Posted in Money, Tough Topics

Arrears child support


Please no rude comments, only constructive responses. Long story— So my mom kicked out my dad and threw out all his stuff with him when I was in high school. My mom basically had her lawyer tell us (6kids) that we couldn’t live with my dad because the law said we had to stay with my mom. That didn’t make sense to us because we knew friends who lived with their dad but we didn’t know enough. Anyway, every time we needed money, her response was “ask your dad”. Every time we needed a ride “ask your dad”. Whatever support we needed from a parent, it was “ask your dad”, even papers that needed to be signed off for school! She eventually stripped away his business, house and cars (my mom had a lawyer and my dad didn’t, plus he couldn’t understand a lot of the paperwork my mom would make him sign since he knows little English. He didn’t need much English to run a towing business). So after several years without his business, a paid off home, and car, he slowly was unable to make the payments— though he still saw us multiple times a week and pretty much paid every expense we had still. Anyway, most of us are out of my mom’s home and only 2 remain. But he’s piled with debt. 2 kids moved in with my dad to help him out and my sister sends money as well. So the question— is it possible for us kids to get his past debts waived? We all agree on it. I know it’s a long shot in the dark, but my mom absolutely would rather my father rot and us along with him if we defend him

  • Kate
    Apr 18

    Hello, my heart goes out to your family and the ordeal you’ve all been through. I’m certainly no expert on these kinds of matters, so be sure to thoroughly research these ideas to determine your next steps. That said, you may have a couple options: - Declare bankruptcy. Note: This has a significant negative and long-term impact to your credit score. And child support debt may not be forgiven. But this may not even be necessary if he doesn’t have any assets. - Debt negotiations. Call his creditors and try to negotiate the amount owed. They may actually accept something he can pay, rather than nothing at all. And call credit card companies to see how they can help by lowering his interest rates, agreeing to a payment plan, etc. Do the same with his bank, if he uses one. (And if he does use a bank, I highly recommend switching to a credit union.) - A quick search led me to this website that seems to have plenty of info on these options and more. Good luck to you.

  • Ivy
    Apr 22

    Kate, thanks for your response. I’m going to look through some of your suggestions and continue researching what else we can do, if anything. I have looked at the link and it says debt relief doesn’t include child support arrears.

  • Lee
    May 25

    1) Your dad needs an attorney for any future dealings with your mom. 2) Your dad needs to contact the Texas Attorney General. They can help to reduce child support as the support has changed from six to two kids. State law is black and white; 20% of income for one child and it increases by an additional 1% for each child thereafter. 3) If there is a language barrier he may have ground to have prior signed documents dismissed. He will need an attorney to prove/argue that.