How Child Support Works

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  • I got temporary custody of my grandchildren. The court ordered each parent to pay $275 towards child support and medical expenses. My question is do the parents have to fill out paperwork or do anything for that process to start? I am not quite sure what the parents would be required to do, if anything.

    So far, the parents are supposed to take drug tests by a certain period of time and provide the court with those results. They are also supposed to pay child support. DD called her daddy and said that she was clean according to her hair follicle drug test. The last time she said she was clean she was using marijuana. Clean to her means not testing positive for opiates. She also thought that the Hearing was the actual trial. My DH told her that was just the pre-trial hearing. So, I wonder if she only got an attorney for the hearing and doesn't know she is supposed to take the drug test results to the court clerk. It doesn't matter to me. She wanted to go to court.

    I haven't asked my attorney about how the child support works because I am busy and he is busy and I'd rather catch him for more important matters. However, I am curious as to how is normally works on the parents part in how the get the money taken out of their paychecks. Another reason I haven't worried about it is that I really am not expecting to get it. I will be shocked if I actually get the child support monies.
  • I have been getting child support for over 15yrs. I live in PA. Every state does things a little different. Not sure if temporary courts orders are different then permanent.

    We have a child support agreement thru the county that I live. The county sends a letter to his work. That amount is subtracted from his paycheck. The company he works for send the checks to the state support dept. The checks are either direct deposit or put on a visa. I have direct deposit. Which I received a letter from the state and filled it out with my bank info. PA has a website that both my ex and I can look on. It tells you everything you need to know. Child support hearing dates, $ amounts, last time a payment was received and last time payment was paid. I get emails from this site when they put $$ in my bank account and the amount.

    If I have questions about anything. I call my county support office and they help me.

    Debora not sure what your state does. Maybe you should look up the phone # for the child support office in your area. Ask some questions. Usually they go by SS #'s. You might want to have yours and your dd's # if you have them when you call. I can also use my case # which is on my paperwork. They are usually pretty helpful and it is free.
  • Charlotte, thanks. I was just curious as to whether or not the parents had to do anything. If they have to fill out paperwork, they won't do it. However, if the court handles everything, then it might get done. I haven't pressed my attorney about that as much as I have other issues because I really do not expect the parents to pay anything. It wasn't until I had the children 5 months and told my DD I was taking her to court that I saw any money. After 7 months, the parents have paid me a total of $280 towards the support of their children. The mother had Medicaid for her children under her name per requirement by CPS. She slipped and told me right before we hired the attorney and admitted she was afraid Medicaid would find out I had the children under my care when she was getting Food Stamps for them. I never saw the Food Stamps for the children. The mother never worked until I told her I had an attorney and was taking her to court as I could not return the children since the parents were on drugs, had no home of their own, and had no vehicle. As soon as I got an attorney, the mother got a minimum wage job. I am not sure how many hours she is working. SIL got a second job. I am not sure how many total hours he is working either. They agreed to pay me together $550 monthly. I asked and received that it be separated independently per parent. That way, if the parents get a divorce, things are already separated.

    I guess by February 1st, we'll find out if the parents are paying child support. They were supposed to pay that January 1st. I am not sure how long the process lasts before I actually get the money IF I get the money.

  • Charlotte gave you very good advice. Contact your local child services dept. with questions. The parents should be called in to their offices and so should you to fill out papers. Your lawyer might handle this for you or it might have to do this yourself. Don't worry about bothering your attorney, that's his job. Ask him about it so that it is not on your mind and make sure to get the answers that you are looking for. The payments should be taken directly out of their checks. If they quit their jobs and stop paying, they will go into arrears. Hopefully for you, this never happens because it could be a long time before you see that money.

    I could write for hours on child support issues. Make sure to document everything!! Make sure to keep records of every payment - or lack of payment, make records of every phone call to child services, with names, dates, numbers and anything else that you can think of. I can't say it enough...document everything!!!
  • What Tami said about the attorney is correct, that's what you're paying him for.

