What do I do if my husband does not pay child support? 17 Answers as of May 25, 2011

My husband and I have been separated for 2 years. He is threatening to take my daughter away if I put her in daycare rather than have him watch her every day. He has money for lawyers and I do not. I work two jobs to keep my head above the water. He doesn't work and doesn’t pay child support. How am I supposed to fight him? I have a parenting plan written out to submit with my divorce papers, but until then...what do I do?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
If you cannot salvage the marriage, file for divorce. Work out payment arrangements with your lawyer. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/25/2011
Keri Burnstein, P.C.
Keri Burnstein, P.C. | Keri Burnstein
You need to at least find an attorney who will offer you a free consultation. After that, you will be better to decide what to do. You will need to at least file a motion with the Court/Friend of the Court and fight your husband.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/25/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
In any divorce, a court can decide temporary issues related to custody, parenting time and child support. Until you file in court, an Order cannot be entered to determine those issues. You may seek to fie in form a pauper is which allows filing fees to be waived and, as part of your relief, seek an award of your legal fees.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/24/2011
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
Parents have a legal duty to provide for the needs of a dependent child. That duty may be imposed by court order, operation of law, or another manner. If you haven't already filed a proposed parenting plan and a petition for child support, you need to contact an attorney immediately, and begin the formal process of requiring your husband to meet his responsibilities and legal obligations. If you cannot afford an attorney, please contact the family law facilitator at your county's superior court. If your husband fails to comply with a court ordered parenting plan or child support order, he can be held in contempt and/or possibly arrested. Under the law, your husband cannot simply "take" your child from you. If he does remove your child from the jurisdiction, he may be charged with the crime of custodial interference. Custodial interference is a felony.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/23/2011
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
You need a lawyer to help level the playing field. If you can hire a lawyer, it is possible to ask the court to direct husband to give you some "suit" money to file and prosecute your divorce with resources so he cannot take financial advantage of you. Similarly you can file for temporary child and spousal support depending on your circumstances. The issue of father being the first option for day care is similar to a mother asking the same. Usually the court is very happy to see children taken care of by their parents, whether it is for work related issues or for their regularly scheduled parenting time. Obviously there are some real control issues going on her between you and your husband. He appears to be controlling you economically and by bullying you; and you are trying to control his parenting time by not letting him take care of his children while you work. You need help, as I am sure there is much more to you story.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/23/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    File for divorce, ask for temporary support, get some money from the community.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    In Washington you would need to file your divorce and bring a motion for temporary orders to establish the times your daughter should be with each of you, as well as child support. If you cannot afford to have an attorney represent you, you could keep your costs down by hiring an attorney just to help you represent yourself (such as by preparing the papers you would need and advising you on the steps to take). You should also contact your county bar association to see if there are any programs that might be available to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Most states have a similar way of dealing with such matters. I strongly suggest you consult with a divorce lawyer. First, the fact that he has money and you don't should be able to be overcome with a Motion to the Court asking the Court to direct him to pay for your attorney. That should be granted. The same goes for temporary and then permanent child support and child care expenses. Maybe even Maintenance/Alimony if you're not making enough. Don't be intimidated by him just because he has money. You have serious rights in such a situation and an attorney will fully explain them to you. Speak to a good lawyer and let them put the pressure on him to act appropriately. Oh, and he cannot take your child away from you for putting them in day care so you can work. In fact, I think that is coercion that should be brought to the attention of the Court. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    If he doesn't work but has money to pay lawyers then he should have money to pay support. If there are no court orders about support then why would he complain if he doesn't have to pay for the daycare, which is a component of support? If there are no court orders then you can do whatever you choose to be in the best interests of your child. He will have to file a motion for orders seeking access to the child while you work, but again such access would have to be in the best interests of the child and should also take into account your work schedule.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    I am assuming that you are the primary caregiver for your child. As such, if you filed a motion for child support (and the primary physical custody is with you), he will have to pay child support. The same applies to a contribution for the cost of day care so that you can work. You can rely on the family relations officers to be fair and honest with all parties as to how they see it and what should happen. If you feel that you need an attorney and that your husband is rich enough (he doesn't work? I should be so lucky!) a court might also order him to pay for all or part of your attorney fees.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We are divorce lawyers in Augusta, Georgia. You have presented a tough situation. I would recommend that you talk with family or friends to see if they can help you retain a divorce lawyer in your community to help you, or ask divorce attorneys if they can work with you on a payment plan, if you are able to come up with a partial retainer, so that you can take this before a judge. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If you cannot obtain an attorney (and you can file a motion for attorney's fees, which can then be used to pay your attorney), you can open a free case with your local department of child support services.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Until there is a court order fixing a child support amount and adopting a parenting plan there is little you can do to require your husband to do anything or prevent him from doing something. You need to file your divorce case as soon as possible and it would be highly beneficial if you consult an attorney for more information about the process and what you can expect. Even if you can't afford to hire an attorney to handle the entire case, you can't afford not to at least pay for one hour of an attorney's time to explain what you can expect.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    You need an attorney to help you, however, you can use DCSS for free if you live in California to assist with child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    You should still speak to a divorce attorney in greater detail before filing anything to determine your best course of action. You may even be able to obtain a court order requiring him to reimburse you for your attorney's fees.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You hire me, and I go fight him tooth and nail. Call me, I will help you out. He watches a child and still has money for lawyers? How is that possible? His threats are....irritating. Call me, this may be very interesting.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    It's not clear whether you've started your divorce or not.Either way, once your divorce is started, but before it is finalized, you can move the court for temporary orders regarding parenting and support. The court will probably think its a better idea the child is with a parent than day care if the parent is okay.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/23/2011
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