How do you make/recieve child support payments? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-15-2008, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh just started paying child support. When we signed the papers I asked our lawyer how/who we pay. She acted like it was a silly question, that we just give the mom the check each month. I thought there was state department we paid and they paid her. She said no. Anyway, we just go this form "welcoming us" to the state disbursement unit system where it appears we can make payments on line. I tried looking for info. on the website but it implies that ALL child support payment are made through this department, that paying an individual is not an option. Plus, all the paperwork calls dh the non-custodial parent and he has full physical custody. I don't know if that needs to be corrected.
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#2 of 22 Old 03-15-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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I deal with a program like that here called the Famly Maitenaince Enforcement Program. I think that dealing with a program you can protect yourself. There is no way she can claim that you didn't pay etc. Downside for me (the recipient) is that it takes a few days for the money to turn over....but if ex decides not to pay (like he did for a few months) they deal with it and I don't have to.

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#3 of 22 Old 03-15-2008, 11:07 PM
 
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California recently switched over to a new system, but even before that I don't think direct payments (payments from parent to parent) were an option. You pay the state, they disperse the payment. My understanding was that if you get a paycheck they automatically deduct it there, if you don't you write a check and send it to some state office.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#4 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by aricha View Post
California recently switched over to a new system, but even before that I don't think direct payments (payments from parent to parent) were an option. You pay the state, they disperse the payment. My understanding was that if you get a paycheck they automatically deduct it there, if you don't you write a check and send it to some state office.
Really? We've been paying for about 5 months now and we've never heard of this! Like I said, I asked our lawyer about this (big time family law lawyer) and she acted like it was a stupid question. I'd prefer to pay someone else because dh and his ex are equally lame about this. He forgets it's the 1st and ends up driving over there at midnight to drop off a check and she forgets there are 31 days in the month and ends up banging on our door asking for her f---ing money. If he could do this on-line, I think we'd all be happier.
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#5 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 08:23 AM
 
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I guess if you came to some stipulated outside of court settlement and never filed it with the court you could do person-to-person payments... but once the court knows you've been ordered to pay it, they want to be able to enforce it without you having to go before the family court again, so they move it to a different department who specifically handles that.

Here's more information about the State Disbursment Unit (SDU) who handles all child support payments. You can pay online or by phone, but you can also set up automatic recurring payments so the $$ is taken out automatically each month and he doesn't even have to remember to make the payment. And if his ex doesn't want to wait for her check, she can set up direct deposit to her bank account, too.

http://www.childsup.ca.gov/Payments/...1/Default.aspx

(You have to click on the link, not copy and paste it, b/c the whole thing doesn't show up here... the link should work, though, if you click it! )

Also in CA child support is handled completely separately from custody, so I wouldn't be surprised if a family law lawyer didn't handle as much of it. They probably know the LAW of child support calculation, like what travel expenses count for a hardship deduction for example, but the actual practicalities of paying child support are not things they would normally handle.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#6 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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In Michigan it's all handled by "them". If you give the other parent a check/money/whatever it doesn't count. It's considered a gift, unless it's done through the state disbursment unit.

In our case- they take the money right out of ex's paycheck before he even gets it (his boss deducts it from his paycheck and sends it to the SDU). The SDU sends it to my bank account. Ex never has access to the child support money and never has to worry about paying it on time, since it's taken right out of every check. I don't have to worry about asking him for that money or dealing with checks since it's direct deposited into my bank account. Works out well for us

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#7 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, that's crazy. They did come to the agreement through lawyers, but they filed the papers with the courts and started payments back in August and we never heard a word about this until now (so, actually 8 months). At the end of August we were waiting for the last of the papers to go through and ex started pushing for her money and our lawyer told us to run a check over there that day. The paperwork we received yesterday was confusing. It just said "Welcome to the California Child Support Automation System" but it doesn't say we have to do anything. Just, here is you case number, so I was just going to file it away, but I decided to look it up on the web (mostly because it says that the mom is the custodial party and she's not, so I was just trying to see if that was something that needed to be changed) and it says there are 3 ways to make child support payments: check to the department of child support, credit card or direct deposit. So, do I have to do this? We sorta want to, but do we have to? I just want to know before we talk to the ex about it as she'd have to sign up, too.

Also, dh is self-employeed and doesn't really get a "pay check" so I'm not sure how that is handled.
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#8 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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We pay ours by check each month. And I receive mine from my ex via check (or sometimes Western Union since he is overseas now). We've never had to go through an agency to process the payments and we always have the record of the cancelled check to prove payment should the questio ever arise.
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#9 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
In Michigan it's all handled by "them". If you give the other parent a check/money/whatever it doesn't count. It's considered a gift, unless it's done through the state disbursment unit.
Ohio works this way as well. When we were helping BIL through child support issues, we had to lay down the law with his ex who kept saying "I need the money now. Just give me a check, and I'll tell them." There's a few days turnaround time in Ohio (or was), but you don't have a choice about doing it through the state.

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#10 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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In UT, it can be done either way. Unfortunately, if the person receiving the payment isn't honest, they can claim that the person paying the child support never paid them. Unless there is a cashed check to prove otherwise, it can get pretty hairy.

That being said, I elected to have the Office of Recovery Services collect the child support on behalf of my son. My ex was really upset at first because he thought it meant that I considered him a dead-beat dad or something. He finally caught on that things are a lot easier relationship-wise between us if the child-support/money issue is handled through a third-party. Since money was the #1 thing we argued about when we were married* I figured it would probably keep being something that caused us strife. It costs me $10 a month to have them do it, but the peace of mind I get from having an intermediary deal with any issues that arise is priceless. I think he appreciates it as well because it gives him & his wife a bit more security knowing that someone in an official position is accounting for his diligence in paying the child support.




