule the Trial Date in Michigan?

In Michigan, divorce trials often involve the participation of more than just the spouses. At times, the court must ...

What Not to Say When Tesifying in Child Custody

Testifying can be terrifying when everything hangs in the balance and so much depends on your words. If you're ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED