Too Much Child Support? - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Too Much Child Support?

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Sadly, a lot of parents are deadbeats and don't pay their child support, making their own children suffer. But one South Florida man does take care of his kids. His problem is that child support was double dipping on him, taking too much child support. How? Here is Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN -- Anthony Brown has four kids. Not unusual. But try this. Four kids from three different mothers.

Anthony Brown: "Sometimes it works out, sometimes it don't."

But his children, that's the great part.

Anthony Brown: "Yeah, I love kids. My momma had four and I wanted four. That's why I stopped at four."

Anthony is different than many fathers. His first priority is paying his child support to the three mothers, making sure his four children get what they need.

Anthony Brown: "They gotta be raised, they gotta eat. They gotta be clothed, they gotta be housed. You know that's my responsibility."

Every two weeks when his paycheck came, the money for child support went to the mothers, $863 a month. But that left Anthony with no money for himself

Anthony Brown: "I got a vehicle. I got to pay gas. Plus, I got to pay rent."

So Anthony got a second full-time job to get money to pay his bills. Everything was good, until the state started taking money from his second job as well.

Anthony Brown: "What happened to it? Child support took it."

The state started taking another $630 a month from his second job, in addition to taking over $800 a month from his first job.

Anthony Brown: "Double dipping. That's what they said they are doing to you. That's what they said."

Anthony says he is current on all his child support, doesn't owe any back payments. He went to the child support office three separate times, to be exact.

Anthony Brown: "You got to go up there, take a day off, lose money to try to figure it out, and you still don't get nowhere with them. You sit there for hours after hours with nothing happening."

Anthony says he got that second job to try to get ahead. Instead...

Anthony Brown: "Falling back down."

Falling further back because child support is taking a chunk out of paychecks from both jobs.

Anthony Brown: "It's a headache, frustrating, stressful."

Well, Howard, if a parent gets a second job, can the state take child support from that second paycheck as well?

Howard Finkelstein: "Yes. Sometimes. If a judge orders it, or a parent owes back child support. However, if a parent is current, the department cannot just go in and take money because you got a second job. That's wrong and illegal."

Things got resolved when we contacted the Florida Department of Revenue, which oversees most of the state's child support collection and distribution. A spokesperson told me the problem started last October, when employer number one didn't take out enough child support.

The state then started taking from employer number two to catch up. But when Anthony was current, they kept collecting. The spokesperson said it's now been corrected. Child support will not be taken from employer number two, and Anthony will be getting a few hundred dollars back from overpayment of child support.

Howard Finkelstein: "Anthony pays child support but many parents don't, and if your ex won't pay, in Miami-Dade, contact the State Attorney's office. For the rest of South Florida, contact the Department of Revenues Support Enforcement office. If you can't get them to do their job, there are private companies that will collect back child support for a fee. That may be your last resort."

Anthony Brown: "Child support called me and told me they are going to stop the double dipping."

Anthony is getting his paychecks the way he planned: one for his kids, and one for his bills.

Anthony Brown: "Thank you, guys, for helping me. I appreciate it. Without you guys, it wouldn't have been done. Thanks."

Glad we could help. We hear from a lot of parents who say their spouse has a job, makes money, but dodges child support payments and gets away with it. The state told me to make sure they have that information, where they work, etc. Plus any assets the deadbeat might have.

Parents should ensure that we have information on the other parent's ability to pay and their location information. This can include the other parent's address, place of employment and any assets.

Collected a problem that is certainly not childish? Need a little support? Contact us. You can double dip because we have an endless supply of revenue ... of Howard's legal thoughts.

With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser, 7News.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Florida Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement
http://dor.Myflorida.Com/dor/childsupport/enforcement.Html

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)|
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN


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