(*That and his mom who wouldn't let him grow up/have a life of his own! Anytime I start feeling bad that my marriage didn't work out, I just remind myself I am not her daughter-in-law anymore and I suddenly feel a lot better. I actually feel quite badly for his current wife. I don't think she realized what kind of mother-in-law she was getting when she married him. He's a pretty decent guy and a great dad to our son - his mom though...I still get the heebie-jeebies thinking about it.)

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#11 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Flor View Post
So, do I have to do this? We sorta want to, but do we have to? I just want to know before we talk to the ex about it as she'd have to sign up, too.

Also, dh is self-employeed and doesn't really get a "pay check" so I'm not sure how that is handled.
I'm pretty sure you have to. Again, it was my understanding that if you get a paycheck it is automatically deducted from that. If not (my husband and his ex were both the stay-at-home parents in their respective families, so neither had a paycheck) you pay through the SDU. As far as I understood, the only choice you had was how one parent got the money to the SDU and how the other parent got the money from them. His ex shouldn't have to sign up for anything if she doesn't want to, but she will need to know it is being handled through SDU if she is expecting a check handed to her by her ex... I mean just to avoid the drama, not because you are required to

The child support office has always been really helpful to us when we were going through it before. I would just call them.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#12 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 06:54 PM
 
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In Texas the payer mails a check to an office in San Antonio and they get it to the payee. This works well, and they just added an auto-debit program recently. Direct checks don't count as far as I know.

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#13 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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I get mine through DCSE. B/c exSO never paid on his own they garnish his wages, but before that he had the option to pay them every month and then they pay me.

I chose to go through DCSE b/c when we originally had a court order and he paid me directly- he would always pay late, if even and I thinks its easier on both of us to not have to 'deal' with each other any mroe than we need to.

I think is is also beneficial to the non-custodial parent too b/c it leaves a better paper trail.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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#14 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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On our divorce papers we had three options: pay by check directly, through the sate, or through direct payment.

I have to pay dh every month! I hate writing the man that cheated on me and left a check. But, he pays for my insurance, and he deducts the whooping $141 he has to pay me for cs, and then I pay him the difference.

I think with checks it is fine since you have the record of that payment, kwim?
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#15 of 22 Old 03-16-2008, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess we'll call tomorrow and see how to get started. I'm just a little caught off guard since I don't know why I didn't k now this before. You'd think at some point when we signed paperes, filed them with the court and got papers back signed from the court, someone at some point would have mentioned this! I just hope there is no issue with the last 8 months of checks!
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#16 of 22 Old 03-17-2008, 03:24 AM
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here, if you file with the state you pay to the custodial parent and if payments are missed or if you choose to pay through the agency the non custodial parent pays the state or has the wages withdrawn from paychecks or bank accounts automatically. most people i know used private attnys though. in that case, you just send the check.

we like money orders here because there's no way to bounce them. ex just keeps the stubs and we deposit them alone instead of lumping them in with other checks so that if there's ever a dispute he has his stubs and we have records of exact amounts.
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#17 of 22 Old 03-17-2008, 09:44 AM
 
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Right now, DF writes a check and gives it to her. Then she writes a check for a joint loan that they had and gives it to DF.

It looks like when the legal things go through, he will write a check to her for CS, then she will write a check for her portion of medical/dental insurance costs. And I suppose she will write a separate check for the loan (which isn't addressed in the legal paperwork because they were never married... DF is relying on her word to pay it back).

In MN, if you go through the state they tack on a fee. It is a great system for those who need it, but DF and DSD's mom's relationship is pretty amicable and they see each other often,

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#18 of 22 Old 03-17-2008, 09:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
California recently switched over to a new system, but even before that I don't think direct payments (payments from parent to parent) were an option. You pay the state, they disperse the payment. My understanding was that if you get a paycheck they automatically deduct it there, if you don't you write a check and send it to some state office.
I'm in CAlifornia and my ex pays me directly. I give him a receipt each time he pays. Direct payment is an option here if both parties agree to it. At the time he started paying wage garnishments were pretty new for non-deadbeat parents and he was concerned his employer would think that he was a deadbeat dad if it was coming out of his paychecks.

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#19 of 22 Old 03-18-2008, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in CAlifornia and my ex pays me directly. I give him a receipt each time he pays. Direct payment is an option here if both parties agree to it. At the time he started paying wage garnishments were pretty new for non-deadbeat parents and he was concerned his employer would think that he was a deadbeat dad if it was coming out of his paychecks.
Thanks. I was afraid we'd done something wrong or missed something. I think we might go for it because it seems convient. Dh is self-employeed, too, so he won't think badly of himself!
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#20 of 22 Old 03-23-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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Automatic from my SO's bank account (most people here pay it automatically from paychecks, though), through the state agency, to SD's mom.

Sometimes I wish it could be just directly paid to SD's mom because the agency seems to sit on the payments for days, and my SO ends up on the receiving end of the "you deadbeat" lecture. (Hey, he's responsible for getting the $ to the agency on time--there's nothing he can do after that. You'd think after several years his ex-wife would stop relying on the money getting to her on the exact day it's supposed to.)

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#21 of 22 Old 03-23-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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DH pays BM directly every month by check. I'm in IL and as far as we know, the state doesn't care how you pay, as long as you do pay. If the other party wants to claim that you are not paying, they can take you to court for contempt and prove you didn't pay.

You can file through the state and ask that the person's wages be garnished for payment. And I think if you do get behind in payments they can come after your income tax refund. A friend of mine's ex husband used to get thousands of dollars behind and nothing ever happened though, even though they constantly were going back into court.
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#22 of 22 Old 03-26-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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In KS it goes through the Kansas Payment Center. I have it set up so it goes directly to their 529 College Accounts. I don't even see it.
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