You and your ex created your child together, so it can be frustrating when you feel like you are the only one who cares for your child. When your ex fails to provide their share, your child may go without food, medicine, tuition and other essentials. But don’t give up just yet. You can still get help from the state for child support.
1. Get a child support order
A child support order is usually made during the divorce process. But the Arkansas Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) can also help unmarried, single parents set up a child support order outside of a divorce.
Taking care of a child while requesting funds from a deadbeat ex is a stressful balancing act. A child support order helps obligate the noncustodial parent to provide financial support to the custodial parent.
2. Collect evidence of nonpayment
Now that your ex has an obligation to pay, you must prove nonpayment to convince the state to enforce a child support order. For instance, if your ex was providing payments through your bank account before, you could pull records to show that you did not receive any deposits.
3. Enforce the child support order
With a child support order and evidence of nonpayment in hand, the court may take legal action to collect the outstanding payments. Parents who fail to pay mandatory child support may be found guilty of contempt of court.
If a parent is in contempt, the court may require them to pay all back child support as well as monetary fines. The nonpaying parent may even face jail time, depending on how much they owe.
The court may also utilize other legal means to collect payments on your behalf. An order to withhold the delinquent parent’s income, collect money directly from their bank account, or place a lien on their personal property may be done to ensure payment.
When you already have a lot going on, navigating the legal system may feel like a huge obstacle. Gathering evidence and filling out documents can be intimidating, especially for first timers. Working with a family law attorney can help you move through the process more quickly and with less trouble.