Owing back child support arrears and what to do about it?

by A Lee "VIP MEMBER".........................
(North Carolina)

First off, I want to say that I am so sick of hearing about dead beat dad's and parents not taking responsibility for their children. I know first hand what happens when an ex gets bitter and uses the children as pawns in their sick-twisted games. And ultimately pushes the non-custodial parent out of the picture...it happened to me!!!!

Every situation is different and although there are dead beats....I want to make it very clear that I am not! My ex used my children in a game to hurt me and still wants to hurt me! SO I ask that you don't judge me. I just need some help and advice

I am a Mother of 3 that lost custody of my children in 1998 to my ex-husband. My children are all grown now, however, Upon my ex getting custody I ended up having a nervous breakdown (I also ended up in a very abusive relationship after leaving my ex-husband) hence why he gained custody, I made some poor choices and self medicated using drugs until 2001.

To make a long story short, I was ordered to pay child support, yet he kept my children from me even after I got away from the abusive relationship and got clean and sober....I have been clean and sober for 11 years now! He refused to allow me any contact what-so-ever and without a court order. I tried to get him to work with me, but he was unwilling. I was unwilling to battle in court so I just remained silent, sending cards, letters and presents at birthdays and Christmas's.

I did try on several occasions to re-unite with my children but my ex turned them against me! My youngest holds a grudge against me for and wants nothing to do with me, she says I should have fought harder. Needless to say, I didn't begin paying my child support obligation until January of 2004. But paid faithfully until my youngest was 3 months away from graduating from high school, when I lost my job in 2011.

I have recently started working a job part-time and it's only $9/hr. My ex is insisting that I pay the arrears. Is there any way that you are aware of that I can get the arrears modified and reduce the monthly payment to him?

I appreciate any advice on what I can do, If I can do anything at this point.

Thank you!

Comments for Owing back child support arrears and what to do about it?

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Modifying Arrears "VIP MEMBER"................
by: CSA Staff

Hello A Lee,

We thank you for becoming a valued "VIP" member, and you should have received your welcome email. We also sincerely thank you for sharing your story. The staff here at CSA never passes judgement on anyone as we know that there are TWO sides to every story.

Let us start off by saying that we are very sorry for the circumstances that led to the removal of your children from your custody.

You bravely admitted your mistakes, and it is always painful to miss out on years of your children's lives.

To answer your question, you can surely file for a child support modification on your arrears. In most states you can file every three years for an adjustment. Just be sure that your income is LESS than what it was when your case was ordered. But being that your children are grown your income may not matter.

Here are a few links to pages on our site that might be of benefit to your situation:

1. http://www.child-support-america.com/child-support-modifications.html

2. http://www.child-support-america.com/back-child-support.html

3. http://www.child-support-america.com/north-carolina-child-support.html

We hope this helps, and let us know if you have additional questions. You can respond back via this tread. Take care and we congratulate you on your sobriety. We also hope that you will be able to re-connect with your children soon.


Another rant and question :-)
by: Anonymous

First, I would like to say thank you for your response and for not passing judgement. I so often hear stories just like mine (not usually the Mother) but none-the-less, parents in situations similiar to mine. In my experience and in hearing these stories, it saddens me that parents similiar to me, often find themselves with no rights, no recourse and without the money to fight in courts with a high dollar attorney the situation often ends up just like mine....and the ones that have suffered, are the CHILDREN!!!!! I believe whole-heartedly that if a custodial parent doesn't have a proper excuse to keep the children from the non-custodial, as in my case after getting my act together, I believe they should not receive any child support from the non-custodial. I understand that not every situation is like mine and I do understand that there are dead-beats and parents that don't deserve to have visitation...but that was not my case! At least not from 2001 on......

I also believe that if the laws were more fair for the non-custodial parent,there wouldn't be as many stories of the custodial parent with-holding and using the children as pawns. With that being said, I truly thank you for not passing judgment. I don't ask for a pitty party as I do except responsibility for what I did and wish every day that the past wasn't what it was.

I think I am ultimately alone on this one again because I just can't afford the $250 an hour that the extortionist lawyers charge to help!

Anyways, my case is actually in Oregon and I was curious if you had any information regarding that state? Any and all that you could send my way is greatly appreciated.

Oh and what exactly were you implying when you said "But being that your children are grown your income may not matter."


A. Lee

Reply to VIP Member.......
by: CSA Team Member

You are very welcome, but allow us to say this. Our staff does not pass judgement, but be aware that some of are visitors may. This is an open forum, so people offer their insight and opinions.

Having said that, please know that we try our best to monitor conversations. We don't allow any vulgar comments or bad-foul language. Again, we try our best to edit those types of posts.

You mentioned your frustrations with non-custodial parents being treated unfairly, which can be very true. On the other hand, we always like to share the fact that the NCP does have many right too.

But part of the problem is that most people can't afford an attorney to help straighten things out. HOWEVER, a NCP can still fight for their rights own their own. It takes time and much effort, but any individual can inexpensively represent themselves.

They can simply do a little research and file a motion with the courts for visitation rights. Once visitation is granted the NCP can have almost equal rights as the CP.

Now, we do admit that it's better to have an attorney as many situations are complicated. But people don't realize that some cases can be handled by the NCP on their own. Again, it takes hard work, time, and patience but it can be done.


Yes, we do have some information on the Oregon CSEA: Simply cut and past this link and scroll down to Oregon.


There is also a phone number to the Oregon Division of child support on that page.

And allow us to explain this statement. "But being that your children are grown your income may not matter."

We simply meant that typically income matters when a person is filing for a traditional modification. However, your situation is a little different because you are not paying regular monthly child support. Your children are grown, so you are paying off your back arrears.

We do recommend that you ask a case worker about this before filing just to be sure. And if your income is lower than when the case was opened you should be ok.

We hope this helps..


P.S. Also welcome to the SBI! family. I was told that you also use Site Built It. I hope that it's working for you. We have used their software for years and LOVE It!

by: A. Lee

Ahhhhh Yes! I absolutely understand that this website is an open forum and that people have their opinions, and some can be quite opinionated and sometimes very close minded and mean. :-) I am very aware of the haters and condemners....I also know that they are not my judge, jury or executioner....they didn't walk a mile in my shoes, feel my feelings, my frustration, anger, hurt or experience any of the abuse or other issues I have had to deal with because of the repercussions from the poor choices I had made.

Like I said, I own my responsibility in the whole unraveling of my world. Jesus said, let he who is without sin, cast the first stone......I find it hard to believe that there is one solid, faultless, sinless person out there that can say they aren't ashamed of something they have done in their life.......and if there is someone out there like that?????? They are LIARS. Period.

I guess that is the only point that I was trying to make, I understand that there are a lot of people that are struggling to feed their babies because the other parent isn't helping with the much needed and deserved support and that they just don't care about the little human beings that rely on the one's that brought them into this world to take care of them finacially, but it's more than just financial to raise a decent, loving, compassionate and strong person! I just wanted to make it very clear I am not one of those that fit into that category.

I am also very sure that there are many, many cracks in our system.......so many problems in the judicial system, some get failed more than others...some learn how to work the system and then there are those that never catch a break! And it isn't 100%! That's obvious! There are always...always....always 3 sides to the story.....One side, the other and the middle or truth! That's life...it is what it is, we only get one shot! no take backs, no going back....only moving forward......but I am one that believes that forgiveness is the epitomy of what it takes to be a special person in this world! And today, that is the reflection in the mirror! ;-)

Oh yes.... I started an SBI site about 7 months ago...I have learned a lot, and can only go up from here!

Thank you so very much for your help.

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