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These rules will stop you from overpaying on your child support. The child support system is designed not for fairness, but for maximum monetary extraction. When you pay more than what is fair, you have overpaid. Child support should be about the best interests of the children.
What is ignored by the court systems is that child support over payment actually hurts children. Let's take a look at the scenario. What happens if you are forced to pay child support? You inevitably fall behind. Now there's a back child support called an arrearage. In many cases, arrearages have to be paid with interest. So that's even more money out of your pocket when you cannot pay you arrearage, guess what? Your driver's license gets suspended. Now, how are you going to get to work? And speaking of work, when those taxes are taken out of your employment check every two weeks, you will not get a tax refund at the beginning of the year to get that money back, because now you have that arrearage and you have the interest that refund has been intercepted to pay the child support.
In fact, we are seeing this play out right now with thousands of parents with checks being intercepted all over the nation because of child support arrearages. So now that the back child support amount has grown and your license has been suspended, a petition for contempt is filed against you in court incarcerations. This system is supposed to be about supporting the children. But tell me, how is having incarcerated parents in the best interest of the child? All of this started because you were paying more than you were supposed to. I've seen both men and women over paying child support. Both men and women should have their child support obligation calculated fairly.
1. Hire an attorney to handle your child support issues
You have to get an attorney. Yes, attorneys are expensive, but they pay for themselves. They will ensure that the child support calculations are accurate. If your child support calculations are done correctly, then you will not overpay a miscalculation in your child support will cost you thousands of extra dollars. Listen, say you overpaid by just seventy five dollars a month and seventy five dollars is just a dinner at Chili's or TGI Fridays or Outback, whatever. It's just one dinner. If you overpay by that one dinner every month, then over eight years that totals to more than sixteen thousand dollars that you will have wasted because your child support calculations were not accurate.
What does a child support attorney do?
An attorney would have caught that mistake. And no attorney is going to charge you sixteen thousand dollars for a child support case. These cases are not complicated. They are not murder cases. You do not need the lead attorney or even a superior attorney for your child support case. Hire a reasonable lawyer that you can afford. How does the attorney assure that your child support calculations are accurate? There are credits that you may qualify for that reduce your monthly child support amount. You do not know some of these credits exist. Your lawyer will know. And even if you did know all of the credits, you would not know which credits you can legally claim.
Imagine doing taxes by yourself with a pen and paper. Are you going to get all of the credits and deductions? No, you will not. A lawyer is a tool that you use so that you do not overpay in child support. You help with the day care for your child. That's a possible credit. You have other children besides the one in the child support case, possible credit. You have a low income, possible credit. You see your child a large percentage of the time, possible credit.
A child support attorney gets you the right credits
There are numerous credits available to you. You will not get them by yourself. Also, an attorney will help you determine all of the income of your child's parent. Most child support amounts are calculated using both parents incomes. When your child support amount is calculated, you will see that everyone wants to know what your income is. But no one is really concerned about the mother's income. They will demand evidence of your income amount, but will often take the mother's word for her income. This is critical because the less the mother makes in salary, the more you pay in child support. So the less she makes, the more you pay. So if your child's parent lowballs their income amount, then you will overpay in child support.
A divorce lawyer can get more details on your partners income by subpoena
Your attorney provides value in this situation because he will demand to see proof of the mother's income. He will not simply take the mother's word for it like everyone else. He will make sure that her salary is measured accurately. What happens if? The mother does not want to show you any of her paperwork about her income. It's common people play so many games, but your attorney is used to it. Your attorney will invoke the subpoena powers of the court, the discovery powers of the court. He will get the mother's bank records. He will get her pay stubs. He will get her employment records. He will get her tax returns.
You do not know how to use a subpoena and discovery process. Your attorney does. And he will ensure that your child support obligation is calculated properly. That way, you will not overpay, get an attorney.
2. Do not pay child support with credits.
Some men like to buy their children gifts. That's nice. That's appropriate. Some of these men that buy their children gifts want a credit for the value of those gifts. They want that credit apply to their child support. They will receive no credit. Gifts are not child support. The legislature in your state has decided how much someone in your financial circumstances should pay. You are required to pay that amount, not a penny more.
If you give your child additional gifts or money, then that's sweet. But the value of those gifts will now count towards your current child support obligation, and it certainly won't count towards any arrearage or back child support. I have had many clients who bought their children new shoes or who took their children to a Lakers game, or who took their children and the mom to a nice dinner. And then they won. One hundred and twenty five dollars knocked off.
You should only pay child support with monetary funds, any money that you send your child over and beyond. The child support is a gift. If you do not understand this, you will overpay, do not pay child support with gifts or expect child support credits. They do not exist.
3. Do not pay child support twice.
Some people pay child support twice. You pay the first time and then you pay again when you can't show proof that you paid the first time. Do not pay child support twice. If you pay twice, you overpay. Never, ever pay child support by any method for which you have no proof.
The parent of your child will not recall you giving them seven hundred dollars last August. And even if she does recall, she doesn't recall. Do not depend on the recollection of the person that you have to pay. Always have evidence of all of your child support payments further. Have good evidence, good proof. You paid her in cash and you had her write you a receipt on a napkin that you found in the back of your car. In five months, you will not be able to find that napkin. You will be sad. Do not have your child's parent write you receipts. This is not 1987. Deposit the funds directly from your bank account to her bank account. Send her a cheque or send it to her bank account if you want. Send her the funds through cash out or Venmo or PayPal. Some of these services have fees associated with them, so use the bank account deposits if possible. But even those service fees will cost less than the napkin that you lost. Do not pay child support twice. Have evidence, good evidence.
