The contested final hearing is a formal court hearing (like the interim hearing, if you had one). The Judge (or Magistrate where child support is the only issue) listens to both sides, then issues a final order. You may give your own testimony and present witnesses and documents. You may cross-examine the other party. The court rules of evidence and procedure apply.
Dos and Don'ts
Preparing for the Hearing
Hearsay Rules: The Basics
The Magistrate (or Judge) may tell you on the day of the hearing what the final order will say. Or you may receive it in the mail after it has been drafted and signed. The Order takes effect when the clerk enters it on the "court docket," usually the same day the Judge or Magistrate signs it.
Q. If the court orders that I should get child support, how do I collect it?
A. You have choices. You can wait to see if the other parent pays regularly. If this happens, you don't have to do anything to enforce the order.
If you are not getting the payments, or think that you'll need help collecting your child support, you have other choices.
Under either option you choose, any money collected on your behalf will be placed on a debit card which DHHS will mail to you. You may use this card at almost every ATM and retailer and any place that accepts VISA. You may also opt to have your child support directly deposited into a bank account. You will not receive paper checks.
If the other parent does not get a regular paycheck, collecting support may be much harder. Your choices are to ask for DHHS services through the application process, hire a lawyer, or try to take the other parent back to court on your own. The last choice may be difficult, depending on the facts of your case. Read about Post-Judgment Motions, then decide if you can do a Motion to Enforce or Motion for Contempt on your own.
If you need more answers from DHHS about establishing or collecting a child support order, call the Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery, at 207-624-4100