Does a person have to pay child support without a court order?

Question:

Does a person have to pay child support without a court order

My husband and I have lived apart for over one year. I have to fight and argue with him to even see my daughter on any day but Sunday. I am filing divorce papers today and and for joint custody along with a parenting plan where we will both see her equally. For the last year I have been paying for her daycare and giving him money to help with her expenses (all in all $600 a month).

I wouldn’t be upset about it if he would actually let me see her without a fight. He makes substantially more money than I do which is why I am asking that he pay me child support so I can afford to give her the same lifestyle he does as he misses no opportunity to remind me that I can’t afford to.

Should I continue to give him money while we wait for a judge or just pay her daycare until a judge decides?

Answer:

While you are not court ordered to pay child support, you do have an obligation to support your child, as does the other parent. You will not likely be punished for not giving him money, especially under these circumstances. If you are willing to pay her daycare in the interim, this will probably be sufficient until you get in front of the judge.

More concerning is your husband’s manipulative attitude that you can not “afford” your child or his unwillingness to allow you equal time. He should be willing to negotiate a plan whereby you each have her half of the time, but he will not.

While it does appear that you are pointed in the right direction, I would suggest that you consult with an experienced family law attorney BEFORE you file your papers to discuss your rights and options.

As well, you need to be filing for Temporary Orders right away, asking the court to split the time, the daycare cost and that he pay temporary child support. This case will likely drag on for months, maybe longer

You are likely in for a serious fight, things may go from bad to worse very quickly once you file for divorce. Even if you do not hire help, you should seek a consultation first.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

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