Checking Account Raided For Back Child Support Arrears

by Keith Jones
(Buffalo, NY)

I'm far from a "deadbeat dad," having done all I can to keep up with monthly $1,700 spousal/child support payments since divorcing in June 2007. I spend regular time with my daughter and have paid some $41,000 of $58,000 owed, to date. I've done this through loss of job and an 18 month unemployed period and loss of two homes due to the housing market crisis.

I've been making payments on an as-able basis, but learned recently that wages from my job as a federal employee would begin to be garnished. This I had expected and was in the process of adjusting to...

...when yesterday I checked my on-line personal checking account with Key Bank and saw that $2,400 had been deducted and paid to the Ohio Child Support Payment Central by the county agency that handles my case, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency (ph. no. 216-443-1431).

This is all the money I have to live on. Checks I'd written recently for rent, utilities, etc. will bounce and fees will be assessed by the bank. What's worse is that my car is in the shop and I'd planned on using $800 of the balance to get my only source of transportation back today. In short, making my financial situation more difficult and expensive will only serve to provide less money for my spousal and child support obligation.

Is it legal for funds to be drawn directly from a personal checking account with a private bank? Garnishment of wages I understand and have read 42 USC Sec. 659 that provides for this for federal employees.

My ex-wife and daughter have what they need and are more comfortable than I at this time, as I assumed much of the debt and expenses from our divorce. This action will definitely affect my ability to continue to work, earn and satisfy my obligations. Also, I don't know if this deduction will happen automatically every time I allow a balance to sit in my checking account.

Any insight and assistance you're able to provide is greatly appreciated.

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Yes It's Legal
by: Child Support America Team Member

Hello Keith,

Thanks for your post and we do understand your frustration and concern. It appears per your statements that you are a concerned father and that you have always paid child support.

Unfortunately it is legal for child support to deduct earnings from a personal checking account. Our legal department has also informed us that they can even deduct wages even if someone elses name is on the account.

We are sorry to hear of this in your case, because you appear to be a responsible non-custodial parent.

Our question to you is: Were you over $2,500 in the arrears.


checking account raided
by: steve

yes it obviously legal, I to had money taken out. I was only in the rearages 800.00 and they went in and took it, with out any notification. I requested a hearing and they denied it. After showing all the pertinant info they still claimed they dont know how this happened. There all liars and go after the guys who pay.

Why? because there all lazy bastards and its easier then hunting down the real deadbeats. Furthermore my kid doesnt even live with their mother and they claim I still have to pay. Just consider the source.

by: Anonymous

Unfortunately, my family feels your pain. My husband is paying arrears for a child that has been proven by DNA testing to not be his. He has not missed a payment in over 5 years and one day ( the day after my employment check (and I only get paid once a month) went into the bank and I had already written all my bills for the month) the Ohio CSEA took my entire account.

The CSEA did not care that I did not have the money to feed my own children or to pay to keep a roof over their heads. The funny part of the story, my children's father has never paid a dime and the child support order is through the same agency in the same county.

So, essentially a man who owes any arrearages can not have a bank account until they are completely current. The account was frozen for 7 months! It amazes me that the child support agencies of Ohio feel that it is necessary keep men hostage and eventually unable to support a normal existence. To me, this seems to be a viscious cycle that keeps men from paying, not the other way around.

unfair treatment
by: chris

Child support is a sexiest agency by nature it is both parent's responsibillty financial and to mentor and nature this is ridiculous that the mother has all rights when the child is born and therefore is sexiest and unlawful both parents should be parents and not custodial and noncustodial parents and if one is a unsuitable parent then the other gets rights to the child not automatically give them to the mother

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