Father unknowingly making another parent’s child support payments

One father recently found himself in a tricky situation as it was learned that for some time he’s been paying another father’s child support and didn’t even know it.

According to the father, last summer he realized that even though he was making his child support payments on time, the money wasn’t actually going to his ex-wife and three kids. Instead, the money was getting mixed up in the system with another man who had the exact same name, and even an ex-wife with a similar name.

Upon realizing of the computer error, the father quickly contacted the child support services department that he goes through to have the mistake fixed. At that time, he claims he was told by a supervisor that everything would be taken care of.

Hearing this he assumed everything was going OK and just continued on with life. However, just a few weeks ago he learned that his driver’s license had been suspended for the third time for unpaid child support, and that he had a ticket and court date coming up. Turns out the computer problem had not been taken care of.

Now state computer analysts are working on fixing the problem, and also figuring out where the missing money ended up.

And while this man’s situation was purely accidental and not in any way his fault, the consequences that he at one point faced due to the computer system error highlights the consequences any parent can face for failing to make child support payments.

Just like what happened to this man, in the state of Missouri a parent can have their driver’s license suspended, but also have income tax refunds intercepted and liens placed on property. Because of these potential consequences it’s important to make sure that set payment amounts are fair for both parents – and the child – and that the person paying child support fully understands how much is due and when.

Source: KRDO, “Dad’s Been Paying Another Man’s Child Support,” Lindsay Watts, 18 April 2011

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