Collecting Child Support

Child support can be difficult to collect, even after a court order awards it to the custodial parent. This is a guide about collecting child support.
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February 15, 2017 Flag

A book that says family law.

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Even if a child's non-custodial parent has died there is still a possibility that you may be able to collect support. This is a guide about collecting child support owed by a deceased parent.

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January 30, 2017 Flag

A judge's gavel on top of hundred dollar bills.

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Collecting back child support from the noncustodial parent can many times be a challenge. This is a guide about collecting back child support.

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August 2, 2016 Flag

Paper art of stick figure man and woman with stick figure children separated by a torn dollar bill in the shape of a heart

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This is a guide about collecting child support without a separation or divorce. Collecting child support without a legal separation or divorce may be handled voluntarily or sought through an attorney.

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September 14, 2011 Flag

You can call or visit your county court house, it must be the county where you live. They should have a child support enforcement office located there, in the building. They can help you with all of the steps that need to be taken.

If you are applying for help at your social services department, again in your county of residence, they also can help you with collecting child support from the absent parent.

By Crystal from Zebulon, NC

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August 27, 20130 found this helpful

My ex is $16,000 some odd dollars behind and has been for 17 years. I have called the child support office and all they tell me is that it hasnt been long enough between times that he has paid (He was $17,000 behind but over a year span he paid $1,000 on his back support $5.00 at a time!). They told me they cant arrest him for non payment. Really? I thought this was a court order and when you dont follow a court order you are in contempt? My bad! Whatever!

My kids who are now 17 and 18 want absolutely nothing to do with him and have asked if they can change their names so that they are not carrying on "his" name. Its a sad day in our judicial system when children go to bed hungry, wear second hand clothes because one parent decides they dont have to help. I have always tried to make sure that my kids have what they need but there are times it comes up short. Where is justice? It truly is blind..and I would say deaf.

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February 28, 2012 Flag

There have been a lot of people lately asking whether or not federal benefits can be garnished for child support/back child support. There was a big article in my local paper, today, about this topic.

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December 2, 2011 Flag

Child Support Payments and Social Security, Paper entitled Child Support Hearing.

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When a parent who has been required to pay child support also receives Social Security, one or both parents may be confused as to how this works. This is a guide about child support payments and social security.

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Questions

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February 19, 2016 Flag

My child is an adult and no longer lives with me. Her father owes back pay in child support that he is paying it out of his SSI. Will my daughter receive the check with her name on it because she is an adult or will I?

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February 19, 20160 found this helpful

Only SSI can answer your question.

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February 22, 20160 found this helpful

You should call your local Bar Assn. & ask them where you can get an attorney (Attorney General) to defend you & collect the back money for you for free. You should have done that when your ex first started to jerk you around for the money. Good luck.

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March 15, 2016 Flag

If my son's dad is collecting retirement benefits can I collect child support? And how do I find out and get started? Thank you!

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March 15, 20160 found this helpful

Only SSA can answer your question. You can make an appointment and bring copies of birth certificate, child support order, etc.

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March 15, 20160 found this helpful

Addendum-SSA website below will provide the local address and phone number to make an appointment. Just enter your zip code:

https://secure.  ov/ICON/main.jsp

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February 1, 2016 Flag

Can a biological father be made to pay child support for children who, because their mother having been re-married for 1 year, filed for and did receive survivors benefits from the Social Security Administration from the recently deceased spouse? No adoption took place, the children were not his biologically, and still carry the birth father's last name. The children were conceived out of wedlock, and paternity was never established. All children now over the age of 18. Thank you.

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February 1, 20161 found this helpful

Your description of the situation is complicated and I am guessing that you are not biologically related to the children in question. I suggest the biological father consult with an attorney experienced with child support and Social Security issues. Most attorneys do not charge for an initial consult, however, the biological father may need additional legal service to resolve the situation.

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February 5, 20160 found this helpful

I would need to know from who's perspective you need to know the information. The way you have described the situation, I think you are trying to see if the biological father is excused from paying child support in this situation. Am I correct? The only way I know to be excused is if the child is legally adopted by some other party(s) and, and that's a big and, a judge has excused back child support that is owed by the father. If a court has deemed child support be paid by someone, mother or father, biological or not, (in cases where a man is married to a woman when she gives birth he is the legal father regardless of biological relationship until otherwise legally decided), it must be paid in full. Even if that child is adopted, passes away, (for the time the child was alive), etc. If a court has not assigned a person to pay child support, that is another matter.

