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  1. #1

    Default Seeking Support from Out-of-State Absent Father

    My question involves child support in the State of: Arkansas

    My child's father has not been seen or heard from in over 2 years. The child will soon be 3 and the father lives out of state (Illinois). I have decided to seek child support, but have several questions/concerns.

    1. How do I go about locating him? I have tried is last known number and email with no repsonse. Do I simply let child support enforcement handle that?

    2. How long should this process take through child support enforcement given that he is out of state?

    3. I realize the visitation and support are separate legal issues, but I have some concerns. I tried very hard to get him to be involved in her life. He saw her 3 times in 8 months and provided some support at that time. He is not on her birth certificate even though I had the paperwork filled out for him to get notarized. I have never tried to keep him from her, but now that he's disapeared for so long I worry about him seeking visitation and having to send her out of state when he's a stranger to her. What is the likelihood that he would be granted out of state visitation rights for a child that doesn't know him? And what would the process be if he tried to seek visitation now that I'm trying to collect child support?

    I could really use his help financially which is why I'm seeking support. If he then chooses to be involved in her life I would gladly allow that, but I don't feel comfortable having to send her out of state until he's proven that he's going to be involved in her life for the long run and established a relationship with her first.

    Thanks in advance for any insight!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    529

    Default Re: Seeking Support from Out-of-State Absent Father

    Answers:

    1. As soon as he is located the sooner you will recieve your child support. In other words don't wait for the agency to locate him. Try your best to find him.

    2. As soon as you file for paternity (which come first before filing for Child Support) he is on the clock. So he will start owing you from that day on, so file as soon as possible. If it takes a year to find him, he still owes you from the day you filed, NOT the day they find him.

    3. & 4. Another reason to file, so you will be declared the Custodial Parent. Any funny stuff, will put him in a position of being a kidnapper. But without declaring you as the CP then it will make it differcult to press charges. I know a mother who was recieving court ordered support and the father's mother took the child on one of his visitation and the mother had to fight tooth and nail to get her son back. She won (Had to go to court) because she had the court order stating she was the CP. Without it she probably wouldn't have gotten her child back. With an lawyer she probably would have but that would have ended up costing a few thousands, which she definitely didn't have. (The mother was also in the military, so that added to the whole issue). The whole process took about 3 month to resolve.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Seeking Support from Out-of-State Absent Father

    1. Hopefully, yes.

    2. Filing for child support will include determining paternity if that hasn't been done already; Mom doesn't need to file a separate petition. It will usually be retro to the date of filing for CS. It's a subtle difference but worth mentioning.

    3. If he files for visitation, he'll likely get it. It will be graduated at first, short visits in your state. Eventually it will be the standard visitation plan and your child will be visiting in Dad's state.

    AK provides that in your situation you're already considered the sole legal custodial parent. Dad has no more rights to the child than I.

    (Until a court grants him those rights....)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    582

    Default Re: Seeking Support from Out-of-State Absent Father

    Defintely file for support. Even if you have all of the information packaged pretty with a bow for the Child Support Office, the process can take 18 to 24 months.

    Use the internet to find out what you can. If you can't find him, find his relatives. Give the state something to work with.

    You are going to have to do most of the legwork, but keep in mind you are doing it for your child's benefit.

    After you submit papers, stay on top of things. Contact the child support office along to way to see if your caseworker needs anything. I found out my case was closed a few times and no one told me.

    The state helps establish paternity and child support orders. They do not get involved with custody or visitaiton.

    Request a package from your state so that you can begin the paperwork. In the meantime, do what you can to locate the father.
    The court has to be able to legally serve him, so you have to give them a good address. Otherwise your case will go no where.

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