Advice on Collecting on Delinquent Child Support

My ex has been reported to the credit bureau due to non payment of child support. How is this going to affect him?

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Bill's Answer: Bills.com Resident Expert

Thank you for your question about the child support payments you are entitled to receive but have not received and the implications of the delinquent payments appearing on your ex-spouse's credit report.

Strong Negative Effects Possible, When Delinquent Child Support Payments are Reported to the Credit Bureaus

The fact that his delinquent child support payments have been reported to the consumer credit reporting agencies will likely have a negative impact on your ex-husband’s credit rating, which could make it more difficult for him to obtain credit in the future. In addition, his current creditors, such as the credit cards you mention in your question, may see him as a higher risk borrower due to the child support delinquency appearing on his credit reports; even if he is making his payments to his other creditors on time, any significant decrease in his credit score may cause them to lower his credit limits and increase his interest rates. The reduction in his credit score may also result in the closure of his open credit lines, depending on how much the delinquent support damages his overall credit rating. To learn more about how delinquent accounts, including unpaid child support, can affect a consumer’s credit profile, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com credit resources page.

Child Support Delinquency can lead to Garnishment, Levy, Suspension of Driver's License, or even Jail

Having fallen behind on his child support payments, your ex-husband likely has much more to worry about than his credit score. Failure to make court-ordered child support payments has serious consequences, many of which your ex-husband may not have considered when he decided to stop paying his child support. In addition to being reported to the credit bureaus, unpaid child support can result in the suspension of the non-custodial parent’s driver’s license, the garnishment of his wages, levying of his bank accounts, seizure of property, and in severe cases, can even result in jail time. I strongly encourage you to consult with your attorney as soon as possible to discuss the options available to assist you in enforcing your ex-husband’s child support obligations. From your question, it sounds like your ex-husband has significant assets, including investments and a home which is paid off. You may be able to collect against these assets, forcing your ex-husband to pay his delinquent child support by seizing his investment accounts or by forcing the sale of his home.

Use All Resources Available, to Help Collect on Delinquent Support Payments

In addition to speaking with your attorney, you should contact your state’s child support enforcement agency. Many states will assist custodial parents in collecting on delinquent child support debts, which can be especially helpful for parents who are struggling financially and can therefore not afford an attorney. State agencies can also take direct action such as suspending the drivers’ licenses of delinquent parents, which has proven to be an effective way to coerce obstinate individuals to pay up. You can find a state-by-state list of child support enforcement agencies by visiting the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Web site. This Web site can also help you find federal government resources which can assist you in enforcing this outstanding child support obligation.

As I mentioned, I strongly recommend that you consult with your attorney as soon as possible to discuss the options available to help you collect on this debt.

I wish you the best of luck in collecting your ex-spouse’s delinquent child support payments.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

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Comments (110)


