Mr. A and I have a very unusual child support situation. He owes me child support. However, since we are remarried, any support he pays comes right back to the two of us.
For a few years during our divorce, having sole custody of our children, I was on welfare. Our oldest child has Down Syndrome and it was necessary for me to be home to care for him. Mr. A fell behind on child support for a period of time, and now there is a balance due.
To the tune of just under $10,000.00.
We knew about this outstanding amount. In fact, Mr. A’s job has been taking child support payments from his paycheck and sending them to me. Which always makes me laugh to think about. The ladies in the accounting office thought it was pretty funny, too.
Since our youngest child turned eighteen last October, we have petition the court to have the assignment for child support stopped. This is a little known fact, that just because your youngest child is of age, doesn’t mean the support order automatically stops. I tried to get my caseworker to begin this process last year, in April. She said she would need to have a copy of the divorce decree, as well as the order of assignment. She told me it would take a couple weeks to get the paperwork. Ever the helpful person, in order to expedite the process, I went down THAT day to the clerk of the court’s office, got the paperwork and faxed it all to her. I then called her several times in the following weeks, but she never returned my calls. One time I even got sympathy from her secretary who apologized for the situation. Finally I got busy with the wedding and just gave up on it.
Last week, with the child support still accruing, our youngest being 18, and our remarriage, we decided it was high time to get the assignment stopped. So we went to the courthouse and filled out the necessary paperwork to have the order stopped on our own. I also needed to waive the amount due to me personally. I didn’t know that exact amount, so the courthouse put a call in to my caseworker. I left a message for her, and she finally called me back.
She told me the amount that I could waive, and she told me the State requires that we pay them the other amount.
$5936 to be exact. This is because I was on welfare for the months that Mr. A couldn’t make the child support payment.
She explained that the case will need to be sent to “audit” and at that time they will tack on the interest that has not been building up all these 15 years. I asked her if we were able to pay the amount, could she keep it from being audited. She asked her supervisor and came back and told me if we pay the $5936 within 20 days, they will close the case without sending it to the audit process.
I talked with my sister about the situation and she says I should call them back and haggle with them over the amount.
I guess it won’t hurt to explain that $6000 is really going to hit our family hard, and is there any way possible that we could pay a lesser amount. I’m also a little bit concerned that since we already turned in paperwork to the courts, that the audit will happen no matter what we do, or how soon we do it.
I also read something on the Internet today that there has been a problem in our state with some child support cases prior to 1996 not having interest accruing over the years. People would be getting notices that they owe a certain amount of money and when they come forward to pay it off, they are hit with an amount 3 times what they had expected. So we might have a leg to stand on there.
I will keep you posted on whether we have pay the entire amount. Just the thought of haggling gives me a stomachache.
Stay tuned for my post tomorrow which will be on a more positive note. Read the child support saga update here.