The Child Support Enforcement Program in Louisiana is funded by on a federal, state, and local level and makes sure that children involved in a divorce situation are given medical and financial help. It makes sure that the children will be provided the financial support of both parents and establishes paternity, issues court orders for support, collection of child support, as well as finding missing parents.
Finding Parents and Paternity
All too often a parent attempts to shirk his or her duties in providing financially for their children and locating them may be difficult. The Child Support Enforcement offices can assist in locating the non-custodial parent, or establishing paternity in the case of a dispute, so that child support can begin. Genetic tests are performed to establish parentage, and the search of massive state’s databases will be utilized in locating a parent who has opted out of their obligations.
Once this has occurred, and it is determined that the non-custodial parent is violating child support orders, the Louisiana staff will send the necessary information to the Attorney General’s office so that legal action can be taken. If the custodial parent wishes to hire an outside attorney, they can, of course do so, and will simply have to have their new attorney contact the AG for the files.
Paternity cases can be filed at any time up until the child is 19 years of age. Filing sooner is better than later because the custodial parent can only file for a backdated period of two years, at least until it goes to trial, where more may be awarded.
Even if the non-custodial parent is no longer living in the state of Louisiana the State will work on the custodial parent’s behalf in locating and then getting an order in the non-custodial parent’s state.
Modifying or Challenging Child Support Rulings
Modifications to a child support order can be made, but those considering it should proceed cautiously. Documentation must be provided that shows cause for a reduction, or the court will overturn your petition. If the financial situation changes after a period of 12 months (less if the petitioner is terminally ill), or if the support offered does not adequately meet the needs of the child, then a modification may be granted by the courts. Each such case is considered on its own. For more information about this go to the Louisiana Department of Human Resources section on the Periodic Review and Adjustment of Child Support Orders.
Child Support Responsibilities in Louisiana (custodial parent)
In Louisiana, you must disclose any and all information that you have about yourself and the other parent. You may have to testify in court as far as paternity is concerned, as well as provide proof of income. Additionally, where the non-custodial parent is concerned, if they are trying to assist you in tracking them down, you are responsible for providing all information that you might have at your disposal, including your former partner’s family addresses, known associates, organizations, or businesses where they may be.
This is just half the battle. Once the parent is located, the court must then establish a legal relationship between the father and child before a court order can be issued to order the child support.
Applying for Child Support in Louisiana
Once a divorce in final and custody has been determined, then the support laws state that the non-custodial parent (the parent not living with the child) must pay a certain amount of income to help with the care and raising of that child. To apply, you can go to: https://cafe-cp.dcfs.la.gov/selfservice/ This is an online application and you must first register with them, setting up an account. If you wish, you can use this hub to receive payments, as well as make payments. Many find this useful as it means that they have limited contact with the other parent and it seems to make receiving the payments predictable. Calculators for amounts are also available via the government site, so that you can see how much you might receive, or be required to pay. http://www.dss.state.la.us/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&pid=137