Lana H.
Grand Junction, CO  |  April 18, 2012
My ex husband has several businesses:cafe, marble and tile installation , jewlry store, he also rents out his house. He is $16,500 behind in child support. I am originally from another country, have no family here. Right now me and my kids live in subsadizing housing and I can't hire the attorney. I have a case with colorado child support enforcement unit for many years. They can't make him pay child support. They suspended his driver's license twice(he drive his waitress's car), they filed the judgement, put lien on his property etc. They told that he keeps very little amount of money on his bank accounts, he doesn't pay taxes, he doesn't report any income. He lives in another town, 2hours from us, in very expensive area, near Aspen. I can't pay my bills. recently I got the disconnection notice from utility company. There is no attorney in our town who would help me for brono. tried everything, called main child support unit in Denver, but they told that they on a limited funds and overloaded. Please, give me advise that would work in my situation.
Bills.com
April 19, 2012
If you have already discussed your case with your state child support agency, I do not have a suggestion to give you immediate relief. Do not give up. Consult with a lawyer who has family law experience to see if you have a case in civil court. I realize paying for a lawyer is a daunting task in your situation. Call your county bar association and ask for the names of the organizations that provide no-cost legal services to people with low or no income in your area. Make an appointment with one of the organizations, and bring all of the documents and letters you have regarding your case to your meeting. The lawyer you meet will advise you accordingly.
Daisy H.
March 25, 2012
My husband is 30yrs old and his father only paid a total of 2 child support payments the whole 18 yrs. We no longer live in the state that the child support was granted and he would like to know if he has to contact a laywer in the state we live in now or the state it was granted? He would like to get the money that is owed to him if at all possible.
Bills.com
March 25, 2012
Your spouse needs more assistance than someone like me can offer in an e-mail message or Web posting. Consult with a lawyer who has experience in litigating family law issues. He or she will advise you about how your state's laws apply to your spouse's situation.
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Question S.
Indianapolis, IN  |  February 12, 2013
I don't think your husband would be owed the money. Your husbands mother would be owed. She is the one who paid his fathers share while the father was not. She would be reimbursed what he should have been paying and didn't.
Emerald M.
Sacramento, CA  |  March 07, 2012
My ex whom ive never married owes back child support, he just his first wage garnishment and is now trying to modify the payments my question is because my son is now 18 will he still have to pay the back child support and as long as he is working will they continue to garnish and levy his bank and wages till debt is paid? thank you for your help.
Bills.com
March 07, 2012
Child support questions are difficult to answer for two reasons. First, the state laws vary and are nuanced, and it is easy to misinform readers. Second, each set of circumstances are different, and the amount of child support you are entitled may be different from the person next door. Therefore, your best sources for accurate information are a lawyer in your state who practices family law, or the state child services department that administers the child support payment program. I realize my answer is not what you were seeking. However, I would rather give you a sincere non-answer than one that is incorrect.
Jen F.
Glendale, CA  |  March 07, 2012
Hi, my boyfriend owes back spousal support only. The spousal support accrued only because the x-wife has been dodging service for 5 months or more so he has not been able to get it served properly, so it has been accruing. Finally he got the court to enable him to serve it to another party so he will be finally able to reduce the support. He currently is obligated to pay about 80 percent of his income. Anyway, my question is this, most recently Child support services took money out of his account that was not even there and the bank charged him for it as an overdraft. He only had 10 cents in his account and they charged him 90.00. On the notice it says they can take his car. He is disabled (state disability ended for him about a year ago) due to a shoulder injury that the insurance company postponed the operation for. The doctor said that he can not go back into his occupation any more. His x wife signed that he can retire so he did. Can they sieze his car if it is worth less than 2,300.00 to pay the back spousal support in California? Even if he has been trying months on end to reduce the spousal support when she has been dodging service? The judge said that it was very important to reduce the spousal the last time he went in and the court finally allowed him to do substitute service. Can child support services take the 2005 car? And how much does the car need to be worth to make it exempt from siezure? Also the back spousal owed is about 1100.00. Since he only makes 700.00 pension, 250 a month for spousal, and 230.00 a month for child support, and the spousal has not been able to be paid. We tried to seek legal aid but legal aid said that there is no money in the State coffers to help even though we qualify. Thank you. Between a rock and a hard spot.
Bills.com
March 08, 2012
These types of questions are difficult to answer in detail. You mentioned California. See the California Collection Laws page and Collection Laws & Exemptions to learn the exemption amounts for vehicles in California.
Heidi S.
Buffalo Township, PA  |  February 25, 2012
i was wondering if anyone can give me some advise. yesterday family division wiped out my bank account leaving me with a -$1265 balance. two days before i had gotten my tax refund. the best part? i don't have kids. my boyfriend and i have a joint checking account, which is the one that was emptied, and he owed 5 months back child support (he got a new job in september, which was the last time he paid, and coworkers at his new job had told him when he started that they had problems getting their child support of their paychecks with that business, and he finally had gotten everything in place so that his paycheck this week was the first one that would have the child support garnished). up until this point he has not missed a child support payment, and had payed every month for the past 10 years. but that's not the point. the point is I filed MY tax return and they emptied out my entire account. is there any way i can get ANY of the money back from family division? i don't think it's fair that i have to pay his back due child support, when we are not married, and the only thing that links he and i together is this checking account. thanks so much for your help!
Bills.com
February 25, 2012
Joint accounts are subject to bank levies, in the case of a court judgment against one of the account holders. I would suggest that you do not have funds in a joint account, if there is a chance of future bank levies. You can speak with an attorney, although the expense may not make that a viable alternative, as it is unlikely that you will be able to get your funds back.
Lili O.
Whitemarsh Twp, PA  |  February 21, 2012
My sister is divorced and the custodial parent of her son (NYC, NY). She is owed in excess of $20,000 in back child support from ex-husband. Her son began to have disciplinary issues, etc, decided to live with the father. My sister STILL has custody, is the custodial parent per divorce decree. The ex-husband now is filing for child support (after the child has lived with him over one year). How can he ask for child support when she is a) STILL the custodial parent on paper and b) he owes HER in back child support and if so HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? What recourse if any, does she have?
Bills.com
February 23, 2012
Your sister should consult with either the lawyer who handled her divorce, or find another lawyer to speak with, in order to best protect her interests.
Kammy P.
Wilson, NC  |  February 19, 2012
(I'm 32 years old) My father never paid child support from the time I was born until I was 18 years old. Can I try to get back child support payments from my father even if my mother doesn't want to try?
Bills.com
February 19, 2012
Child support laws vary from state to state. I think it likely that laws of the state in which the child support award was granted will govern the situation. In some states, a child support order can last as long as the state allows a judgment to be enforced.

