Has your child’s parent failed to make a child support payment recently? You could attempt to recover the amount by sending them a child support demand letter. We cover all you need to know about the subject here. If you already know what a child support demand letter is, you can jump to the free template at the bottom to begin writing it.
What Is a Child Support Demand Letter?
A child support demand letter is an official request you make to the parent of your child for child support dues. If the parent fails to pay child support for any reason, then you can send them a reminder in the form of a child support demand letter.
The child support demand letter is not a legal obligation unless it is mentioned as such in an agreement you’ve made with your partner. However, it’s still a good idea to write one. It functions as proof that you sent them a reminder. It may also prove advantageous during litigation if it comes to that.
When Do You Need a Child Support Demand Letter?
In the majority of cases, child support demand letters are sent when the parent fails to pay dues. Sometimes, though, the parent may pay less or make an improper payment of some kind. A child support letter may be sent in such cases too.
Child support is usually in the form of a cash payment. It is granted to you by the local court and is based on the income of the parent. Sometimes, the child support is in other forms, such as sponsoring the child’s tuition, purchasing their insurance, or other such obligation.
If the payment defaults on their obligation, you note the default and ask them to rectify the situation via a demand letter.
Why Do You Need a Child Support Demand Letter?
A child support demand letter can be very useful:
- It acts as a formal reminder for the parent. It records the failure to carry through on an obligation.
- The letter is evidence you can use in court. If the parent still refuses to pay, the demand letter becomes evidence.
- The demand letter is a show of good faith. It tells the court and other authorities you tried to sort the matter out without resorting to using public resources immediately.
What Information Is Included in a Child Support Demand Letter?
Here’s what you should include in a child support demand letter:
- The amount that is due, and the date you were expecting the money on.
- Details of the divorce settlement or other child support agreement.
- The due date – how long the parent has to pay you (14 days).
You may also include other details in the letter if you think it would help – like the fact that not paying for over a year is considered a misdemeanor and carries a jail sentence.
Here are some suggestions on how to write an effective child support demand letter and other general advice:
- Extend an olive branch – it might be best to write in a civil tone and reminding the parent that the money will be used for their child’s care.
- If they aren’t likely to listen to reason, you can state your intent to take them to court.
- Send the letter with a return receipt.
- Contact the DHS if the parent doesn’t pay you after 14 days.
- Make copies of the letter.
Usually, a well-written child support demand letter puts pressure on the at-fault parent. In many cases, they give in to the demand quickly. It can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. You can use our free template below to write an effective letter.
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