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January 10, 2015 Flag

My friend's disabled daughter is 30, works, and gets state aid and he is still required to pay child support. She still lives with her mom and does have the mental capabilities to tend to herself. She even has a boyfriend that wants to marry her, but mother says no because she would lose the finacial help. How can he get free of this? He lost his job and they are taking him to court. He is $1,800 behind and sinking.

By Sharon E

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January 10, 20150 found this helpful

Find another job, or as Judge Judy tells a lot of men get out there and pick up cans to sell to earn some money. He can also petition for a child support modification. I would be willing to bet his 30 year old child isn't earning very much. No matter what she is still his daughter and he helped create her.

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January 12, 20150 found this helpful

It appears that your friend has waited too long to really get the kind of help you are talking about.

One question - Does his daughter receive SSI benefits?

If not - why not?

You can Google "free legal assistance Florida" (your state of course as no one knows where you live).

There is usually a "search" site on the state site that you can enter "child support" and from there he may be able to contact someone to go to court with him.

Support payments will not "go away" so your friend should make the best of it and find a way to pay something every week/month as a judge will generally always look more favorably on a case where someone appears to be trying to do the right thing rather than just letting everything slide.

Without an attorney to represent him in court - he may be facing a jail term as many states now adopt this approach.

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June 8, 2015 Flag

Does anybody know how I can collect child support benefits from my ex husband who is currently collecting VA benefits and is enrolled in school getting that paid for too. He has 2 grown children and has never paid any support and will probably never get a real job. He lives off woman and their money. Can I get his benefits garnished? Does anybody know?

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June 9, 20150 found this helpful

I believe your best route is to consult with an attorney experienced in child support cases, however, as the children are now adults, you may face a hard road trying to collect anything. It is much better to know now what your options are, and the possibilities of collecting anything, from an experienced attorney.

I do know that just trying to go to the local agencies hoping they will help is most probably useless. As the children are now adults, the pressure is off on any collection attempts.

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June 10, 20150 found this helpful

I agree that only an attorney specializing in this area can give you correct advice. If you had a legal agreement concerning child support when you divorced then you MAY be able to collect something but probably not since it appears his only income is from the VA.

I believe the VA may even give you some information about what can be done - legally - so why not start there?

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May 28, 2015 Flag

I am posting this question to your forum regarding my child who is 6 yrs. old and the father is a 78 year old American. The father of my child is now disabled after his stroke and heart attack. He cannot remember anything anymore so he has had a guardian appointed by the clerk of the court. Because of this, how can I get my child support? What should I do? I am in the Philippines; I bore my child out of wedlock.
I hope to get help from here. Thank you.

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May 29, 20150 found this helpful

It is difficult to give helpful answers as you have not provided very much information. Is there already a legal child support agreement between the father and you? If so, you can return to the legal firm that created the document for help. If there is no legal document, you most probably will need to find an attorney specializing in child support matters for help. It is often difficult to arrange regular child support matters and will be much more difficult if different countries are involved. The legal costs can be quite high depending upon the services you may need.

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May 30, 20150 found this helpful

As Dinah Ackerson stated - this is a very complicated situation that only an attorney specializing in child support (in your country) could help you with. I do not believe anyone in this country can help you at this stage.

You will probably have to prove who the father is (DNA testing) as well as many other questions that will be asked (any legal agreements between you and the father?/ what has been paid in child support in the past?).

This will be a very long process (many, many months) and with a private attorney, a very expensive case.

Even in the US this would be a long process.

I do not know what type of support (VA pension/Social Security/private money) you are asking for but you could try writing to those organizations involved and see if they can give you any help - to get you started on the "right" path.

Any way you go with this will require personal information on the people involved - Social Security numbers for sure.

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August 8, 2013 Flag

Their mother reopened the case 3 years after the last son turned 18. The son has been paying the back child support because he doesn't want his father going to jail. The father lost his job two years ago and lives with his older son. The court hearing is in a few days, do you think they will throw it out or do you think the son is going to have to pay the rest of it?

