This article will help you understand the process for getting someone on child-support in Arkansas. It will walk through the step you need to take to get child-support. 

Child Support – How to get it

If you were married and got divorced, then child support is normally set up in your divorce decree. If you are not married and have a child with someone, then you would typically filed what is known as a Paternity action. You can acknowledge paternity in Arkansas, but that just leads to a presumption and does not establish any rights for the father and it also does not make the father pay child support.

So the long and short of it is a paternity action needs to be filed to get child support. In Arkansas the people that can bring a paternity action are: the child’s mother, a putative father (a man that believes he may be the child’s father), a parent or grandparent of a deceased putative father, or the Office of child support enforcement.

Why you should not wait to get it

Under Arkansas child law, a judge can award child support all the way back to a child’s birth. Even if the person never knew the child was born or was theirs. If you are a parent of a minor child or a person who has physical custody of the child you may file a petition for back child support. However, you must file before the child turns 18 or up to five years after his or her 18th birthday. After the child’s 23rd birthday you cannot go back and file for child support. Also, you will have to prove that the amount you claim is owed has not been paid. Additionally, if you are an adult child who the child support was owed during when you were under 18, then you may file a petition for retroactive child support.

So, why should I do this right away?

  • If you are the father – so you do not get stuck with a huge judgment that you can never pay for back child support.
  • if you are the mother – you are much more likely to get paid if someone does not have a huge bill. For example, if you received a hospital bill for  $1,000,000.00 how hard are you going to try and pay it off? You won’t it is a mountain that you cannot climb so you won’t try. Well, if the father gets a judgment for $75,000 in back child support he will do the same thing. If you get a medical bill for $250, you will probably pay it off. And of the father gets a judgment for normal child support, he is more likely to pay it off.

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