Monthly Archives: October 2013

Another Question About Child Support and Visitation Rights

A woman recently posted on Avvo:

I divorced my husband because of abuse. My daughter is 4½, and he hasn’t visited her since she was one (court-ordered supervised visits). He also hasn’t paid his court-ordered support in approximately three years. How do I go about getting him to sign off on his rights?

As we’ve noted before, this is a very common misconception: Payment of support is actually a separate issue from termination of parental rights (TPR). The woman in question could “TPR” her ex-husband and still collect. That said, she might use non-payment (and most certainly abandonment) as evidence for a TPR.

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Which State’s Laws Govern Child Support?

Good question from Avvo recently:

I live in New Hampshire; the divorce and child support were determined in Massachusetts. New Hampshire does not require support of an 18-year-old student; Massachusetts does. We changed some orders in New Hampshire when my daughter went to live with her dad for a year in Ohio. She has been living back in New Hampshire for the last three years. My daughter is a college student and needs the financial support that her father can afford to provide. [Which state’s] child-support laws govern her support?

If the original decree occurred in Massachusetts, then that is the law that should be applied. The mother in this situation could attempt to suggest a change in circumstances – but she would be wisest first to retain an attorney to review the facts and circumstances of her specific case to see how that applies.