My question involves child support in the State of: Ohio
Greetings everyone! First, I would like to apologize because this is going to be a long post, and thank any and everyone that has any advice to offer.
My husband has a 16 year old daughter. In October of 2007, we petitioned the courts in Ohio for full custody of her. In November of 2007, we received a phone call from my mother in law stating that my step-daughter has been released into her custody until he could get there to get her. She had gotten into a fight with someone that was living in her mother's home, and her mother put her out and told a police officer that she could not return to her home, to "take her to her grandmother's until her dad can come and get her."
We dropped everything and headed to Ohio (from GA) to get her.
For the next few months (a year actually) my husband went back and forth to Ohio every few months for child custody court proceedings. In April, it was stated by the Magistrate that child support payments for the child would be stayed until disposition of the case.
The case was finally settled in August of 2008, when my husband was granted full custody of my stepdaughter. He immediately began to contact Child Support Enforcement in Ohio so that the "current" child support order could be stopped and the money that was stayed could be applied to the $5000 arrears that he was in. The first thing that he was told was that it had to be stated in the custody agreement that the money that he has paid since November 2007 when she came to live with us would be applied to the arrears. After going back forth for a while, we were informed that the mother had still been receiving a check until December of 2008.
My husband recently found the paperwork that was sent to him summarizing the court date in April when the Magistrate stated that child support would be stayed, and sent it to the head Magistrate. It is VERY clear that someone somewhere dropped the ball and now he is paying the price for their mistake. He has been paying $700 in child support for his daughter since she has been living here, which now has been well over a year.
My questions are these:
1. On the paperwork that gets sent from Child Support Enforcement that the custodial parent is supposed to contact CSE if the child no longer lives with them. Since the mother never contacted CSE, is this considered Fraud?
2. The paperwork that was sent to my husband was a summary of the court proceedings and what was stated. I believe that it is safe to assume that a copy was also sent to the mother. If she received something saying that the child support payments were going to be stayed until disposition of the case, and she continued to receive and cash the checks when they came, is this considered fraud?
3. What are our other options to get this taken care of? It doesn't seem that anyone at CSE is going to be helpful with any of this, nor does anyone in the court system seem to want to help because in actuality all of this was theie error ... what can we do? We can not afford to be paying double child support for my stepdaughter, which, in essence, is what we are doing because he is paying for her AND supporting her in the home at the same time.
I appreciate any and everyone's help in this matter.
Thanks in advance!