My husband is the custodial parent of his 15 yr old. Over Xmas break he went to visit the non custodial parent. She did not return him, unenrolled him in his current school, enrolled him in school in her town, and filed for child support. Last we knew she lived in a half way house for addicts getting clean. We cannot locate her or the son. We received papers yesterday for a child support order to pay $450 a month to her. She's never paid her support to us and now has abducted or coerced the 15 yr old and opened a case for child support even tho she isn't the custodial parent. Is this legal? What can we do? She is over the mountains and a 8-10 hr drive from us the last we knew of her location. My husband has been trying to nicely work with her to find their location to retrieve his son but no luck. She's doing this just for the money. Can dcs collect even tho she abducted the child? The schools didn't even question if there was a parenting plan or custody. How do we fix this? She cannot care for the child, has no home, and is not able to provide a safe environment. She did not have permission to keep the child.
A parent is the custodian parent because the court designates that parent to be the custodian parent. So, is there a court order already in place in which your husband is designated the custodian parent by the court?
In WA, if there is not a court order restricting a person's parental right, both legal parents have the same and equal rights and responsibilities to the minor child.
A person who gives birth to the child has a clearer claim to being a legal parent than other persons. Other persons likely must ask the court to determine the parentage of the child.
Has your husband been determined to be the child's legal parent?
Your husband likely should promptly review the specific facts with his attorney to find out his legal options.
Your husband should consult with a family law attorney immediately. Assuming you are correct that is legally the custodial parent, the Court will not condone the mother's action particularly where a change in schools is involved. And the answer may not be different even if that is not legally established but it becomes more complicated. If DCS is involved in attempting to collect child support, then her address can be discovered by legal means. The longer he waits the more he condones the mother's actions.
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