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Back Child Support

Started by concerned_stepmom, Sep 17, 2007, 02:26:54 PM

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My husband, when he was 16 fathered a child with an 18 year old. At that time they lived in NW USA. Before the child was born he moved back to NE USA. They served him with papers for child support when he was 16 or 17 (a minor). He was unable to hire an attorney & be at the hearing that was held. They awarded the BM $242 a month in CS. My husband did not have the means or ability to provide for the child. He had no contact with the child until recently.  The child is now 13 years old. The BM located my husband and since then she called the NW state and had the case re-opened and they sent him a bill for over $34,000 in back child support.  Is there anything we can do to contest this back support?


Bad news....probably not... You could make payment arrangements so they do not go after his license and tax returns. Start making payments and go back to court to get a fixed amount to start paying...$100 extra/month or whatever you can afford. The mother has been raising him and he was court ordered to pay....


There are all sorts of things you can do to contest it, but none of them are likely to result in any change. The only thing that would be likely to have any impact would be asking for a paternity test.

Your best bet is for him to get a job and start paying support for his child. Basically, he's neglected supporting his child for 13 years and the bill is now due.


Sorry to say but probably not.  If your husband is this child's father, he has an obligation to help support the child.  It really doesn't matter if he has chosen to have no contact or not.  


The cs case was closed in 2001. She just decided to reopen the case. If she agrees to waive the back child support will the courts recognize that?

My husband does have a good job. Actually he has 2 jobs now. The amount they was garnishing was over half of his pay. Plus he has another child that he is paying child support for. Right now between the 2 kids they are garnishing over $700 a month. He makes $14/hr. We also have a 15 mo. old son to take care of. So my husband has 3 kids and between the 2 with child suport he can't even afford to live without my income. Thank god I am the breadwinner or we would be on welfare!


>The cs case was closed in 2001. She just decided to reopen
>the case. If she agrees to waive the back child support will
>the courts recognize that?

They will CONSIDER it, but the court's interest is in making sure the kids are supported. How would the kids benefit if she waives support?

More importantly, why would she do that? The fact that she's reopening the case at all says that she wants the money.

If there's some reason why she wants only future money but wants to waive the back child support, the easiest thing is for her to collect the child support and then reimburse your husband as a gift. Even though the net effect is the same as if your husband never paid at all, there's a world of difference legally. The down side is that he has to come up with the money to pay her and then she can reimburse him.


Well coming up with that much money is not an option. We are barely making it paycheck to paycheck. Her reason for even contacting my husband was for the son to know his father. She told us she was not looking for any $$ but since they was already garnishing for child support owed prior to 2001 she thought she should get it. By doing that they re-opened the case and back dated and charged him for it.

What is the most legal amount of child support that can be garnished from an individual?  They are going by washington state rules, the child now lives in indiana and we are in Oklahoma. UGH!


You wouldn't need to come up with the full amount all at once. You would be asked to pay a certain amount every month in arrears until the arrears are paid. Ex could easily return that money if they wish (but, as I said, I doubt that they would really do this).

You can probably find the answer to your question elsewhere on this site - try searching for it since it has been answered several times. I don't remember, but it's something like 25% of income for one child and 40-50% for two or more (but I could be way off, so do a search and you'll probably find it. There are also a lot of good articles on the main page).


The first thing to do is consult with a lawyer and get paternity established. Is your husband sure the child is even his! If not get a DNA test. Then go from there. If the child is his he would more than likely be obligated to pay the back child support.


I guess I don't understand how they can order a minor to pay that much child support when they can't actually order that minor to hold a job- since he would have still been the responsibility of his parents- or the state....none-the less...they did and from the moment he turned 18 onward- he should have been working to pay that money, he knew that he owed it. I don't undestand why he feel he should be excused from it now...the child still exists.


As for ordering a minor to pay support, It sounds to me like the father was no longer in school.

If he was in high school, I'm guessing that he might not be required to pay support, or they would impute support based on less than full time work. If he were NOT in school, they'd assume he's capable of earning minimum wage (which was $5.25 per hour or $210 per week back then). $242 sounds like about the right percentage for a minimum wage, full time job.

And, of course, there's absolutely no question that he should have been paying support after he turned 18.

leon clugston

There is two parts to this, for which some will argue, but cannot back up as usual.
A 16 year old can not by law, nor by deffinition of law be held for a liability of contract, "Child support" is a legal contract, however after said time of such child reaching the age of "Adult" by legal deffinition in whatever state he was resideing in, then such child/ Adult, can be held liable forward. Now of course, this means that the parents of the said obligor could have been held responsible for said support untill said child had become of age, however this can "NOT" be applied retroactively, so there for for two years you have an argument, after that, there is a loss, but then there also is the matter of did he have an Administartive Order, or a Court Order, this difference in process has meanings to, and was this case closed and not being enforced? or was it simpily sitting on the side for vindication?


As far as I know. He was served papers before he was 17. They stopped enforcing the order in 2001. The case was closed or set-aside. She contacted them a couple of months ago and asked to re-open the case. They sent her some paper work... she sent it back.. they sent my husband a bill for over $33,000 in back support. I am not saying she doesn't deserve to have support. It just the way the State went about garnishing the money. They started at $500 a month and they said they thought he was making $30 an hour.. it takes 1 week for them to start garnishing.. and to have it changed takes 4 paychecks!!!