    When I got CS it came through the State of Oregon and it goes by the SS number. Also was automatic deposit to my account.
  • I have no problem bugging my attorney. It is just the few moments I have when I do have access to a cell phone (I work in a prison where they are not allowed) I have more important issues to discuss, like the parents not able to come for visitation. I was just curious about the process. I would really be shocked if the parents pay the child support. The way they manage their money, if it is taken out of their checks like my attorney said, I would not doubt that the parents wouldn't hesitation to quit a job to avoid it or end up getting kicked out of their apartment for non payment of rent. Therefore, I am not getting my hopes up for that. My concern is more about the drug use by the parents during visitation or the promises they make to the children they are unable to keep.

    This reason and this reason alone (child support, visitation, and the like) are good reasons people should check out their future spouse and his/her family as well as work hard to make their marriages work. All this is so difficult on the children and all family members who deal with the children.
  • Debora now that their is a court order for child support. If your dd and sil don't pay they could both end up in jail. In PA they put people in jail and send them out on work release during the day. The court gives them a job. In our county it is working for the trash company's. The trucks pick up the people right at the jail and drop them off at the end of the day. Also they can take there tax return away from them for back child support. That usually doesn't happen until they owe alot of money. In PA you can't get a driver's, fish or hunting license if you owe back child support. In PA the have this all on a data base that is kept for all these kinds of license renewals. I have seen lots of people quit there job once the courts find them and start taking child support out of their pay. This is one of the main reasons why they use SS #'s easier to find dead beat parents.

    I really don't think your dd and sil have a clue what they are in for. It is a shame they that couldn't get their act together for the sake of their children.

    The judges don't put up with liarers and people that play games. Your dd and sil will find out quickly that the court system will not be in there favor when they don't play by the rules.

    Debora I really honor you for doing what you are doing. Raising grandchildren isn't easy. You have alot on your plate. Keep up the great job. Remember it is all worth it when you see the big smiles and laughter of those 2 fantastic grandchildren of yours.
  • I don't know how it works in my state. I hope they go solely by SS number as DD's state issued ID is in her maiden name. I find that interesting since she only got this in late October. She's been married for quite some time. Anyway, she did admit to the court who she worked for as did SIL.

    Thank you for the compliment. It is very hard work taking care of children and trying to start a career to support them while the parents have promises to get their acts together. I pray that the judge not only gives us complete custody, but I hope he allows us the right to move out of state as well. I figure since DD only worked for a few months in the past 6 years and she's only had this job (minimum wage) since last October early November and SIL has had his first job since late summer and the second job since November, and both his are minimum wage jobs as well. I think it would be better to allow those of us with stable, good paying jobs (my husband has been with his company for 26 years) the right to move to be near their jobs and together under the same roof.

    I think it is a good idea for the state to arrest parents and make them work. NM revokes driver's licenses for failure to pay child support. In my daughter's case, she doesn't even have a driver's license.
  • Pa. seems to play favorites when it comes to who they will arrest and take their tax money. My sister has tried for years to get the father of one of her kids to pay child support. The courts told her to find out where he was living and then to let them know. She did that (even though legal advise said it wasn't her job to do this). She told them were he was working at the time, too. They still never made him pay a dime. He's been in jail before for other offenses but never for lack of paying child support. The courts never followed up and never took his tax refunds. He is still living in the town not too far away from her and works some sort of lame job. It's the county that doesn't give a hoot.

    Fla. took our tax return when we moved here and we were paid up to the penny with child support! They claimed that our files from Pa. and NC must have gotten lost when they were sent to them. Therefore, it was our word against theres - guess who won.

    The whole thing sucks. I would find out how strict they are in your state about paying child support. Here in NC, you will go to jail if you do not pay. I've seen sheriffs show up on people's doorsteps to take people away.
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    Make sure to document everything!! Make sure to keep records of every payment - or lack of payment, make records of every phone call to child services, with names, dates, numbers and anything else that you can think of. I can't say it enough...document everything!!!
    I agree!!! I lost out on a lot of child support for my DD from her father. He jumped around on jobs, wrote me bad checks and had a ton of excuses. He had a lot of nice things, but never had any money when it came to our daugher. Every promise he has made never materialized. I am glad now that DD is 19 can see what he really is.

    Getting the back child support monies is a long tedious process...most time you won't see the money. The only way I got money was if I had his pay garnished. No job, no money, but they can face jail time for non payment.