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Readers Respond: Child Support Horror Stories

Responses: 259


I'm Finally Getting Help!

My daughter's father is in arrears more than $16,000 but because I live in Texas and he is in Georgia, he was safe (because the order was drawn in TX). I had to go to the attorney general's office and ask them to transfer my order to GA, so that they could handle it and enforce it. He actually got a job for 1 year and now is currently u/e again so I am having to work with the Texas OAG, who contacts GA's OAG to enforce action. The good news is that it looks like things will get better, because now GA can even suspend his license or even put a warrant out for his arrest if he does not comply with them.
—Guest c-e121079

Taking Money

Hello, I am a father who has been paying child support since 1992 and only missed maybe 3 months in between jobs, and now I am being told I owe over $30,000.00 to three kids due to some child support mistakes that have taken me over a year and a half to get in court on--which I am still waiting for. The case worker has told me, "Yeah, I probably made some mistakes," but will not fix it.
—Guest james

Is He Really "Deceased?"

My x husband owes me $20,000 in back child support. I live in GA, and he lives in TN. I have done everything that child support has asked,. I even sent them a Google Earth Map showing his home. Tennessee child support enforcement reported that someone at that address wrote deceased on the enforcement letter and sent it back, so they don't know what to do. I am so mad!!! They have all the state and federal resources to use, but can't determine if he is really alive. I have offered to drive any law enforcement officer straight to his house, but because I live in Georgia and he is in Tennessee, the Tennessee dept of child support can only correspond with the Georgia office of child support. What a waste of federal and state money. In the meantime, I work my butt off so I can support my kids.
—Guest ga girl


I make sure that my ex sees his kids. I follow the child custody order to the letter, and yet he owes $10,000 in back child support. I went to child support court, and because he admitted he owed the money, he walked free without even seeing the judge. It was a hassle to even get him served in the first place. I even have it documented that he refuses to pay it, and they did nothing. He does nothing, while I do everything. On top of that, he goes out of his way to harass me every chance he gets. If someone has the ability to pay but refuses they should just be cut out of the picture! He serves no purpose! A walk to the park every now and then doesn't put food on the table or clothes on their back!

Wife of Man Who Doesn't Owe Any More

My husband and I went to the courthouse and paid almost $5,000.00 in back child support to his ex. We received papers saying "Paid in full," and now--twice--they have deducted more than $300.00 out of his social security disability check, which affects my monthly budget. He has been on the phone with these people so many times, starting right after the 1st time it happened, and they keep promising to send it back. Now, today they deducted another $369.00 from it! We don't know what to do. It is so frustrating. The ex-wife hasn't even received the $5,000.00 we paid months ago, and she received a letter saying that she owed my husband money from a year ago for overpaid support, and she thinks she does not owe it.
—Guest Deborah Stephens

Sperm Donor?

My physically abusive first wife got pregnant after assuring me she wouldn't. Then she dumped me, and I paid child support for almost 10 years without seeing my daughter or knowing where she was. I quit after the court wouldn't enforce visitation. Now my 2nd ex, whom I thought was my soulmate, is after me for child support on a child that isn't mine according to her sister. We never actually lived together. She lived in another state. I bought us a bigger house, which she was to move into, until she changed her mind at the last minute, divorcing me and asking for support. I ended up renting both houses out to a series of bad renters, enduring years of extreme stress and hardship, before finally selling them at a huge loss. Now I have nothing. She has addiction problems. I will end up living in my car or in jail. I have no recourse and am alone in this hopeless situation. There is an upcoming hearing and I cannot afford a lawyer as I am only working p/t and I'm lucky to have that.

Child Enforcement is Failing My Daughter

My child support was based on a $14k income 8 yrs ago. He now makes up to $100k a year as an aviation mechanic. He works out of the country when he is contracted. I went to modify and got a letter saying they can't do anything because he is out of the country. But even their web page says they serve in-state and out-of-country issues. He is back in the states and still nothing! I am so sick of the system and the deadbeats who play it! I get $298 a month, and the guideline calculator says that based on our incomes I should get $900-$1400 a month! I cant afford a lawyer, and I don't know what to do!
—Guest Michelle Harper

Deadbeat Courts

The courts pay women more money to keep children away from their fathers. Go to any child support calculator and this is a fact. Courts are incompetent and anti-male. The equivalent of asking for things to be 50/50 today is like convincing people back in Columbus' day that the world is round. The media give fathers zero representation. Women basically own children. It's a shame and it's sad.
—Guest Jo the dad

I Picked a Winner!

