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Readers Respond: Child Support Horror Stories

Responses: 259


The System

I have 2 boys, 11 and 17. I’ve been paying child support for 10 years. My ex-wife remarried 8 months after our divorce. He has no kids of his own! I have my boys 50% of the time and have lived 4 blocks from their mother for 7 years. I make $80,000 a year now, and they earn around $200,000, plus my $5,000 a year! When it’s anything major, like a good car for my 17-year-old, she says, “No, can’t do it! My husband only wants to pay and get him garbage.” My son needs a new bed at her house. No—can’t do it! “There’s nothing wrong with that bed,” or when my oldest goes to college—local college only—they “can’t pay” anymore. Her money and her husband’s money gets packed away for themselves. My money pays for all the kids’ things. When the child support is up, they’ll say “Thank you very much, ex-husband. It’s time for me to retire and go live on a lake!” So I bough my son a good vehicle and paid the added insurance, around $370 a month. I never remarried. The courts are not doing their job right—that’s the bottom line!

I Don't Understand How the System Works

My ex is $20,000.00 behind because he just didn’t pay for years and years, but OAG doesn’t seem concerned because they’re not doing anything about it. Meanwhile, my husband got $2,500.00 behind because he switched jobs and took a few months getting straight again, and they were calling me and him and his job. His ex got our tax refund, and they were still taking out extra every month. On top of that, she moved out of state with his kids, and he was court ordered to do the pick-ups and drop-offs for visitation. How do you become priority like that? Inquiring minds want to know!
—Guest michelle

Best interests and welfare of child

I make $16.00 dollars an hour with some overtime, and the Child Support Division has me at an income of $45,000. So my payment is going from $300 to $685 a month. What do you do?
—Guest broke

He just wont work...

My daughter's father was court ordered to pay the minimum for Texas law at $197 a month in 2008. He has since earned his bachelor's and master's degree, but lives at home with his parents. I've repeatedly asked him to just pay the amount. I have never taken him back to court for modification. Yet every job he gets, he quits after I get one or two checks. I'm a single mom who has to work several jobs and finish college to make a better life for our daughter, while he lives at home with mommy and daddy rent free! Then he has the nerve to yell at me when he hasn't seen his daughter during the summer because he won't pay for summer day care. So she has to stay with my mom. My daughter is 6 years old and knows her daddy is a POS. She doesn't even want to go and visit him. It's a shame for single mothers everywhere who are financially and emotionally responsible for kids on their own, with no help from deadbeat daddies!
—Guest Nicole In Houston

Ridiculous Amount

My ex makes over $150,000 dollars a year, and I was only awarded TWO HUNDRED dollars a month in child support. It was ridiculous. Do not get divorced in Oregon, let me tell you.

Why is he still paying?

My boyfriend's oldest daughter has been self supporting for almost three years now. His ex went through DHS for their divorce. When he called to be sure his now majority-aged daughter was going to be removed from child support (which has been paying for for the last three years without complaint), they said he is to continue paying for her because he is in arrears. How is the paying parent going to ever catch up if they never get the chance? He is a good man, believes a parent should pay support for their children, and does not want child support to stop on the younger child until she turns majority age. He is paying approximately $500+ more a month in child support than what is required by federal law. His arrears has barely declined. DHS won't provide help because they think he is ignorant to the law. He says he won't do well with public speaking (to the judge if he could even get in front of the judge). Any help from anyone would be appreciated.
—Guest Bobbi

Screwed by the System in Arkansas

I am noncustodial parent, which in legal terms means I have less rights than a felon and only slightly more than a child molester. My crime? Divorce and not fighting for joint custody. I could go on and on about the injustice, but I will spare everyone. But what chaps my ass is that my ex lives rent-free and uses child support to go on a cruise every year while I'm garnished and threatened out of existence. Ten years of child support for me equaled ten very nice trips to Disney Land (I think five times), and at least four cruises that I know of. Carnival Cruise Lines needs to send DHS/OCSE a thank you card.
—Guest Alan

Government Stealing Child Support

Child Support are out of their minds and do not realistically dole out the proper amounts according to income. I'm starting to think it's government support instead because my ex never sees the money I send, and I never get receipt of it being sent.
—Guest bill

The Gist of It

I'm paying $167 a week in child support to the mother of my child. We were never married, although she has been married and divorced three times, and she's only 22 years old. She has two other children and now is living with the father of them. He pays $80 a month, while I pay $167 a week. They live off of welfare, yet somehow have a 2010 Toyota Prius. She doesn't work at all and he has a job, but I don't know where. He is also an ex-felon who did four years in prison--which, in Massachusetts, makes it illegal for him to live under housing authority. I know for a fact that she lied about her income and bills on her Financial Statement to the DOR, and I wonder whether I should expose her to the DOR and Housing Authority. But what would that mean for my son? I see him every Tuesday-Wednesday, and every other Saturday-Sunday. We were only together twice. I love my son and I buy all the things he needs when he is with me--on top of paying Child support. I also have a Gerber life college plan.
—Guest DR

Deadbeat Mother

My ex-wife and I divorced in 2008 due to her alcohol abuse. I gave her a house and joint custody with support. In 2009 she went to her third rehab, and I got an emergency custodial order. She was ordered to pay support in 2010, which she has never paid. Now she's taking me to court to remove her back support and to get visitation while she lives 1,000 miles away with her new boyfriend.
—Guest Rick

Please Understand

I have been paying child support for 5 years. What the court systems and people who collect child support need to understand is the economy is in deep #&%* which in turn puts people needing steady jobs that have to pay child support in deep #^%$. Not everyone holds a college degree. And temp agencies are taking $2 to $3 off your hourly wages. The bad outweighs the good!
—Guest joshua wright

No Support

My ex owes $16,000 dollars in child support. He hasn't paid anything in two years. They always put a warrant out for him. Then the hunt is on. When they do pick him up, he pays anywhere from $500 to $1,000 dollars. Why cant I get the money for my kids? Something needs to be done.
—Guest no support

My Unjust Case Worker

My Child Support Enforcement worker has once again screwed my case! Documents have been lost, she has laughed at my case and the date of court--all while knowing that I was present. Then, they had my case without me being in front of the judge. The father has only paid support for one of his two children, but the Child Support Enforcement officer ignored that!

It's NOT OKAY!!!

My husband has two children, by two different mothers, and he was ordered to pay $500 a month in child support. He works, but they take everything out of his check, so I am normally the one paying all the bills. He doesn't get to see his oldest son (who is now 5 years old), and he only gets to see his youngest son when the mother says it's okay. He had just started a new job, and on the second day I was taking him to work, when he was arrested for being $1,400 behind (which is right at 2 1/2 months). I am currently out of work due to a high-risk pregnancy, and he was my life support as well. They are telling me I have to come up with the full $1,400 or he could serve anywhere from 30 days to a year. I have a baby due in three months and no way to make money. I have literally sold everything I had to try to come up with it, and have so far made $300, but they won't accept anything less than the full amount. He has a job right now if I can get him released, and even though we're married, they won't give me any information on his case.
—Guest Christina Smith

What is a father to do?

My wife and I divorced 15 years ago. I paid child support faithfully for almost all of my daughter's life, with the only exception being one year while I was changing occupations (after which, I began having payments taken out of my check again). Now DES is saying that I did not pay for the four years after the divorce. This is untrue! I had payments coming out of my checks during that entire time. having payments come out of my checks again.
—Guest jerry goley

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