Like any other kind of legal proceeding, child custody and child support battles have a whole series of steps and procedures that must be followed for the preceding to occur. One does not simply walk into a court and demand child support and it is granted. There has to be a number of steps accomplished before the actual trial.
Along the way, there is a great deal of documentation that can be submitted, served, and issued related to the proceeding. This can get extremely confusing for a person who is not well-versed in legal terminology.
Waiver of Service for Child Support
One such document that can be used as part of the child custody proceeding is the waiver of service. For those who are unfamiliar with this document, what a waiver of service means is that you are acknowledging that you intend to appear before the court and do not need to be served some form of summons obligating you to appear.
One aspect that is important in all court proceedings is the assurance that both parties are heard. If one person files for a child support request, it would be unfair for the court to grant such a request without hearing all of the facts related to the request. This includes hearing from the other party.
Judges want to ensure that each party in a child support matter is heard so that a proper amount of money can be determined for one parent or guardian to pay to the other. Without knowing all of the pertinent facts, which include such things as salaries of both parents, living arrangements, child custody matters, and other financial or personal situations, the judge is going to make a ruling that may be detrimental to one parent or the other. Having such a proceeding gives the greatest opportunity for fairness in child support matters.
Both Parents Need to Be Aware of Court Proceedings
One parent may be completely unaware of there being such a proceeding if they are not served the notice. When a parent files a petition with the court requesting child support, the judge will sign an order that is to be served to the other parent informing them that a petition has been filed and a court date has been set for them to appear to discuss the issue.
This order is usually served to the other parent by way of the local sheriff’s office or some other specified agency directed by the court to serve such petitions. It is their obligation to serve the petition to the party who is being sued for support.
If the petition is not served then, in most cases, the court proceeding cannot move forward. It would be unfair to make an order against someone who was not reached and did not receive the summons. Only under some rather extreme circumstances can the court move forward when they have been unable to properly serve someone.
Giving the Opportunity to Bypass Paperwork
What the waiver of service does is that it takes the work away from the court to actually file in order and send a representative out to serve a person with the summons to appear in court. This waiver is ending knowledge meant by the party being sued that they recognize there is a petition already before the court and they intend to appear to have their voice heard.
The waiver of service is to be filed in writing to ensure that the proper documentation is filed. Simply calling and acknowledging that you are aware of this is not good enough. You want to ensure that you have fully acknowledged before the court that you are aware of the proceeding and you intend to show.
The Benefit of Working With an Attorney
The most common circumstance where a waiver of service is issued is from the attorney representing the defendant in a child support lawsuit. While this is not always the case, it is most often true that the attorney informs the court that their client is aware of the pending petition and they intend to be represented and have their voice heard during the proceeding.
It would be to your advantage to having an attorney if you let that person notify the court through the waiver of service. This ensures that a court officer has properly served the court with the waiver. They will know exactly how to file the petition, what is required by the court, and how the documentation should be filed.
How JacksonWhite Law Can Help
No matter what kind of legal proceeding you are involved in, you should have an attorney to assist you every step of the way. This is especially true when you are involved in a child support petition.
Not having the proper documentation, being unaware of exactly what you should file, and being ignorant of policies and procedures related to the court can come back to haunt you in ways you cannot imagine. You may wind up paying a significant amount of money, maybe more than you can truly afford because you have not done what is necessary to allow you to have your voice heard before the court.
At JacksonWhite, we know exactly how to advise you and assist you every step of the way. We have dealt with a number of these kinds of proceedings, and can ensure that your rights are being protected.
From the start, we are ready to look out after you. By setting up an appointment, you can come in for a consultation so that we can provide you with advice on what steps you should take once you are aware that a petition has been filed requesting child support from you. Set up an appointment today so we can help you protect your rights through this entire proceeding.
Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.