If the child or children were not born during a time when the parents were married or if an Acknowledgement of Paternity has not been signed, paternity must be established. If paternity is not an issue, the support conference will proceed as follows:
The first step in a determination of support is for the support conference to be conducted. This conference is conducted by the Conference Officer who is a court official. The Conference Officer will collect various information from both parties, including demographic, employment, and income information and will calculate the net incomes of the parties. From these net incomes, the Conference Officer will calculate the guideline amount of support which is presumed to be correct in the case.
Agreement & Order of Support
At this point the parties can either come to an agreement on the amount of support or not. If the parties agree to an amount of support, the Conference Officer will prepare an Agreement and Order of Support for the parties to sign. After this agreement is signed, it is sent to the Judge for signature and copies mailed to the parties thereafter.
Interim Order of Support
If the parties do not reach an agreement, the Conference Officer will enter an interim order of support directing the defendant to pay the guideline amount of support. After the entry of that order the parties will be scheduled for a hearing de novo. If both parties request cancellation in writing or fail to appear at the hearing the interim order will become a final order. If a de novo hearing is held, the parties will appear before the Hearing Officer.