Collecting child support from a noncustodial parent can be difficult if that parent refuses to make the payments when due. Fortunately, most noncustodial parents are responsible and fulfill their child support obligations. But for one noncustodial father who has faithfully made his support payments, a misunderstanding about how the system works has left him with a large debt and a list of legal troubles.
The problems arose because the father, who lives in Nebraska, did not pay his child support through the state's child support payment system. He made all of his payments by check, directly to his ex-wife. Just like Colorado, Nebraska has a state-administered child support payment system. Although he has canceled checks that are clearly marked as child support payments and bear his ex-wife's signature on the back, the payment center does not recognize them as proof of payment.
The state currently calculates his child support debt as $11,000. A judge will have to rule that this man has satisfied his child support obligations. Unless that happens, the state may seek to collect the amount currently showing owed by confiscating his tax refunds. Or they may take other, punitive steps, such as revoking his driver's license.
Whether you are a custodial parent seeking child support, or a noncustodial parent who has child support obligations, a clear understanding of the laws regarding custody and support is essential to avoid serious problems and complications.
If you are seeking a modification of your child support order or if you have paid support for which you were not properly credited, you may want to consult an attorney who is experienced in the area of family law.
The repercussions of missed child support payments could have a detrimental effect on both your personal and your professional life. Seeking the advice of a knowledgeable attorney is one way to make sure that your legal rights are protected.
Source: Omaha.com, "Canceled checks not enough: Nebraska says dad owes $11,000," Joe Duggan, July 14, 2014