Administrative child support hearings fall under family law, therefore most attorneys that practice family law can help with support hearings. The administrative process is one way of establishing child support or modifying an existing child support arrangement. The process is set up to be user-friendly for parents who are not represented by an attorney. This does not mean a lawyer isn’t needed, only that the process is straightforward and more less designed to be navigated by parents without attorneys. It may be wise to discuss your hearing with a lawyer prior to filing. A knowledgeable attorney can help you create a stronger case and increase the likelihood of getting the support order approved.
Appealing a Child Support Administrative Ruling
Where an administrative child support hearing lawyer often gets involved is after the administrative determination is made and one of the parents doesn’t agree with the result so they hire an attorney to file an appeal. A change in parental earnings or the child requiring special needs is also another reason why an appeal or petition to change a support order may be filed. After an appeal is filed, the case is transferred to the circuit court where the circuit court judge will determine the proper child support amount.
What Happens During a Child Support Appeal?
If you have a child support order that is created by the Department of Justice Child Support Division, then it is subject to review or appeal under certain circumstances. There are various levels of appeal. It may be an administrative appeal or it may be an appeal to the circuit court of the county in which you reside. If the appeal is with the circuit court, then the Court will review the evidence presented for increasing or decreasing the child support as if the administrative decision had never been made. It should be noted that the decision they make may not necessarily be the one you request even if you are the party to initiate the appeal. For example, if you ask to have your child support burden reduced, the court may find that you should be paying more. Therefore, seeking out the advice of a child support attorney can help determine whether you should appeal and if you do, to assist in presenting the evidence most favorable to your position so that the appeal goes through satisfactorily.