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What legal actions can a father take when the child's mother runs away with the child & files for child support ?

Bronx, NY |

I have a 9 yr old son whose mother ran off to another state when he was 1 month old, then I finally got to see him at the age of 2 for 1 Month. Since then She will not disclose her location nor let me keep in touch with my son. Yet, she went to court and filed for child support which i have been paying for the past 8/9 years. I asked the child support judge to advise me how can I see my son or stop the child support payments since I have not seen my son & tried reaching out to her through her family to no avail. The Court's best answer was to go to the last state she is known to reside in and deal with their court system since my state cannot assist me. I haven't seen my son although I would truly love to but I am tired of this fight that the Courts are unwilling to help me. Advice?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

First, if she is receiving the child support that you are paying, someone knows where she is. Chances are that she is still in the jurisdiction where the last child support order was issued. You don't absolutely need to know her address to file a custody/visitation petition, you should be able to file in the same court that issued the last child support order because under the UCCJEA, that court most likely has continuing jurisdiction. That court can then tell you how you must serve notice of your petition. My guess is that this problem isn't going to be as difficult to solve as you may think, but you'll have to have the right tools and information. Thus, I suggest you consult with a local attorney to get started. You can find contact information for local attorneys here on Avvo. Good luck!

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You need to hire an attorney who can engage the services of a private investigator that will track her down. Short of that you can try bringing a motion in NY to a judge to have support enforcement disclose the address where payments are made to. Good luck you don't have an easy case.

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This advice is not meant to create an attorney-client relationship and is a general anwer to the question posed.


The ultimate problem is that the state where the child is now living in probably has jurisdiction to hear any custody or visitation cases. If a child has been residing in a particular state for more than 1 year, then generally that state has such jurisdiction. Thus, I agree that hiring a private investigator at this point seems to be your best shot. First find her, then enforce your visitation rights. In any event, if you're looking for a free follow-up consultation with a Family Law attorney, please feel free to call my Bronx office at 718-725-9600


I believe you have a good case for alienation which could ultimately win you custody of your son if you are interested in that. But, again, the issue is that you first have to find her because the state where she is currently residing most likely has jurisdiction over custody issues. I would hire a private investigator yourself to figure out where she is first. Once you find her then you can find a lawyer in her state and bring a custody/visitation action. I would suggest to the lawyer that he ask for a restraining Order forbidding her from leaving the jurisdiction with the child until the case is over, given her history; otherwise you will have to start the process of finding her all over again. I wish you luck.

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