Choosing the Best Approach to Successfully Collect Support

Know Your Options: Pro’s and Con’s

1. Private Attorney

a. Pro – some control over what action the attorney takes

b. Con – expensive

c. Con – few child support specialist

2. IV-D Government Child Support Agency

a. Pro – low cost or free, more enforcement tools available to them than attorneys or you

b. Con – poor service, slow, you must be persistent and diligent to ensure action

3. Represent Yourself in Court

a. Pro – control over case

b. Con – technical legal procedures

c. Con – having to confront your ex directly

Things to Know If You Hire an Attorney

Remember that the attorney works for you. Tell him/her exactly what you want to accomplish. If the attorney suggests that you accept an offer from the non-custodial parent’s attorney or from him/her, ask yourself:

1. Will this make sure that there is a way for me to actually collect the money due?

2. Will this make sure that my children have received all that they are due?

3. Will this make sure that my children get healthcare?

If you make an agreement with the non-custodial parent and/or his/her attorney, you cannot appeal the decision to the court, it is called an agreed court order. If you are not satisfied with the “deal,” you can request a full court hearing. If you don’t agree with the court order, you may have the right to appeal the judge’s (hearing officer, referee or master’s) order.

Representing Your Self in Court (Pro Se)

Best if only used for simple legal procedures such as income-withholding. Can only be used for civil court cases such as Contempt of Court. In some counties, the Clerk of Courts has pre-printed forms you can use. In other places, you must make your own forms. Check with your local legal library to see samples of forms used in your county. On line sources such as Findlaw are helpful, they list federal and state laws