Separated women and women who came out of abusive marriages struggling to raise children alone without support from the other parent can seek help to collect child maintenance (child support) from the other parent. This is paid by the non residential parent (usually the father) to the parent with day to day care of the children.
Parents are legally responsible for the financial security of their children even if you don’t see them or if agreement about access to the children happened separately. Visitation and child support are separate issues in the eyes of the court.
You need to have child maintenance arrangements for children under 21 or more if in approved education or training. If you make a private arrangement this can continue after then.
Private Child Maintenance Arrangement
You can arrange child maintenance yourselves. You can make these arrangements yourselves to support the children financially. You can agree between yourselves how much maintenance should be paid, how and when it should be made.
If you are finding it difficult to come to an agreement or the private arrangement breaks down you can seek the help of a neutral mediator. You both have to be willing to go to mediation.
Getting Help to Make an Arrangement
A professional mediator who acts as a neutral third party facilitates discussion to help you make an arrangement or work out an agreement on child maintenance (child support) payments. Free Mediation and Legal Support.
Getting Payments without Sharing Your Location
You can seek help and support from appropriate state agencies if you feel at risk talking to the other parent because a private agreement would involve being in contact.
If you do not want to be in contact because you do not feel it is safe you need not talk to the other parent or tell the other parent your location.
You do not need to make contact with the other parent if you’ve experienced violence. You can seek help to collect payments.
The child welfare can help you work out how much maintenance needs to be paid, take action if a parent doesn’t pay the agreed amount and review the payments if your circumstances change.