By John

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August 10, 20130 found this helpful

You do not say why the father is not working or able to pay this back child support (arrears). If he can show the court that he is not able to work or applying for Social Security Disability they may take this in to consideration. Is he receiving Social Security Supplement Income (SSI) if so the court will more than likely excuse the arrears as someone who receives SSI cannot pay child support. Cannot fully answer your question without knowing the circumstances of the debtor parent (father).

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August 10, 20130 found this helpful

She should have gone after the father before her last son turned 18. Why is she taking money from her son who is probably trying to get established in his life. Not only is he paying his dad's debt, but his dad is living with him. His mother is also living off of him. The poor kid has two dead beat parents. Both parents should be out looking for work and not sponging off of their children.

I'm 69 years old and would be embarrassed to sponge off my kids!

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February 12, 2015 Flag

If the father had a large change in income from 76,000 to 101,000 and did not tell the mother, however his income has dropped back to 85,000 per year now, how does that work? Shouldn't he have been obligated to report such a significant change?

By NW

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February 12, 20150 found this helpful

No the father isn't obligated to report changes in income to the mother. That being said, I would think your local Child Support Collection Office should know about it. If nothing else you could set up an appointment to talk to them about the matter.

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February 14, 20150 found this helpful

All of this should have been listed in the original child support decree so you should reread this and if your friend had a good attorney (better than his) it should state how future income changes would be handled.

If it does not state anything about "changes" in income then your friend may have to return to court and try to get it changed. Most likely there will not be anything done about the past but (?) it may be worth a try.

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July 21, 2010 Flag

My husband was ordered to pay child support and left the country. Can I collect anything from his social security benefits? If so when? Thank you.

By Dimitra from Lilburn, GA

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful

It is not a felony unless the back support is at least $5,000. There are other circumstances that will make it a felony at that level also, but it is not an automatic felony at that point. You used to have to sign up for the tax check to be given to you, but I received one this year again now. If your ex is out of the country he will likely not be forced to pay. It is difficult to get other countries to accept foreign warrants. Good luck and don't give up.

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July 29, 20100 found this helpful

Depending on the state laws you are in. Many states attach it to tax returns, you can have your license pulled and be jailed for avoiding child support. You need to see a lawyer and/or humane services of your county if your child gets any services of any kind.

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August 29, 2014 Flag

My child is 18 now and her father only made one payment and that's because we go to court next week. He made the payment this month; what will the judge do? He always quits his job and he never files taxes.

By Keisha from Fort Worth, TX

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August 29, 20140 found this helpful

How could we know what the judge will do? Even if any of us were judges, each judge does different things within the law. If he changes jobs frequently his wages can still be garnished. That is providing his jobs don't pay him under the table. He can always be jailed for non-payment, he can also end up having his driver's license taken away. If he is works and gets paid legitimately his income tax refund can be awarded to you. Did you ever work with your state's Department of Child Support, while your daughter was a minor? They do a remarkably good job of tracking down absent parents and getting them on record as having to pay a certain amount of child support every month.

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August 31, 20140 found this helpful

Well - redhatterb certainly gave some excellent advice.

You did not say how old your daughter was when you first divorced so we have no way to know how long you put up with this nonsense.

You should have had your payments set up to go through the court at the time of your divorce as you already knew your husband was undoubtedly a deadbeat.

That being said - the judge may not be as hard on your ex as the child may no longer need support. It would have been better for you and your child to have followed through with this at an earlier time.

The court is pretty good at collecting support if payments are set up right in the beginning. I do know that some people have had to "help" the court by informing them of any information you hear about the "ex" as they only receive information through legal ways.

Why not cause the ex some problems if he is not even trying to do his share of support? I wish you luck but it now seems a little late as you may get a judgement but that is just a piece of paper unless he has some asset that you can "take away" and even doing that may cost more than its worth.

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Parenting General Parenting Family FinancesSeptember 8, 2011
Guides
Paper art of stick figure man and woman with stick figure children separated by a torn dollar bill in the shape of a heart
Collecting Child Support Without a Separation or Divorce
A judge's gavel on top of hundred dollar bills.
Collecting Back Child Support
Child Support Payments and Social Security, Paper entitled Child Support Hearing.
Child Support Payments and Social Security
A book that says family law.
Collecting Child Support Owed by a Deceased Parent
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