Child Support Caseworker Using False Authority

by Mr Brown "VIP Member"...............................
(Charleston, South Carolina)

In 2007 I ended a very stressful time in my young life by getting divorced. At that time, I agreed to pay $200 per week for my two daughters, but failed to include a parenting plan or spell out visitation guidelines in a crudely drafted Internet based separation agreement. The order was now in place, but not enforced through child support, so I paid directly to my ex wife on a consistent basis.

I worked overseas for the most part and returned to the states in late 2008 at the height of the recession. I had difficulty finding work and began to miss payments,so in the summer of 2009 I asked to take the girls in order to not have the ex wife pay for child care while she worked. I was living with family and had a support structure that did not require me to spend money if the girls were with me.

Within weeks of getting my girls, I landed a well paying job in another state, so I left my girls with my mother and I hired a nanny to be with them as my mom went to work. I made the 8 hour drive every payday to see my girls and pay the nanny, then drove back to work.

At this same time, my ex wife's new husband had warrants out for his arrest for child support and they were going through the struggles. Being that he was not working, he could not afford to pay his back money, so my ex reported me to child support and started enforcement through the system to recover the arrears obtain continued payments while I had the girls with my mother.

I agreed to the arrears and signed an agreement to pay an extra $50 per week towards it. During the setup of this agreement, child support credited me for the time my children were in my care which saved me $1600.

I continued to make my payments and in 2010, all mine and current wife's tax returns was garnished in order to satisfy the arrears. My employer then received a letter stating that my payments should now be reduced to the original arrangement and I actually received a refund check because I overpaid. Things went normal until late 2010 to early 2011 when my ex and her husband started having varying issues that created turmoil in the household.

I was asked to take my girls for a year and was also asked if I could continue paying child support to help her survive. Wanting to have my girls so bad, I agreed.

During this time while my girls lived with me in another state, things got worse in my ex wife's household, to a point where I felt uncomfortable taking them there for visits, but I did so nonetheless, because I know the law would force me to and she was still the custodial parent. I paid her child support, helped her with mortgage payment and even paid a few nights salary to her nurse who was taking care of her sick son from her current marriage.

In late 2011 I received notification that my passport was threatened because I missed one months payment. Not being able to reason with the person answering the phone, I made a last ditch effort and disclosed that I had my girls with me for close to a year.

They requested proof and I provided my children's school records. This prompted child support to stop enforcement, but I would still have to go to court and stop the order. At the same time, my older daughter's birthday was coming up and I dropped my girls off for the weekend. I was then told that I would not be getting them back and will never see them again.

A court battle ensued as I attempted at firt to get full custody, but fearing that my kids would be in danger if I got too aggressive in litigation, I changed to only get structured visitation. At the same time, my ex went back to child support and had it reinstated.

To my surprise, the reinstatement is reflecting that I know still owe the arrears that was settled in 2010 and that I am now back to paying the $50 extra per week. I tried to fight this error for months now, but still paid it as they said, in hopes that I would get credited later.

About three weeks ago I received a letter that my driving privileges will be revoked if I don't pay up the arrears and that there is no arrangement in place. This is not true because it clearly states on the payment portal that the entire arrangement from 2009 was back in effect. I was then given the option to request a hearing within 20 days. I did so immediately.

Today I revived two letters in the mail at the same time. The one dated 5 days shy of my 20 days response period states that I failed to comply and is now subject to arrest, garnishment and revocation of driving privileges. The one dated on the 20th day states that this is a notification that your hearing request is denied.

This is all going on while I have lawyers fighting for my children and child support is being recalculated. In fact, the calculations show that I should pay more and I agree to it, but my ex sits in the child support office with her stories and now I'm being forced to drop the custody case in order to find the money to repay an already paid arrears as I cannot afford to do both.

If I go to jail, I will lose my income and I can see the end of my future clearly. I have two young children with my new wife and I am pretty much the sole provider.

Re-read the chronology of the hearing notification date and the further action date. How come they got to me the same day, but are dated 5 days apart and originated from the same case worker at the same address?

Why was the action dated 5 days before my deadline to respond?

Why was my notification of hearing denial denied after the action?

Why am I going through this if I'm paying as instructed even though I am in disagreement?

Can my congressman help me with this?

Can I sue child support if I go to jail?

Why is child support enforcement allowed to join my ex wife instead of looking out for my children?

Why, why, why? So many whys.

For sake of time, some details were eliminated, but the above scenario has not been affected

This case is in Gwinnett Georgia, and my children are now going to be merely a bill I pay every two weeks. I notified my attorney that I am dropping visitation case in order to pay off arrears again.

Thanks for reading.

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False Authority
by: Child Support America Team Member

Hello Mr Brown,

Lee here.

We are very sorry and sympathetic concerning your child support and visitation/custody situation. Your circumstances is one of the tougher cases to handle since your are dealing with what's called a "interstate" child support case. This means that multiple states are involved, and things can get really screwed up.

One of the things that we recommend is that you stay in communication with your case worker in Gwinnett Georgia. You also have the right to request your entire child support payment history.

Most people don't know this, and it can really set you back by not having a copy for yourself. By having a copy of your payment history, you can then dispute any discrepancies in what they say you owe in arrears.

Also, from our understanding they cannot suspend your passport unless you are at least $2,500 in the arrears. This is a law in the United States! Often times your local CSEA will threaten non-custodial parents because most people don't know the laws. This can be a tactic to try and get you to adhere to their demands.

We would also encourage you to reconsider dropping your custody/visitation case to pay arrears. We understand your concerns and frustration, but don't make your kids pay on behalf of the system.

Also, check with your attorney on how severe the laws are in Georgia as far as jail time. Most states really don't have the room to be placing NCP's in jail due to child support unless it's an extreme case.

Mr Brown, unfortunately you cannot sue child support as they are a protected government agency. There are laws protecting them from these types of actions. However, you can other results.

You can surely press the issue like you are doing now, and demand that they straighten this mess out. And yes you can contact your congressman, regarding your situation but this is really a long shot.

You will need to contact your attorney regarding the dates on the paperwork, as we don't have access to see the documents in question.

Also, if you haven't done so, you can can check out the Georgia official child support website via this link to get more information about their procedures.

For continued conversation please post via this thread.


I feel your pain My story similiar in frustration
by: Tim

My ex filed for arrears in Texas even though divorce was Nevada She apparently showed them a court order for support that she knows was superceded a year or less later She filed after both our girls were grown In fact oldest 22yo had 3 yo son and they were living with me My daughters spent the vast majority of time at my home Myb ex left Texas without my permission or the courts but we had spent so much time and money in court I decided to just move there instead of fighting to bring her back to Nevada. We are both nurses so a job I knew would not be a problem I moved on the same block she lived on so kids could be in same school district either home We split financial right at half though physically they were with me 75% of time I guess because ex got married and divorced 6 more times between 96 and 2002 Not much time for kids with that Any way Texas garnishing my wages for 38,000 yet Nevada says I owe nothing to them and that is where divorce was I dont get it and Ive tried telling several Attorneys they wont take time to listen so Im paying I dont care that its supposed to be even nowadays the woman has complete sympathy and ear of authorities

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