Thursday, February 21, 2008

Can you trust the Government to collect your child support?...

In Oregon, a department of justice employee and her fiance are being accused of stealing from single parents by devising a scheme that enables them to collect unclaimed child support payments. These two stole thousands from the very families who need it the most. How tragic.

This is a rare incident and I don't think people should panic and not
utilize the services of local state child support enforcement agencies.
But it should serve as a wake up call to parents to stay diligent and
frequently check with support officials about child support payments.

Here are three tips for working with your local child support enforcement agency:

1. Be persistent. These agencies are overloaded with cases and do not have enough case workers to handle them all. You need to make frequent calls and keep after them to collect any unpaid child support due you. . Do not give up! The biggest complaint I hear about from frustrated parents who cannot collect child support is that they can't get someone on the phone at the agency. Keep calling. Call every day if you have to. Ask to speak to supervisors.

When my ex switched jobs, the child support agency stopped garnishing his wages. I called and found out that it was his employer who was not complying with the order and taking the money out of his pay. The agency explained that they sent several letters to his employer, trying to get them to cooperate. I took it one step further and called the human resource department at his job. I told them that by not withholding my ex-husband's wages, as directed by the court, they were breaking the law and I would hold them accountable. Soon after they began withholding his wages.

2. Provide information. Make sure to update your case worker frequently with any
information you may have about your ex. If you find out your ex had changed jobs, moved or any other information that could affect your case, be sure to inform the agency.

3. Check deposit amounts for accuracy. If you receive support payments by direct deposit, check or if the support is issued via a bank card, make sure to check that the amount is correct and being deposited on a regular schedule. If you see a missed payment, do not automatically assume your ex has not paid, it could be an error from the child support agency. Call them and find out.

Find out how to protect yourself financially during your divorce....

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