Often, when discussing child support, we are talking about a situation that involves two people who have decided to divorce or part ways after a relationship and they have a minor child or children together. In such a case, one individual might agree to pay child support to the custodial parent or be ordered to do so by the court.
Child support can also come into play in other scenarios. In some cases, two people are not in a marriage or long-term relationship when a child is conceived. In such a case, the father might not realize he is the parent of a child. Sometimes, the father denies that he is the parent.
When this happens, if the mother believes a particular man is the father of a child, then she can file a petition to establish paternity. If a father believes he might be the parent of a child and is seeking custody rights of some sort, he might also petition for paternity, and any person or agency providing a substantial amount of support to the child in question might also petition to establish paternity.
The Kentucky courts do hold paternity matters confidential. Outside of the relevant petitioning parties and the potential father, information about paternity can only be accessed via a court order. If paternity is established, then a judge with the Family Court might also proceed with issuing orders regarding matters of child support, visitation and custody, especially if either parent petitions for those decisions.
Whether you are seeking support for minor children in your care or you are a father who wants to be more involved with a child’s life, the court system can be daunting to deal with for the uninitiated. Working with an experienced family law professional can help you overcome fears about filing petitions and fighting for your legal rights.
Source: Kentucky Court of Justice, “Cases,” accessed June 14, 2016