How do I get reimbursed for overpayment of child support?

men's divorce lawyer Rachel BrucksQuestion:

I was recently notified that I overpaid my child support obligation by $10,000 due to my employer’s payroll office reacting slowly to changes in my wage garnishment.

However, I was never notified by my state when this overpayment began and they let it go on for a significant amount of time. There is no accountability and the only suggestion they have given me to be reimbursed for this overpayment of child support is to sue my ex.

Are there any other options available?


I do not practice in the state you are writing from – Nebraska – and therefore I cannot inform you as to the specific laws in Nebraska. I would consult with an attorney licensed in your state to see if your state’s child support agency has specific bylaws regarding recovery of overpayments. I would do so very quickly, in case your state has deadlines by which you must request a formal review of your account after being notified of the overpayment.

Most states have very specific procedures for recovering overpayments. If the agency should have been aware of the overpayment, then it is usually the obligation of the child support agency itself to attempt to recover overpaid funds from the overpaid party. It is unlikely, however, that an overpaying party would ever get a civil money judgment against the state agency itself.

In Texas, where I practice, the agency will usually set up a repayment plan with the party who received the overpayment, and the person who overpaid would receive whatever that party repaid monthly.

However, if the Texas agency had no way of knowing the obligor was overpaying, such as not being notified that the obligation to the minor child ended early because the child died, got married, dropped out of school, etc., then they are not responsible for attempting to recover funds, as they had a good faith basis for continuing to distribute them. In that situation, it is the responsibility of the paying party to recoup the funds from the overpaid party.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide, including Nebraska, should you seek additional legal advice or representation.


Rachel A. Brucks is a Staff Attorney in the Fort Worth, Texas office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Brucks is licensed in the state of Texas. Ms. Brucks received her Bachelors degrees in English and Political Science from the University of Texas at Arlington. She received her Masters in Literature and Gender Studies from Texas State University, San Marcos; and received her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodists University, Dallas.

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8 comments on “How do I get reimbursed for overpayment of child support?

    child support
    i have been paying child support for my oldest daughter Victoria. She became pregnant Oct. 2009, in Jan of 2010 her Dad kicked her out of his house and moved in with me, 2 1/2 years later and graduated June 2, 2012 and IAM STILL paying child support for her, July 30, 2012. The Child Support Office told me its to late for me to do anything. Why? How?… How can Victoria’s Dad collect child support for her when she has not moved back since Jan. 2010?

    Child Support Termination Procedures By State
    It’s likely because you never filed anything with the court indicating child support should be modified or terminated based upon emancipation events. Child support does not automatically terminate once the child reaches the age of emancipation in most states. To stop the collection, you may have to file a motion with the court that originally ordered the support.

    So which states require a motion and which states automatically stop child support upon emancipation? researched state child support laws and compiled this comprehensive list of state-by-state child support termination procedures.

    If you need assistance ending your child support obligation, please contact Cordell & Cordell child support lawyers:

    Child Support Termination Procedures By State:

    I have over paid $18000+ in child support, and it’s still being garnished out of my very small Disability check. How do I get the garnishment stopped and how do I get back what was over-paid?

    Overpayment of support with 2 children
    I have an interesting situation with my overpayment. I have two children. Several years ago my oldest moved in with me and youngest stayed with his mom. During that time, I continued paying the same support amount to her, resulting in overpayment since I was only obligated to pay for the youngest per the court. I have received notifications from Attorney General stating my overpayment amount. My oldest is now 17 and wants to move back with mom and she wants more money. If I petition to stop support due to overpayment, will that make any difference in the amount (if any) that should be paid to her? Thanks!


    Texas overpayment
    My case was transferred to Texas from Illinois in 2005. When the Texas OAG input the case they used an unsigned court order that was sent with the case file from Illinois. This caused me to overpay support in the amount of $6,400. I didn’t catch it for years that I was paying to much. I have now brought it to the OAG attention. They only want to give me not even half of what they owe me. Thy cite Texas code 154.012 (get the money from CP). This does not apply as the CP did not receive payments after the support order was terminated. Texas code 154.014 (a) should be applied and the money refunded to me. Am I off base here? Thanks!

    In my case, I was having 1/2 of my social security disability illegally withheld for 39 months since OAG issued a writ in violation of 42 USC 659 (h)(1)(B)(iii) since I do not waive a portion of military retired pay & my VA disability was not remuneration for employment nor disposable earnings/income. It was still used in calculation to boost the aggregate disposable earnings total subject to be withheld. OAG also violated 15 USC 1673 as well in doing so. Also possible violation of Section 207 of the Social Security Act resulting in an underpayment to me?

    How do I get all of this overpayment to my ex? The SSA just sent me a letter stating that OAG will no longer be withholding after I wrote and informed the Department of Defense of these Texas shananigans.

    Seeking Reimbursement for Overpayment of Child Support in VA (Division of Child Support Enforcement or DCSE)
    I have three kids by marriage that I’ve been paying child support for my children (In Virginia) since January 2011. I am current on my child support and in good standing with DCSE. A good amount of the original order was based on the amount of daycare we were paying for. I learned only recently that my estranged spouse stopped taking my children to daycare shortly after that 2011 order. The DCSE in VA determined that my obligation will change (after a CS hearing) to reduce my monthly obligation by nearly $500.00. My issue is that my spouse received the same order I did (January of 2011) that stipulated we notify the court if there was a situation change that affected CS by 25% +/-. She didn’t notify the court and I continued to pay the same about during our separation. I’ve been advised that they (DCSE) doesn’t reimburse for overpaid CS. I’ve overpaid over 18k. I filed my CS review in Janaury 2013 and the review was completed in March 2013. According to DCSE I will be reimbursed from January to present but what can I do about the previous months?

    overpayment of child support in dallas,tx
    i received a letter from child support division on 1 sept 2013. It informed me that all my financial obligations to my daughter was in excess obligation. through 1 aug 2014 her 18th birtday. She graduated high school may 2014. it instructed me to within 60 days let them know by letter for excess overpayment to be returned to me,otherwise it would go to my ex wife. I physically returned the letter date 9/5/2013 to their office. I called and with my ex wife by dec 2013 got a modification of child support from 725.00 to 470.00. from september till feb 2014 they were still taking out 725.00. I call their division manager L.M.Bailey and told her of the situation. I told her I turned in the papework of which I had made a copy,in an expeditious manner then why were they continuing to take money from my check and give to my ex wife, if my I met and were over exceeding my financial obligation? Plus their letter stated it would stop the payments right on the sept 2013 letter. yet it did not. this fault is the state and no other. the ex wife cant be sued because the fault was the state for not adhering to my letter which they generated. How can i get the state to return these funds

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