Delaware Court Records
What is Child Support, and When does it Occur in Delaware?
The Delaware State laws confer parents with the obligation of supporting their minor child. Typically, child support occurs either through a divorce action or a party files for child support in a state court. The court determines the child support amount from the income of the parents.
The Division of Child Support Services of the Delaware Health and Social Services ensures the enforcement of court-ordered support and assists individuals with any issue they encounter concerning child support.
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What is Delaware Child Support?
Under Title 13 Chapter 22 (Division of Child Support Services) of the Delaware Code, Delaware child support refers to the court-ordered duty that both parents have to financially support their minor child. The payment is continuous, and the obligor makes it monthly.
Such matters may arise from a child support action in court or during a divorce proceeding.
What Does Child Support Cover in Delaware?
Child support in Delaware covers the expenses of the child’s primary needs. The court may also modify the primary support obligations in some cases to the child’s benefits. Expenses covered by child support payment in the state include:
- Medical Expenses: Delaware child support covers the medical and health care for the child. This may be health insurance or other healthcare expenses that insurance does not cover. Such expenses could be dental, vision, or orthodontic.
- Education: Typically, the child support payment budgets for the minor’s educational expenses. Under the law, parents owe a support duty till the child finishes high school or turns nineteen years of age (whichever occurs first)
- Childcare cost: Such expenses cater to the basic needs of the child.
What is the Average Child Support Payment in Delaware?
In Delaware, the parents’ net income combined determines the average child support payment. The child support amount is only deductible from a parent’s income after removing their self-support allowance, taxes, and other deductible allowances such as alimony, health insurance, and retirement payments. The court sets a self-support allowance of $1,170 for each parent.
Per the Child Support Formula Instructions, the court imposes a minimum of $110 as the child support obligation for a child and $170 for more than one child.
How Do I apply for Child Support in Delaware?
Interested persons may apply for child support in Delaware by filing a support petition in court. They can also file a support action through the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).
Parents can file a support petition and other necessary documents with the Family Court located in any county within the state. Filing charges may apply, following the court fee schedule. Petitioners can visit the Family Court Location page on the Judicial Branch site to find the court’s addresses and contact information. The court also receives support petitions via email (FC_ChildSupport@delaware.gov).
A support action can also be initiated via the DCSS by completing their application form, attaching any required documents, and submitting it via mail or in-person at any of their office locations.
Upon filing a petition of support, the respondent receives a copy of the court paper and may file an Answer within twenty days from the service date.
The court schedules a mediation conference for the child support order, which is compulsory for both parties to attend.
How Do I Get Out of Paying Child Support in Delaware?
Generally, a parent can get out of paying child support in Delaware once the child reaches the age of eighteen. If the child is not done with high school by that age, the termination of the child support obligation occurs when the child graduates or reaches nineteen years of age.
The court may order a test to confirm paternity during a support action. If the test shows that an individual is not the biological parent, they do not owe any child support duty.
A parent’s support obligation can reduce if they have custody of the child for 80 to 163 overnights per year. Such parents also get to keep a percentage of the primary support. Interested parties can also request the court to modify the child support order. Such requests can be made after a two-and-a-half-year period since the initial calculation of the child support amount.
What is Back Child Support in Delaware?
Back child support in Delaware is the accumulated debt of a parent that did not make their child support payment for a specific period. Under Section 15–2215, such past due payment becomes a lien in favor of the other party in an amount adequate to satisfy the debt.
How Do I Get Back Child Support Paid in Delaware?
To get back child support payments in Delaware, individuals can contact the state Department of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE). The DCSE is responsible for enforcing child support orders in the state. The DCSS contact information page provides the contact information that individuals can reach the department. Some of the enforcement measures employed by the DCSE include:
- Withholding of incomes
- Intercepting lottery winnings in the state
- Suspension of license (driver license, hunting/fishing license, professional license)
- Denial of passports for non-custodial parents with back child support debts of $2,500 or more
- Interception of the federal or state tax refunds
Is There a Delaware Statute of Limitation on Child Support?
The Delaware state laws do not provide a statute of limitation on child support. Therefore, individuals are eligible to collect child support payments regardless of the time. However, the statute of limitations on establishing paternity in child support is when the child turns eighteen years of age or nineteen (if they are still in high school).