My child's father, the "winner" I speak of, has five children with five different women and works in the food service industry. Needless to say, child support is a waste of thought. Half of his crappy checks, divided amongst five children equals about... nothing. Terrific. It wouldn't be so bad if he were involved in the child's life, but unfortunately 3 of the 5 mothers he was not dating at the time of conception, so he therefore has nothing to do with their children.
—Guest Rose

Deadbeat Dad

I am a single parent with 2 children and no help, period. He says he doesn't have to help me as long as he sees the kids, and now he doesn't even do that. I tried to file for child support. But when trying to serve the papers, the many women he was messing with covered for him and the agency told me it was not their job to continuously try to hunt him down. What a way to be! He has 8 kids and pays support for 2 of them with 2 other women and he married a woman with 3 kids. No, he didn't have to pay for them. One is adopted by her grandparents, so my 2 are the ones that don't get crap from him or help.
—Guest tdub

There is No Justice

I was falsely accused of domestic violence and thrown in jail, my daughter was taken from me for two months, and they tried to take my son away--but his mother (a different person) stuck up for me and signed a parenting agreement, thank God!. My daughter's mother is a nightmare. I even presented an email she sent me saying that she didn't want her daughter. She openly spoke in court saying she didn't want her until now. Both her and her new boyfriend talk openly in front of a two-year-old girl telling her she should have been an abortion! I am stuck paying $750 a month in child support and was only given every other weekend and two days during the week, but I end up getting her most of the time. The court won't adjust the payments because they base it on the time she won in court, and not the actual time I spend with her. When she is at her mother's, her mother puts her at a baby sitters house 90% of the time. This way she doesn't have to deal with her...
—Guest nc

My Horror Story

I am the parent. I do the work--every thing! They've lived with me for 9 almost years, but I have to pay $58,000 in support.
—Guest not the right one

From GA to NC to IL

My husband was married to a women for 10 years, during which time she cheated constantly and produced two children that are obviously not his. When he tried to bring to the court officers' attention the fact that they were separated when these children were conceived, but he was not even allowed to speak at all! So 16 years later he is still paying support for these children, while the ex-wife and the children's natural father are living happily ever after! Meanwhile, I have a child from an ex-husband now living in Chicago, IL who has not paid a dime toward any of his child support. What a great system we have in the U.S.
—Guest Step Mom

System Needs To Be Reviewed

I've been paying child support for my son since 2004 in the form of money orders and money transfers (which I don't recommend). I've saved all the receipts in envelopes since hte beginning. On my birthday I receive a letter from the AZ Office of Child Support Enforcement saying that I owe $9000+ in past due child support. I started sending payments in the form of money orders because a former employer was taking the money for support out of my checks, but the courts/my ex wife were not getting payments. So now my federal tax refund will likely be intercepted and my credit in worse shape, not to mention the frustration and anger I feel toward the system and my miserable, disgusting ex-wife. The money order payments are considered "a gift" by the state child support agency! This is a kick in the teeth. I was trying to do the right thing to support my son. Now I have to go through more red tape to get the courts to recognize those past payments as child support! Plus, I live in KY.
—Guest Dubya3


I am a single mother, and from the beggining it's been hell. So I guess I should have seen this coming. We were living in Calif. and I moved to Hawaii to help my parents because my father was ill. Shortly after that, I found out I was pregnant. He was excited at first. Then he quit his job when I was 4 months pregnant and depended on me for everything. Then I found out he was fooling around. I gave him anything and everything he wanted. I worked two jobs, standing all day as a cashier and answering phones at a hotel at night, until the day I gave birth. My son is 2 years old now and has only seen his father once! His father was there for the birth, and then left a month later. When we went to visit his dad the Christmas after he was born, he was busy chasing girls! Since my son was born, his dad has only seen him once, and hasn't had a job in over 2 years. He doesn't help me at all, but he has the nerve to call and ask me to send him money and send him my son!!
—Guest phyllis

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