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SSD and Child Support Arrears Garnishment

I signed over primary custody to my ex-husband back in 2003 when I became sick and was going through a divorce at the same time. I felt it better for my son's sake at the time rather than a long mud slinging divorce and custody battle.

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It was court ordered in 2003 that I pay my ex-husband $37/week even though I was not working and he was making over $80,000 a year. He had been the bread winner for most of our marriage.

I also filed a social security disability case in 2003. Because I was hardly able to work, I had become behind in my child support. My ex-husband came up with a figure of being in arrears $7000 when we went back to court in 2008.

I took him to court in January to enforce my joint custody rights. We then came up with an agreement that I would pay him $37 per week as per the court order and an additional $15 a week towards the arrears. The judge signed off on that and other arrangements we had made. My ex-husband did ask if I would sign off on probation. I agreed.

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Although I was paying my child support ahead of time Middlesex County, New Jersey Child Support Probation put in to have my pay garnished from my job. They weren't even suppose to do this unless I was late, which I wasn't. In November of 2008 I won my Social Security Disability claim. I was awarded $1200/mo plus retro pay going back to 2003. I informed my ex-husband to go to Social Security and see what he could get for my son since I had signed over primary custody, but I still had joint custody.

Just from what I know, he received $25,000 retroactive back to 2003 for my son from my disability fund. He has been receiving a monthly check for $638/month, plus when I was collecting unemployment they were garnishing that $52/week. They also starting garnishing my SSD check for another $52/week for child support. Along with collecting 3 different checks for child support from my SSD fund, he also had my tax refunds, stimulus checks, rebate check, and anything else I was due to receive garnished for payment towards arrears for the original $7000 he said I owed.

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My ex-husband is re-married with another child. He makes at least $85,000 a year through a job my father had gotten him with the Ironworker's union. I receive, after the child support garnishment, $950.00 a month. Without the child support garnishment I would be receiving $1196/month. That is my whole income.

My ex-husband, as of now, since my unemployment ran out is receiving close to $1000/month in child support alone. I also have my son on the weekends and he refuses to send him with any clothes, shoes, etc. He says I should also be buying my son's clothes. He and his wife both work and make well over $150K a year with child support included.

Is this possible that he can be collecting this much in child support from my SSD fund? Shouldn't that $25K in retro money he received have gone towards anything I had owed towards arrears. They are still garnishing me for arrears also. What can I do?

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By Kelly C.

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October 9, 20110 found this helpful

Contact your social security office, and also your child support enforcement office. Something sounds fishy, but he shouldn't have been able to just go to the social security office and demand money. Also it wouldn't hurt for you to see if you can find an attorney that would help you pro bono. A lot of attorneys advertise in the phone book that the first consultation is free.

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October 11, 20110 found this helpful

Why are you asking about something like that on here? Just go to your lawyer and other agencies that should be involved in a matter like this.

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October 12, 20110 found this helpful

People ask questions like that here because there are a lot of TF members who have had the same problems & who willingly share the solutions that worked for them. This website is for people who help each other.

Kelly, I believe you have been shafted. Try to find a strong woman lawyer to get some of this stuff reversed, or at least stopped. There is no reason why this guy making $85 grand a year should be extracting so much money from you, & forcing you to buy clothing for the boy when you are living below the poverty line. It's disgraceful that the judges awarded him so much in the first place, in light of your situation. You are not being treated fairly.

Is it possible that your father can put out the word so that the ironworker's union will find your ex's services no longer wanted? That would serve him right!

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October 13, 20110 found this helpful

How did you draw unemployment if you were disabled? But I don't think your ex drew any back payments from SSDI, the way I understand it is dependent payments start when you start receiving your monthly payment. Actually you should have been the one to sign up and receive your sons check, then pay the child support out of that and keep the rest for you to spend for his care.

You will have to see an attorney and go to court. If your ex did get all this money, he will possibly owe you. If you owe 37 and 15 a week, that is $52, or $208 a month, your ex is only due that amount; no more than that.

Sounds like he is working the system to his advantage. Keep good records, that is tax refunds and garnishments, and there is no way SS should be garnishing from your SSDI payment. Get help as soon as you can. Good luck, you are gonna need it!

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October 13, 20110 found this helpful

I would like to add that when you go back to court try for full custody stating you are disabled and will be a full time caregiver for him, if it is possible for you to care for him. If you get a good lawyer, you will be able to get the garnishments stoppede and probably the $600 dependant check.Who garnished the ssdi? Your ex had to be pushing it. Id go to court as soon as I could. A lawyer will know your rights and ss will talk to you on the phone so you can find out why your ex is getting that dependant check and not you. Id call first thing in am and find out. your ex had to have said he had full custody and would have had to have proof of that. Are you sure you have joint custody? Keep good records.

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful

Oh, Kelly! Your ex sounds like a real piece of work - shame on him and your father, both! You deserve far better than you're getting from either of these so-called men. (I'm sorry if this offends you, but if it were my husband, he'd never stand with a husband who exploited his daughter as this guy's so obviously doing you.)

Ignore Shelyn. Listen to Redhatterb. If it were me, I'd start with your county's child support enforcement agency. I know it's tough to get them to do their job, but keep pushing. I hate that you have to do this, but don't lose heart. Persistence pays.

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July 31, 20150 found this helpful

My apologies, and I am not attempting to be rude intentionally, But I have read many cases similar to this though the custodial parent was the woman, and the support payer was the male, in EVERY SINGLE CASE the male non custodial parent was derided, called names and severely admonished......Why the gender bias? According to just about every comment here, the custodial parents income amount has no bearing on how much support is to be paid....IF the non custodial parent is the male...and yet here, since the genders are reversed, the story is quite different..... I gues "equal rights" only works in one direction...

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January 4, 20170 found this helpful

Was this ever resolved? I'd love to know for a precedent!

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Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?
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Paying Back Child Support
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Social Security and Back Child Support
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