I originally was making payments to the mother by putting the money in her bank account. I was never notified the money was going to start being taken out of my paychecks. can I get the money back? I can prove that I put the money in her account and they took it out of my check in the same period of time. or do I just suck it up and deal with paying her double? how do I go about getting the money back ? (if I can)
Family Law Attorney
If you original court order order you to make payments through SDU or local registry, if is possible you will not get credit. The attorney general is not going to give you back any money so your only hope is that mom will give you back the double payment. If you pay money outside the SDU or registry of the court, some court will look at that as you were giving a gift to the other parent or child. It can be a hard lesson to learn but take pride in knowing that you have supported above and beyond for your children.
Write her a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to set out the facts and to request that she refund the double payment. The letter will serve as evidence of the double payment and you can use the letter later if need be to prove that the double payment occurred. At some point, there likely will be additional expenses that she asks that you pay, and you can point to the double payment to cover those expenses.
You could sue in small claims court to recover the double payment, but I suspect that the amount of the payment does not warrant the time and trouble of a small claims court suit.
If you were ordered to pay through the Child Support Disbursement Unit then some judges would consider these payments to be a "gift" to her. In Harris County, I have seen this done by one judge in the past.
If you had an attorney representing you in court, you need to talk to your attorney about your options.
Another point of view would be to consider wanting to be "ahead" on child support. I always encouraged my clients to stay ahead on child support. This might be a "blessing". You never want to get behind on child support because then very bad things can happen to you. Being "ahead" in very good! This "mistake" might just turn out to be something that is really lucky for you.
Since no one knows that you paid this money, you are not going to get credit for it. So your ex needs to fill out an approved form and it needs to be notarized. You can find it on the TX A G website. It needs to be filed with the Child Support Disbursement Unit in San Antonio. Again, you can learn all about this on the TX AG website.
I hope this info is helpful.
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Family Law Attorney
I just want to stress what Ms. Brochstein mentioned about the form you should acquire. It is simply a form which is actually a sworn statement of when she received payment outside of the Disbursement Unit for child support. She must notarize it, but she might prefer that to your efforts to get it back. Once you get it, keep it in a safe place.
What usually happens is the obligor (you) makes no payment, just waiting for it to be taken out of their paycheck. This typically means they start out one or two months behind. Despite making timely and regular payments afterward, that first missed payment of $500 turns into thousands after interest accruing and compounding monthly for a few years.