Child Support Lawyer in Rhode Island
Protecting the Best Interests of Children for Nearly 40 Years
For help in settling legal matters relating to child support, contact a
divorce attorney at The Law Office of Patricia A. Sullivan. My firm has
over 30 years of experience in resolving divorce issues of all types.
If there is a chance of an amicable resolution for a client, I take the
necessary action to help make that a reality. I understand the difficulties
involved in divorce and child support matters, and I am ready to help
you pursue an outcome to your case that reduces the impact of those difficulties
as much as possible.
If you are seeking child support, or are intent on challenging a child
support order that you feel is unfair, contact my firm for legal assistance.
Common Questions About Child Support
Do you have questions or concerns about whether you will be awarded child
support, or be required to pay support? I have gathered together some
of the most common questions I am asked to help you understand the process
under state law, and how decisions are made by the court. You can contact
me to discuss your personal concerns about this critical issue. With over
30 years of experience, I have gained a great deal of insight into how
the court comes to a decision, and how to ensure that my clients and their
children are treated fairly.
How to Calculate Child Support in Rhode Island
Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines are used to determine the amount
of child support that a custodial parent receives after a
legal separation. These guidelines include a variety of factors that a court considers
when deciding on an amount that meets the needs of the child while being
fair to both parties. The factors include:
- The financial resources of both parents
- The child's standard of living throughout the marriage
- The child's educational needs
- The child's emotional and physical condition
- The financial needs of the child and the noncustodial parent
The court also considers the amount of time that each parent spends with
the child, as well as the necessities related to the child's upbringing,
such as child care and health insurance.
When the two parents are sharing custody, and the children spend equal
time with each, and both have an income, it may be that no child support
will be awarded. If one parent is the
custodial parent and acted as the main caregiver to the children while the other provided
income, it is likely that child support will be awarded. I can easily
help you determine what to expect in child support.
Can I change a child support order?
Once the court has issued a child support order, you are required to adhere
to the order. If you cannot pay your child support payments, and you have
an outstanding amount owing, you can face legal consequences, including
enforcements in which your wages will be garnished, your tax refund forwarded
to the other parent, or legal repercussions such as facing contempt of
court charges. In any case in which a parent cannot pay the court-ordered
support, due to a significant change in circumstances, I can go to court
and seek a
These circumstances might include:
- reduced income,
- the birth of another child in a new marriage,
- loss of employment,
It is imperative that you get a change approved by the court, rather than
making arrangements with your former spouse. Should your relationship
deteriorate, your former spouse could take action to collect all outstanding
payments, even if you made a prior agreement between the two of you. Get
the court to approve a modification. I can help.
Is it possible to enforce a child support order?
If a parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent may request
that a court find the non-custodial parent in contempt. There are two
types of contempt that a parent can be charged with: willful and technical.
Willful contempt involves the non-custodial parent making little or no
effort to provide child support. If the non-custodial parent has a legitimate
excuse for not making payments, the court may find him or her in technical
contempt. In either case, the court can order payment of child support.
In willful contempt cases, the non-custodial parent may face prison time as well.
If you have additional questions about child support in Rhode Island, or
wish to retain legal help,
contact The Law Office of Patricia A. Sullivan today!