Brief history, the father left the marital home, attempted visitation every other weekend or so. Visitation attempts unsuccessful due to mother’s absence or refusal to let father take children out of the home for the day. Father has to move out of state to work, continues to attempt visitation every 3rd-4th weekend. Divorce has been finalized without the father having any knowledge, papers say there was summons by publication. We are now 3 months post divorce, father is like $20,000 behind in child support, child support award is more than 75% of his pay. Father cannot locate mother and children, assumes he has warrant out for his arrest, mother is homeschooling children and travels from state to state visiting family.
His goals are to stay out of jail, and to regain contact with his children while supporting them financially. He feels the mother has been able to remove him from the picture by using the fear of jail to keep him away from the state. He feels he should approach the mother with a chunk of money to encourage her to not persue an arrest warrant, then they can work out a monetary/visitation schedule. I believe, since the divorce is final and the support is with the CSE agency, he should deal directly with them even though he cannot come close to paying the outrageous arrearage at this time. I feel that he should contact the CSE and begin to make arrangements, then contact the mother about visitation. I feel that once she got the divorce, that should remove the control she has over him, he should deal with CSE and she should produce the children for visitation or be in contempt. If he gives her money “under the table”, she still can push the CSE to persue him any time she feels like it.
He will admit that he has allowed the system to turn him into a deadbeat dad, which is not what he wants for his children. So what happens when a dad throws himself at the mercy of the CSE? Who gets to say when the license is revoked and the arrest warrants are put out? He could hire a cheap, cheap lawyer, but that would deplete the funds that should be going to the CSE and his children. All his assest were lost in the divorce.
Does he talk to CSE first or continue to try and find the mother and try to “bargain” with her?