If the new order specifically states that it is effective as of Dec. 1, then it does, but if the order states the next payment is due on Dec.1 they may be effective as of date signed by the judge.
I suggest you consult a local attorney who handles issues of child support, with a copy of h orders to get clarification specific to your case.
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It truly depends on the wording of the court order. If the new child support amount is not supposed to go into effect until December 1 then the AG's office is wrong. However, if the new rate is effective immediately and the order was entered before the November 15 withholding, then the AG is correct and the father has overpaid. This overpayment will remain on his account and will be settled up in the future.
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You must review the orders to determine when the actual effective date begins. When dealing with reductions the date is the date your were served with the request for the reduction. Then it will say when the amount of the next payment will occur. There will also be an amount of the judgement and a date for that. The Attorney General will examine all three dates to determine the amount of child support and how much should have been paid. If he is current on the amount of the date of the last withholding the despite the amount paid the Attorney General will not show him as behind. This can be confusing - take the orders to an attorney to have them reviewed.
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Based on the details you've listed, I believe your understanding is correct and that the Nov. 15th garnishment of the old rate was appropriate and did not create an overpayment excess. Assuming that your child support order specifically stated that the new, lower amount becomes effective on Dec. 1 and the order was signed by the judge prior to Dec. 1, I would challenge the position taken by the AG's office. Present a signed copy of the order, and reference the language indicating the effective date. Urge them to correct their records accordingly.