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What is my legal obligation towards paying probation/court fees for my minor child who I do not have sole custody of?

Danville, IN |

My son went to live with his mother when he was 16 years old and she took sole custody of him. Within 6 months he was in legal trouble and was subsequently put on probation which he apparently had fees for. I was not involved in any of the process, I did not sign anything to get him out of the juvenile center claiming responsibility and I did pay child support while he was in the juvenile correctional facility. I get a letter from the probation office saying that they've set a court date for me to explain why I haven't paid "my half" of his fees when I was never even notified of the fees or anything else. Do I have to pay this?

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Attorney answers 1


Contact the Juvenile court and ask for copies of the notice and court order directing you to pay the fees. Traditionally, even if you do not have custody of your child, the state may hold you responsible for the care of your child - including prosecution and court costs. You may be able to go to court to explain the lack of notice to you (as the reason why you did not pay the costs) and to explain your inability (if that is accurate) to pay these costs in additon to the child support you pay and your regular expenses. For an answer specific to your jurisdiction/locality, consult with a lawyer.