Can They Apply My Tax Refund To Child Support Arrears?

tampa divorce lawyerQuestion:

In my divorce agreement, the judge ordered previous child arrears to be paid off monthly, which is garnished from my pay on top of my original child support payments.

However, my tax refund was intercepted from the Department of Treasury and issued to my ex-wife.

If there is a judge’s order for me to pay off the arrears and payments are garnished, and thus not missed, can they still confiscate my tax refund?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Florida child support laws where I am licensed to practice.

Yes, it is permissible and here’s why. The issue is it is not the court – who as you said ordered you to make payments toward child support arrears – that has intercepted your tax refund.  The IRS and the court are two completely separate entities and do not share information with regards to child support arrears issues.

Therefore, when issuing your refund, the IRS would not know that there is a standing court order that addresses arrearage payment. When the refund was issued, it can be intercepted if you are someone who owes child support – which you are.  This would be an issue you may want to address with the IRS, as it is not an issue for the judge who issued the standing order.

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Tax Tips For Divorced Dads

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a mens divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as tax advice. You should work with your attorney or tax professional to determine the tax advantages that will work best for your situation.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Tampa, Florida Divorce Lawyer Lauren N. Dabule, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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2 comments on “Can They Apply My Tax Refund To Child Support Arrears?

    I have filed tax return in 20 years and my child is over 30 will they still garnish my return, also if I am a full time student will that help me get my return?

    I live in TN and the child support system intercepted my families refund for past arrears. No big deal I want it paid off. The issue is the state will not release the funds for six months to my children’s mother. They state that they have had issues with spouses after signing a release go back and file and injured spouse claim. So my question is this. I file joint returns. My wife is the injured spouse, however she has no income due to actually being injured physically and she wants this off of me asap. How do I get the state to apply the intercepted refunds immediately towards my arrears? I dont trust the child support system and when they told us this is how it works now I told them you charge me 12% interest on past arrears. I want to charge you 20% for holding the money and not giving it to my ex. I was advised that the interest will be taken off when the payment is released to the ex. I dont believe them one bit and have this horrible feeling I will get the shaft in the end. I have already suffered so much in this whole deal. Again my question is ” How do I get the state to release the intercepted refunds immediately to my ex without waiting six months?” Thanks for any ideas that may get this to happen. I thought about writing the judge to see if he can force an order for the state to release, but not sure if this will help.

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