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.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

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

    Hello my name is Kaseem Beatty
    I was deemed disabled in 2016 I begin receiving monthly benefits and made my children my beneficiary. I was informed from a representative that if I was only responsible for the money and not money and medical then in 2016 my child support order was supposed to stop. Due to each received 5 grand a piece with monthly benefits of 150.00 because I have been working for a long time.
    When the children receive their benefits there mom never reported it to social services as a extra income.
    That how Philadelphia social service never lefted the child support order. Can I be reimbursed because my children are grown.

    heres a good one seems nobody on the web has anything like mine, I am done arrears were paid 27.oo last payment. they took 60.00 called last week to make sure it would stop and not be overdrawn didn’t work. they took my federal income tax return for 959.00 when I was down to 200.00 / this is owed to welfare not the childs mother she is done. I cant get my return the irs holds the refund for 90 days they claim they will send me a check when they receive it. somehow I just don’t believe it isn’t that theft. they know when you owe them but cant remember if they owe you can I sue? They don’t like to wait but they don’t mind making you wait it doesn’t belong to them.

    I got screwed, am out of money, and on the verge of losing my house. I bought a fixer upper house after the divorce because it’s all I could afford. My ex was over 16 months behind in paying me the remainder of the alimony buyout, and I filed 4 motions with the court asking for help, but the judge kept dismissing it without prejudice, stating we needed to go through mediation. I needed that money to finish the house and move my girls in, it was 50/50 custody. Because of this, I soon began paying child support in the amount of $1000 A month. My ex makes more than twice my salary and works for the court system. My one son was emancipated on July 15, 2017, when he turned 19, and 16 months later, I’m still paying child support for him. My oldest daughter recently moved in with me a few months ago. She’s in my custody 100% of the time, and my wages are still be garnished. I filed another Motion and it keeps getting pushed back.

    My ex happens to work for the court system in the state of NJ, and knows the judges. I’m out nearly $20,000 this past year alone, losing my house, have no food, and my ex has been on 5 vacations in the past year and a half. She makes the kids pay their own cell phone bills, car insurance, food, gas, and then my money goes directly into her account. I’ve overpaid by more than $10,000 this past year alone, and my house is slipping into foreclosure. I Don’t have much fight left, and am close to just giving up.

    There is a way to satisfy child support overpayments without reducing current child support payments, which may hurt the children – intercept the custodial parent’s tax refund and send it to the noncustodial parent to satisfy any child support overpayments.

    Child support agencies gleefully intercept non-custodial parents tax refunds to satisfy child support arrears. There is no reason that the practice could not be used to correct mistakes by family courts, child support agencies, or custodial parents that result in child support overpayments by noncustodial parents.

    child support agency is a criminal orgranization. They will never, ever pay you for overpayment. Just hope you can get that out of control criminal agency out of your life and write off your losses …. THEY WILL NEVER PAY YOU FOR ANY MISTAKE THEY MADE. The organization really should be washed down the toilet.

    I totally agree I payed way over what I owed after nc sent me a check for 1000 dollars for over payment then after they stop payment in vagina the mother go down and said I still owed, instead of checking the numbers they said I still owed and started taking my money again so I called and talked to a North Carolina supervisor he said I was payed in full and it never should have been reopened vagina child support sucks they can kick rocks

    Ok – then withhold it from your state tax return, and include the overpaid child support as a credited tax payment.

    amen chad this is benny joe mines paid in full they owe me right close to 1000.00 Im going to the court and ruffle some feathers tomorrow. When I leave everyone in the court will know they owe me and I will also go to turn to 2 Dayton tv station. its bullcrap for real

    The state of Texas was garnishing my checks for owed child support i have since pay my obligation (last 8 yrs) but i believe i was over charged by about 14,000 dollers can i recoup this money.

    I going threw the same thing. my son been back in my home for about a year now. and they still taking out my payroll. and they toke some of my federal.. ii call and been to their office more time then I can remember. I have paid a over payment and I been to get it back and they keep giving me the run around. they want us to pay the support. Fine. I did that. But I want my over payment, and if they keep brushing me off I gonna get a lawywer. I tire now.

    Tipton county child support division overcharged me over 2000 in child support. They said I have to sue my ex wife for it but they are the ones that were taking from me and giving it to. How do I go about getting that money back from them my ex wasn’t responsible or liable for their mistakes

    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 had gotten from the start till the end was $3,250 and which the overpayment that she got from me was actually $2,600 and change the court told me I had to take her to court to sue her back for an overpayment what is the steps I need to take to go up to get this done I now live in New Jersey and I’m trying to figure out how to get this process started to get my overpayment back

    Hi im nikiesha sb i havent known about my mom charged my dad for child support for me and i havent gotten nothing out of what my dad was paying , I was wondering can anyone help me with trying to get my money all my life i barley got to see my dad n i wasnt allowd n i found out about my dad when i was 8years old on my birthday Its just a little bit of my life , Also as i was saying can anyone help me with trying to collect all that money over the years ? My mother is shirley sb and my dad is josh bigchild

    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 lives since birth. She has been unemployed for two years and lives with a friend on her couch. After getting a lawyer, and two court dates later my oldest is with me 5 days a week and he sees his mom 1st, 3rd, and 4th weekends. My youngest went from every other weekend with me to a 50/50 custody split on a 5-2-2-5 schedule…. My child support dropped to 316 and the 500 spousal for a total payment of 816.00!!!!!! My ex doesn’t have a lawyer. I do……. She simply cannot compete during trial with the knowledge of a good family custody lawyer. Use your financial superiority if you have it to your advantage. If she cannot afford a lawyer you MUST get one…….

    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?

    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 he is a Snake in tall grass .the money that I payed over is over $300,000 cash .the last Judge that was looking into my case with Attorney Genral Judge told I can Sue the State of Texas for what THAY did to me and my Family .

    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 the over payment back to us. Can we take her to small claims court? Hope to hear from you soon.

    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 my son who will be 17 when he graduates in June and won’t turn 18 until september. I will have to continue paying until he turns 18. Or in a situation where he is held back a grade. I would have to keep paying another year of high school…

    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?

    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

    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?

    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.

    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!

    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!


    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?

    My ex has been decease for the past 9 years and the chilf support agency was still garnishing my small disability cheque every month for the last 7 years before that my Work cheque would get garnished and now i find out i paid 2615.08 of overpayment what can i do I live in Tucson,Az.

    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:

    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?

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