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Opinions on Arrears? **EDITED**

Posted by on Jul. 18, 2014 at 7:53 PM
  • 48 Replies

Hi ladies! I don't know if this has been posted before because I didn't extensively peruse the posts but I have yet another court date coming up next week and was hoping for some opinions.  I've heard many stories about how sometimes, a father is so far behind on child support, that he winds up still making child support payments in the form of arrears even after the children have grown and left the house.  So my question is, what do you think a mother is entitled to do with the arrears money she receives? Is that to be used as child support and spent only on the children? Or is it reimbursement (to the mother) for the months, years, etc that she supported the children in the absence of child support? I guess it could be "controversial" but the way I see it, if the ex happens to be still paying the mother after all minor children are grown and no longer dependent, wouldn't that mean that the money is technically for the mother, regardless of whether or not they are still minor children? 


**Thanks for the responses ladies!! I need to clarify though.  I shared a little in one of my responses but I'll update here.  I used the example of a woman receiving arrears after the children were grown to make a point but that is not my actual circumstance at the moment.  All of my children are still minors and living at home and I receive an extra $100/week (arrears) in addition to my regular child support.  There was about a 4 year period after the divorce where my ex was paying little to no child support at times and I was picking up the slack.  When I finally took him back to court, the judge ordered my child support and arrears to be taken directly from his check by New York State child support. So I'm wondering what that money is to be applied to...only the children? Can I use some of it for necessities if need be? I'm unsure as to if that money is mine or not and I can't find any real solid advice about this matter.

Opinions are much appreciated but if anyone knows the actual, LEGAL answer to this, that would be awesome!**

by on Jul. 18, 2014 at 7:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
wendythewriter
by Bronze Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 8:01 PM
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My ex owes me somewhere around $29K, maybe close to $30K now. If I get that money before my kids are 18, it will be spent however I see fit - usually on them, but if they have nothing they need at that particular time, then it will be spent to replace clothing that I've had for years because I buy them new clothes before I will buy any for myself, or to fix my car, or wahtever else might need to be done at that particular time. 

Once they are over 18 (both of them), if I were to get that money, I would probably divide it equally between my kids. Then they could use it for whatever they needed right at that moment. 

designkal3
by Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Thank you for responding, and I like that idea!!  I have a little bit of a different situation.  He owed almost $20,000 in arrears so I took him to court and the judge made a new decree and now NYS is involved and garnishes the child support from his check.  On top of that, he gets an additional $100 a week taken out for the arrears.  I stopped working shortly after that court date almost 2 years ago to go back to school, I'm trying to finish my RN. We moved back in with my parents and they have agreed to support me through this and one of those ways is keeping my living expenses low so I can focus solely on school and the kids right now.  I had a little nest egg saved from when I was working and the IRS takes some of my ex's taxes and applies it towards arrears.  We also receive a little bit of money every month in food stamps. Normally, the entire check goes to the kids, arrears and all, but sometimes I do use the arrears portion for other necessties.   

wendythewriter
by Bronze Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 8:22 PM

We've gone to court repeatedly for him to be in contempt for not paying. But it makes no difference. He goes to jail briefly, pays a pathetic amount to get out, and that's it. He has no job, and doesn't even try to find one, so I get no tax money from him either. 

I've just accepted that he won't pay. It sucks, but I can't force him to pay, and clearly the broken system can't, either. 

Quoting designkal3:

Thank you for responding, and I like that idea!!  I have a little bit of a different situation.  He owed almost $20,000 in arrears so I took him to court and the judge made a new decree and now NYS is involved and garnishes the child support from his check.  On top of that, he gets an additional $100 a week taken out for the arrears.  I stopped working shortly after that court date almost 2 years ago to go back to school, I'm trying to finish my RN. We moved back in with my parents and they have agreed to support me through this and one of those ways is keeping my living expenses low so I can focus solely on school and the kids right now.  I had a little nest egg saved from when I was working and the IRS takes some of my ex's taxes and applies it towards arrears.  We also receive a little bit of money every month in food stamps. Normally, the entire check goes to the kids, arrears and all, but sometimes I do use the arrears portion for other necessties.   


designkal3
by Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Ugh that really does suck!  I hope things turn around for you with all of this!!

Quoting wendythewriter:

We've gone to court repeatedly for him to be in contempt for not paying. But it makes no difference. He goes to jail briefly, pays a pathetic amount to get out, and that's it. He has no job, and doesn't even try to find one, so I get no tax money from him either. 

I've just accepted that he won't pay. It sucks, but I can't force him to pay, and clearly the broken system can't, either.



dawncs
by on Jul. 18, 2014 at 10:18 PM

You have to realize that things will catch up in the end for the fathers who work under the table in retirement. I know of a deadbeat father of two who is a former friend of my mom's. He went into a cash only business, and he ended up with $700 a month in Social Security Retirement. It is really hard to survive on that amount in this county and especially with a house and not close to public transportation. I bet he never imagined a rough retirement.

Oliviasmom72
by Silver Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Arrears never go away. It will continue to accrue until paid.

designkal3
by Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 10:57 PM
Yes, I was just recently reading up about that. But what I'm wondering is, since I had to pay my part and his part to raise our kids at one point, is it safe to say that any arrears I do receive is mine? Of course, most of it is spent on the children anyway but still.

Quoting Oliviasmom72:

Arrears never go away. It will continue to accrue until paid.

Oliviasmom72
by Silver Member on Jul. 19, 2014 at 1:10 AM
1 mom liked this

 Absolutely. Child support is owed to the parent, not the kids. You are free to do whatever you want with it if you mnage to get any :) good luck

Quoting designkal3: Yes, I was just recently reading up about that. But what I'm wondering is, since I had to pay my part and his part to raise our kids at one point, is it safe to say that any arrears I do receive is mine? Of course, most of it is spent on the children anyway but still.
Quoting Oliviasmom72:

Arrears never go away. It will continue to accrue until paid.

 

virginiamama71
by Carrie on Jul. 19, 2014 at 1:33 PM

 If it was my situation I would let the money go to my son. He could use it for studying, living expenses, investments.

designkal3
by Member on Jul. 19, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Yes, I think I would do this too.  My situation is a little different though, I mentioined it in a previous comment but I should have posted it in the original post.  I was just using the situation of receiving it after the kids were grown as a perspective of what the arrears is for (mother or child).

I currently receive an extra $100/week (arrears) in addition to my regular child support payment and was just wondering what you ladies thought arrears could/should be used for.  Only the children? Is it up to the mother what that money is used for? Etc. I can't seem to find any solid info as to who the arrears is for.  I found one, small thing online that said it is for the mother because when the father isn't paying child support, the mother is paying more than her share to raise the child so when arrears is infact collected, it is a reimbursement to the mother for her time of support in the absence of the father.  I could not find any more info though.

Quoting virginiamama71:

 If it was my situation I would let the money go to my son. He could use it for studying, living expenses, investments.


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