Parents in New York and throughout the country may be hesitant to ask for a formal child support order. This is because they may believe that doing so could result in a noncustodial parent obtaining greater rights to the child. However, asking for a child support order may allow a son or daughter access to other benefits such as being included on a noncustodial parent’s insurance plan. Typically, single mothers or fathers cannot apply for government benefits without requesting child support payments.

Child support payments can be used to cover a wide variety of expenses that individuals may not be able to take care of on their own. For example, they may be used to cover the cost of a son or daughter’s future medical or dental treatment. A child support payment could also go toward the cost of school trips or to pay for other extracurricular activities.

As a general rule, parents should make decisions based on what is in their child’s best interest. If asking for child support payments makes it easier to meet a son or daughter’s needs, it is likely the right decision to do so. This may be true even if it means that the other parent is allowed to take a more active role in his or her child’s life.

Those who have questions about child support and custody rights may want to talk to a family law attorney. Doing so may make it possible for parents to learn more about how to apply for financial assistance and how it may impact a visitation or custody order. An attorney may also reassure a mother or father that a judge is unlikely to require that a child spend time with a noncustodial parent who might put the minor’s safety at risk.