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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Kansas
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    3

    Default What to Do About Child Support Arrears if You Have Major Health Issues

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Texas

    My husband owes roughly $20k in back child support payments, with an additional $10k in interest. He had two children with his previous wife when they were very young. Both kids are adults now.

    He fell behind nearly a decade ago after his first heart attack. Since then, he has had two more major attacks, and dozens of individual surgeries for blockages and stint placements. Once he fell behind, 50% of his income was deducted from his paychecks. Unfortunately, he never had anything modified when he was without work. He was under the impression that he would have to go to court to do so, and he had been told in the past that only the custodial parent could request a hearing. So for the last several years, he's been making less than minimum wage and put out of pocket costs for his medications eat up almost everything he makes. He lost his last job after another hospitalization and now he's taking classes and working towards a degree to try and improve his situation. And now I have an opportunity to move overseas for a PhD program, but he wouldn't be able to come because the arrears prevent him from getting a passport.

    He contacted his ex last year to try and work out a settlement so that the interest would stop accumulating and he could get out from under this. She said she wouldn't settle and to not ever message her again.

    If we sell everything, max out my credit cards, and apply for a loan we could MAYBE come up with 5-7k for a lump sum, but if she doesn't agree to less then is there really not anything we can do? She's never called for an enforcement, and she's never been on any additional aid. Her and her husband make good money and apparently she has no interest in collecting money. She just seems to be bitter about their marriage that ended 15 years ago.

    Everything I've read has said that the custodial parent has all the power. I just can't believe that there's nothing we can do to fix this. Now we are going to miss an amazing opportunity that might actually help us out of poverty.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Child Support Arrears with Major Health Issues

    Perhaps Mom is less bitter about the marriage ending than she is about having to be the only parent supporting their mutual children for such a time.

    That aside, could you get a loan perhaps? The balance will have to come down significantly before the passport office would be satisfied. Read here: https://travel.state.gov/content/pas...d-support.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Child Support Arrears with Major Health Issues

    Yes. As I stated in my thread, we have looked into getting a loan. But it wouldn't even cover the interest.

    And she didnt support them entirely on her own. My husband has paid her every penny he possibly could at every opportunity over the years. He went without his expensive life-saving medications for over a year so he could afford his support payments and it ended with another heart attack. And as I stated, she's been remarried for years with help from her husband. The children never went without and he's been an active participant in their lives.

    I am aware of the passport rules. We've already pretty much given up on that opportunity. But we're never going to get out from under these payments and interest. I've also had major health issues including 5 major orthopedic surgeries in the last 3 years. We're swimming in medical bills. There is literally nothing either one of us would like more than to give her every penny she wants but we simply cannot make money appear out of thin air.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Child Support Arrears with Major Health Issues

    Quote Quoting Ansco6
    View Post
    Yes. As I stated in my thread, we have looked into getting a loan. But it wouldn't even cover the interest.

    And she didnt support them entirely on her own. My husband has paid her every penny he possibly could at every opportunity over the years. He went without his expensive life-saving medications for over a year so he could afford his support payments and it ended with another heart attack. And as I stated, she's been remarried for years with help from her husband. The children never went without and he's been an active participant in their lives.
    She was the only parent supporting their mutual children for however long it was.


    I am aware of the passport rules. We've already pretty much given up on that opportunity. But we're never going to get out from under these payments and interest. I've also had major health issues including 5 major orthopedic surgeries in the last 3 years. We're swimming in medical bills. There is literally nothing either one of us would like more than to give her every penny she wants but we simply cannot make money appear out of thin air.
    Other than trying to come to an agreement with the kindly folks at the CSE office, you may need to consider bankruptcy. It won't get rid of the child support obligation, but it could free up money to help pay it down faster.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Child Support Arrears with Major Health Issues

    Correct. Bankruptcy doesn't solve any of the issues. It doesn't help cover current and ongoing medical costs and medications. It doesn't help give him the ability to make more than $4 an hour. It doesn't touch the interest or original amount.

    No one is trying to screw anyone over. I don't care if she takes every penny I own and then some. The math just doesn't add up at this point. The 6% interest is accumulating way too fast to get caught up. It's a mathematical impossibility.

    How can we make arrangements with a CSE office? We've been told that the best thing we could do would be to get her to file an enforcement because a lawyer could easily show an inability to pay because of extreme medical costs. But only a custodial parent can do that. And she hasn't. And she won't.

    Is there any way to make arrangements to settle with the attorney general or court if she refuses to accept less? That's what we need to know. We know we need to file for a review of support. But if she just says no, then that's it? It just keeps accumulating until the end of time?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Child Support Arrears with Major Health Issues

    If he has still chosen not to petition for modification of support due to his reduced income and health conditions, he will continue to owe support based upon his prior income. The court will not erase his arrears, or modify his support retroactively to a date prior to his filing his petition for modification.

    His garnishment amount is likely to remain high due to his arrears.

    If the mother does not want to negotiate over the money he owes, then the amount he owes will not change. She cannot be compelled to give up part of the money that he owes to her.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: What to Do About Child Support Arrears if You Have Major Health Issues

    I would suggest moving out of Texas to a state that's opted into the Medicaid expansion, so he can at least get Medicaid and help with his medical expenses. But with the Republicans being bent on eliminating it, he might not get help for long.

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