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Fathers need to be proactive when facing child support, visitation issues

Many fathers face child support and visitation issues that can be complicated, overwhelming and emotionally frustrating.

If a man is served documents regarding child support or visitation rights, they need to make sure they have a full understanding of the papers.

“If you got served, the first thing you do is read the paperwork,” said Vance Simms, founder of Father Matters. “And if you don’t know the information, [or] don’t know how to follow-up, seek out help from an attorney.”

The documents may have information the dad won’t like.

“Don’t call screaming and yelling at your ex-spouse,” Simms said. “Don’t send negative, mean emails, it’s all documented.”

This might seem obvious, but many fathers put these steps off, which can make things unfair. Going to court can help and make it fair.

“When you have parenting time written down, you have your drop-offs and pick-ups, your holidays worked out (and) you have your child support set,” he said.

With those things taken care of, you can now move on with your life. It’s very important to be proactive.

“We have got to respond,” he said. “Reach out to organizations like Father Matters that can help you break this stuff down.”

If you allow the time the court gives you to respond to pass, most of whatever the other spouse says, is what that other spouse is going to get.

These steps can also help fathers modify child support or visitation arrangements that may have already been set up by default.

Father Matters offers conferences, workshops and other informational guidance for fathers.

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