Ask A Lawyer: What Are My Child Support Responsibilities?


My wife left me without any warning on July 27th, 2009. When she left, she also took my thirteen year old daughter with her, but left my nineteen year old daughter who is in college here in Mississippi. My wife has recently called me from Tampa requesting half of my retirement and for me to start paying child support, but we haven’t gotten a divorce or legal separation yet.

When my wife left, she had around $7200 left in her bank account.  However, since she does not have a job yet, she claims she has no more money left to pay for rent and food.  She doesn’t have a job because she is waiting on her nursing license from Florida, but she apparently blew through all of that money in just three weeks.

What are my responsibilities to her and my daughter in this situation?



Check with a Mississippi attorney. You may not have any responsibilities until an order is entered.  Your wife most likely has a responsibility to keep your daughter attending the Mississippi school she was originally enrolled in. You should also discuss the effect of the “home state” determination under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), depending on which one Florida has.  Generally, Mississippi will be considered the “home state” of the child and all custody proceedings will occur in your local court unless she can establish another state as the “home state” (generally requiring the child to be there for 6 months or more).  So be aware of that time limit to take action.


Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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One comment on “Ask A Lawyer: What Are My Child Support Responsibilities?

    Child support and SSI
    Hello I have custody of my 14 yr old son, In 2005 my x-wife had a mental brake down, ending up in a mental place, tried to kill her self ect. She gave me custody in oct 2005. She has be diag with Bi-polar and now is collecting SSI. I have been trying for 3 yrs to collect child support and today after all these years the judge told me she doesnt have to pay one cent since she is getting SSI. This to me isnt fair I have been on both sides of the fence and now this.. I have missed work because of this.

    Is this correct or is there something i can do?

    also my ex is now threatining me “saying she wants custody back”
    according to her she is unstable and cannot hold a job nor go out in public or handle stressful things. My son is also 14 with a mentality of a 10 yr old with adhd and odd disorder. She says all he has to do is tell the judge he wants to live with her.

    I also live in madison county Illinois.


    Don Lankford

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