I am attempting to collect information to get my fiancé back on track with his child support. Any assistance you can provide is appreciated. He has two children by two different mothers. I’m pretty sure both are in the Guilford County/Greensboro area.

With his son, 1, he has an agreement in place to pay $70 a week. The mother wants nothing from him but money and he has only seen this child a couple times. He has tried to contact her since moving out of state and she won’t even pick up the phone. I am not sure how far in arrears he is…is there a way (online/phone call) to find out? (Still researching the eChild Support website.)

With his daughter, 2, he is in the process of a divorce so the amount has not yet been decided. He was served last March, but they have to wait a year for the divorce to be finalized. The mother lives with her boyfriend and they both have an income. Due to location, my fiancé doesn’t get to see his daughter either. Although he would like shared custody (perhaps summers with us), it is impossible at the moment. Unfortunately, the Ex won’t even send pictures…and has blocked him from her MySpace/Facebook out of spite.

Meanwhile, he has been out of work since July and living with me in the Caribbbean. I have been supporting him and cannot afford to support his children as well. As far as I’m concerned, that is not my responsibility.

My suggestion to him is #1 insist on a paternity test for his son to make sure it is his son. IF it is, #2 have his arrangement re-evaluated and modified now that his financial circumstances have changed and he will be paying for two children instead of one. Or #3 is it possible to give up his parental rights and any financial responsibility toward the son?

How should we go about this (especially given the long distance)? We plan to go back to NC for the holidays. Do we need to set up a court date for this or is it a matter of filing paperwork (that we can do from here)?

We can deal with his daughter’s child support when the divorce is finalized in March. I assume we will have to return to NC for a court date for that. Hopefully by then he will be working again, but if not…does it just build up until he can pay? Can they detain him at the airport and throw him in jail for lack of payment or just suspend his license?

Any other wisdom/suggestions?

With respect to the first child, if he cannot locate the mother, I would suggest he place the support money into an account that he holds for the benefit of the child.

As for the second child, support can be determined prior to divorce, and it most often is.

It is not your responsibility to support his children.

I would only recommend a paternity test if there is an actual doubt as to who the child’s father is. Going to court on the issue of paternity is not cheap.

He cannot voluntarily relinquish his parental rights, the mother(s) would have to seek a termination.

Thank you for your prompt response and your insight, Ms Clarey.

To answer my other questions:

  1. How can we go about adjusting the rate for the first child? Assuming we can have it modified…since circumstances have changed and he has been unemployed for 2 months (not for lack of trying…he has applied for 5 different positions here). I expect him to make less than 10K this year once that is averaged in…especially since the pay scale here is a lot lower than the States. Besides, I am currently the primary breadwinner and my housing/utilities are covered as part of my employment package.

  2. Would it be beneficial to file the paperwork for the second child at the same time since the rate can be set before the divorce is finalized??? That way both are taken into account when setting the rates for each of them?

  3. For BOTH children - Will we need to make court arrangements in advance to coincide with our trip back to NC? Can we file paperwork from here? Or must we wait and file paperwork when we return to the States?

  4. While he is unemployed, does the amount he owes just build up until he can pay? What are the consequences (other than suspending his license) that we might have to worry about? Can they detain him when he flies or put him in jail?

Thank you for your time and knowledge.

The father can file for child support to have the court set an amount of support for both children at the same time, though they will be separate actions.

Court documents can be mailed to the clerk for filing.

If a parent is unemployed support moving forward is determined based on that status. Previous month’s missed payments become arrearages.

A person can be jailed for non-payment of support.

Much appreciated…

I wish you all the best.