I suggest that you speak with an attorney in your state that specializes in collecting on child support. You could also try contacting the state authority that enforces child support collection.
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Kammy P.
Wilson, NC  |  February 19, 2012
i lived in new jersey from the time I was born til i was 15 years old and i lived in north carolina from the age of 15 to 18 years of age. would i have to contact two different child support agencies?
Bills.com
February 20, 2012
You may indeed have to contact the state agency for both states. However, I think a good place to start is with the state agency in which the child support award was originally issued.
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Nicole Dunigan A.
February 23, 2012
Yes, You need to go back to the original state. In my state they don't care how old the case is or the children. My aunt is almost 60 and recieved some child support. But, If your mother doesn't want to pursue it then you most likely won't get it. Because even though it should be granted to you, It's ordered to your mother to take care of you. My son is 15 and I've never gotten a dime! He has no drivers license and has warrants but doesn't care. Good LUck!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Question S.
Indianapolis, IN  |  February 12, 2013
It is your mother's money not yours. She paid his share when he didn't. If she chooses to go after him it would all go to reimburse her for raising you on her own.
Mike M.
Lewiston, NY  |  February 14, 2012
Hi, I'm in NYS. I have custody of my two teenage girls and their mother has not paid child support in over a year. She owes $9k and counting. When I got custody / child support a couple years ago she worked for about a month and then quit her job, specifically so she could avoid child support. She is re-married.. so her new husband pays all her bills. What can/should I do to get her to pay? I'm pretty sure they have already taken her drivers license away.. but she doesn't seem to care. When will they throw her in jail? should I get a lawyer to help with this?
Bills.com
February 14, 2012
You mentioned New York. First, see the following Web pages published by the state of New York's Division of Child Support Enforcement:

Second, consult with a lawyer if you are not satisfied with your interactions with Child Support Enforcement.

Stuart P.
Hornellsville, NY  |  February 13, 2012
Hi my daughter lives in new york state and the father of her 9year old son has not paid child support but has now moved to florida and is working but she has been told the florida courts will not go after him for child support untill he owes over 20 thousand dollars is this correct hope you can help Stu
Bills.com
February 13, 2012
Call the Florida Dept. of Revenue Child Support Enforcement people and ask if what you were told was a DOR policy or urban legend.
Laura C.
San Diego, CA  |  January 31, 2012
Is been so many years, like 10 years, that the father of my daughter not been paying child support,now she is in college, and she needs all the support she can get. Not eve a letter or a birthdate card, or christmas car for her, no phone calls. Is pretty sad how some parents dont participate in the life of a child, in either way, .
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