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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17 Comments on "How do I get reimbursed for overpayment of child support?"

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5 months 29 days ago
I was ordered to pay child support in 2005 when my son was living in Rochester New York with his mother she left after about a year in 2007 New York city courts gave me custody of him I went and them off of welfare actually next day I contacted the courts gave them the documents to show that I had been given custody Rochester Court refused to modify or terminate the order because the mother decided that she was not going to go and close it. It was not till 2010 when the order was actually finally closed. She… Read more »
6 months 5 days ago
All these questions can be answered by getting a good lawyer….. I was paying 2434.00 a month for two kids and 500 of it was temp spousal support. My ex pulled a gun on me and I moved out. She then got the “status quo” and the kids were with her all the time except for every other weekend. I remained un-represented fighting it. I was able to whittle it down to 1916.00 and get a little bit more time with my kids. Mind you I work full time, I coach youth football, and have been involved in my kids… Read more »
8 months 2 days ago

i have overpaid child support to the state of washington for back support to the state of 8,083.70 how can i recover this beings the took a 9912 tax return this yr?

Jimmy parks
9 months 1 day ago
I have over payed child support for 10 years and the state of Texas did not care what judge said in my case Iam suppize I didn’t die with all the hell the child support office did to me move files from office to office to one person to the next it call a paper suffull as of August of 2015 my child support finely stop I was given a check for $ 900 . I think there is a lot of stealing of funds or money inside the Attorney Genrals Office some one would look into Greg Abbot account… Read more »
3 months 1 day ago

did they send you a chceck with the termination letter or later after you made a fuss.

1 year 5 months ago
My husband was ordered to pay child support for his daughter till 18 or no longer in school. Her last day of school was 2-1-15 at age 17. They kept taking child support out of his check. She will be 18 on 6-6-15. They have put the child support in a fund and didn’t give to the mother. Now they are saying my husband over paid by over 1,000.00. They can only send the money back to us if the ex wife says she doesn’t want it. (That will never happen). Please tell us what we can do to get… Read more »
6 months 5 days ago
Shannon, i’m no lawyer but going through a custody battle I have educated myself on a lot of family code law. Most if not all states have an “age of emancipation” date. In most law statues the language that is used states that “The child turns 18 years of age OR the child graduates high school whichever happens LAST”….. So in graduating from high school, THAT in and of itself does not release him from payment. The child in most states has to be 18 years of age AND be graduated. The same would happen in my case say if… Read more »
1 year 5 months ago

I received a excessive refund letter in the mail about six months ago for child support that I’ve overpaid. I haven’t heard back from them yet, and when I call it’s the same thing, “nothing has been refunded yet sir”. Now I don’t know what the laws are here in Mississippi, but I’m pretty sure I should’ve heard something by now especially when I have coworkers that received theirs within weeks. What’s the process for receiving your refund back?

grady jackson
2 years 1 month ago
overpayment of child support in dallas,txi 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… Read more »
Ron J
2 years 3 months ago
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… Read more »
100% Disabled Texas Vet
2 years 11 months ago
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… Read more »
3 years 4 months ago
Texas overpaymentMy 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… Read more »