If Bank of America run their child support card program in your state then insist on using it.
4. Spend more time with your children to pay less child support
You want to pay less in child support, spend more time with your children. People who spend little time with their children often overpay in child support. There are two ways in which spending more time with your children decreases your support obligation.
First, if you do not spend much time with your children, the mother competition to raise your child, support them out.
This is because the mother has to spend more time with your child, then contemplated by the legislature that created the child support guidelines. Consequently, the mother can request from the judge that you pay more to compensate her for the time that you are shirking your parental responsibilities. So if you spend a little time with your children, judges can order you to pay more than the normal amount of child support.
The second way that spending more time with your children decreases your child support amount is the converse of the first way.
If you spend more time than usual with your children, then you are the one who can request a reduction in your child support amount. In fact, most fathers who have shared physical custody of their children and who spend equal time with them pay little to no child support at all. By spending so much time with their children, they do not need to write a check each and every month to the mother. That's nice, isn't it? So if you rarely see your children, you are creating a significant risk of you being forced to overpay and you are also not availing yourself of the deduction and that's available to you to decrease your child support.
5. Do not shoot yourself in the foot and pay less child support
The first way that people shoot themselves in the foot, they open up child support cases on themselves. Now, why would you do that? Why would you invite the state to look over your shoulder each and every month if your child's mother opens up a case against you, either because she filed directly with child support services or because she asked for government aid, then the case is open against you and that's fine. You can't do anything about that.
Some fathers, just want to show everybody they are responsible. But what happens to you if you fall behind on child support and there's no case open against you? What's going to happen to you? You're going to start to get a lot of phone calls and texts from the child's mother, and that's going to get annoying, but that's it.
OK, now what happens to you if you fall behind on child support and there is a case against you? Oh, you don't get those calls anymore. Now you get letters, you get a letter in the mail saying that you will pay interest on the back child support. You get a letter saying that your driver's license has been suspended. You get a letter saying that your tax refund has been intercepted. You get a letter saying that your stimulus check has been intercepted. You get a letter saying that there's a warrant for your arrest. You need to turn yourself in by four thirty on Friday.
Why did you get all of these letters? You could have just gotten the text in the phone calls, but you wanted to be responsible. Do not open up a case against yourself. Now, the second way people shoot themselves in the foot is by volunteering to pay more in child support. For example you want to pay eight hundred because you love your child and the mother doesn't give you any problems. She lets you see your kid when you want and she doesn't start any drama with your new girl. It's all good. So you're supposed to pay six hundred, but things are going well at your job so you want to pay eight hundred a month. He is the correct way to proceed. You get the judge to order your child support amount is six hundred and then you pay the extra two hundred dollars on the side. Two hundred and six hundred. This eight hundred in total. That's perfect. But if your child support obligations should be six hundred and you tell the judge to go ahead and set the amount at eight hundred. That was a costly mistake because now you will be forced to pay that extra two hundred dollars per month until your child turns 18 years old. Oh, you got laid off at work. Pay it. You got sick. Your hours got cut. You got locked up.
Don't pay more child support than you need to
Your car transmission went out the same car you used to get to work and now you need a little extra cash to fix it. You see what you did there, you painted yourself into a corner, you eliminated your flexibility. Why would you do that? If you want to pay more in child support, then that's fine. Just leave it out of the paperwork. Do not jam yourself up. Now, the third and final way that people shoot themselves in the foot and cost themselves money, you need to pay less to pay less. Pay less to pay less. What does that mean? Say you owe eight hundred dollars this month in child support in your short. OK, you don't have it. What should you do? Minimum pay? Nothing. That is a mistake. You need to pay less than the original amount. But pay something, pay less, but pay something. What happens when you pay nothing? You are risking a contempt case where the mother hires an attorney who files a petition in court. If you give the mother something, she will be more inclined to work with you.
But if you do not pay this lady anything for months on end, she's going to get sick of you. She's going to hire that attorney. And now you're in court on the witness stand. And further, since you have paid nothing, the judge will in all likelihood order you to pay the mother's attorney's fees. This could be anywhere from twenty five hundred ten thousand dollars.
If you had given the mother a hundred and fifty dollars a month, a hundred dollars a month, anything the judge would have seen that you were trying, that you wanted your damn kids to eat, you would not be in jail, missing work, which means missing money. And you might not have to pay the attorney's fees. So by paying less than what you were supposed to 800 to one hundred, you end up paying less than what you would have paid had you paid nothing. If you had paid less, you would not have gotten the hammer. So many fathers get the hammer. I'm telling you how to do things the smart way. Pay less so you can pay less child support, but pay something.
Pay less child support summary
Get an attorney. Don't use gifts or credits for child support. Give proof of your payment. Otherwise you'll pay twice, spend more time with your children and finally, don't make stupid mistakes. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. Do not open up a child support case against yourself. Do not allow extra money you want to give to be incorporated into the child support paperwork and do not go months without paying the mother one penny.