I doubt if you're right. If they thought he was making $30 per hour ($60 K per year), they'd be garnishing a LOT more than $500 per month.


It was not for CURRENT child support this was only for BACK child support. At that time the balance was about $10,000. The case was set-aside at that time and not being enforced but only for the prior back child support. I am correct at what I stated directly from the case workers mouth in Washington State!

After they started the $500 a month back child support garnishment they re-opened the case changed it to only $100 a month for back support and added current support with it to make it about $350 a month.  It took them 1 week notice that it was going to happen and 6 weeks to correct it. My husband couldn't even afford to live with what is left over by himself.


How about the mom and the child for the last however many years- were they able to live off the 'nothing' that he was paying to support them? I just don't feel sorry for someone who very well KNEW they had an order and just didn't pay it. Just because they aren't actively coming after you, doesn't mean you don't owe it. It's not as if paying $500 a month was overparying by any means- yes, it was a hit to his pocket- but think of all the diapers, wipes, winter coats, medical co-pays, food, water, electric, clothing, shoes-medicine..that he didn't help to pay for all of these years- quite frankly- I think they were being kind at only ordering a $500 a month payment. They should also be taking all of his tax money and any lump sums he receives. SIOunds like he needs a 2nd job.


and be pointless.  I had a CS order for one child, at the time, about 10 years old, living in SC.  The order totaled $1800 a month.  I paid my CS (which is something Dad didn't do, the entire time I had all three of our kids living with me), until the dot.com bust.  I tried to get a reduction in support, but the judge wouldn't hear because I wasn't make *less* money...I wasn't making *ANY* money.

So my arrears grew....and I finally got a little job where I could prove less income and a dear friend and advocate for NCP's helped me get the support order reduced.

The child came back to live with me a few years ago.  The judge wouldn't force the ex pay anything, but he did stop the ongoing order for *me* to pay.  Funny thing is, the IRS and franchise tax board *would* snag my returns and send it on to the loser in SC, even though the kid is here...but I make sure that I owe, so I take care of that one.  It's not automatic that they take the income tax refunds, that has to filed in the system.  It also has to be filed that they are going to report to the credit reporting agencies.  

I.m not saying people shouldn't pay their support..but I am telling you this story so you know, what is said isn't always what it seems.


they can garnish of to 55% of the wages, including arrears.


> Second job would raise his cs... and be pointless.

Depends on your view.

CS can only take a certain percentage of your income. If you make more income, you take more home - and your arrears get paid off sooner.

If you're interested in actually supporting your children, the more income you have, the better you're able to do that. If you're interested in getting out of supporting your kids, then you're right - you don't want to make more than minimum wage.


The more money you make, the more CSE you get to pay.  In example, if my fiance works an hour of OT, his ex gets 28.9% of that money, for CS and alimony...and of course, it gets taxed at a higher rate. Keep in mind, this man owes NO arrears. If he did, more money would not mean paying off the arrears quicker...not a chance. More money would equal more base CS and arrears would be paid off at about 20% of the total child support order.

 If a child lived and was supported on $500 a month, why would they need the extra money the poor guy made in OT?  

Where did you get the idea that the more you make, the better off the kids would be?  Seems absurd.


>The more money you make, the more CSE you get to pay.  In
>example, if my fiance works an hour of OT, his ex gets 28.9%
>of that money, for CS and alimony...and of course, it gets
>taxed at a higher rate. Keep in mind, this man owes NO
>arrears. If he did, more money would not mean paying off the
>arrears quicker...not a chance. More money would equal more
>base CS and arrears would be paid off at about 20% of the
>total child support order.

Of course. The more money you make, the more CSE takes. No one ever said otherwise.

But CSE does not get to keep ALL the increase in pay. Basically, if you earn $1,000 more, they can't take more than about half of it - so half of your earnings go to support your kid(s) and you keep half.

> If a child lived and was supported on $500 a month, why would
>they need the extra money the poor guy made in OT?  

Maybe because $500 per month might supply the basics, but there are things that you can't afford on $500 per month but you might be able to afford on $600 per month?

>Where did you get the idea that the more you make, the better
>off the kids would be?  Seems absurd.

The concept is simple. The more money there is to support the kids, the better off they are (everything else being equal). If they don't need it for current needs, then the money could be invested for college.

What seems absurd is your inability to understand that kids need to be supported - and if it's possible to support them at above the minimum level, that can be beneficial to them.


giving out a lot of misinformation, as well as passing judgment on people you know little to nothing about.

Kids are not better off because they get more money from the NCP.  Kids are better off when two parents can work together and raise their kids.  Money should be secondary to actual involvement of both parents with their children.

Some NCP's work hard to pay their support orders and some don't.  But suggesting a second job to get them to pay, sets the NCP up for paying a higher base order, that's all.  This is why so many won't work OT or a second job. They are barely making it on what's left after a garnishment order, so unless it's under the table, why bother?

If everything was equal, this board wouldn't have a reason to exist.



EVERYONE who posts here gives out information and comments on people they know nothing about.

And I'm terribly sorry to point it out to you, but why does money interfere with visiting the kids? Is there some rule that if the father pays his debt that he is somehow unable to see the kids?

You have managed to come up with some really strange rationalizations on why someone shouldn't support his kids.