How to Collect Child Support

Collecting child support arrears is difficult, but if you break in down into tasks, you'd be surprised what you can accomplish.

Here Is What You Need to Know to Get the Money You Are Owed


Right now, there is a staggering $118 BILLION owed in past-due child support in the United States. The fact that so much money is owed to 7 million mothers is unacceptable. It shows just how difficult collecting child support arrears is.

The worst part about that total is that it continues to grow every year. If this money were being kept from anyone else such as veterans, there would be protests in the streets until every cent was paid. 

The sad truth is, though, no one notices or cares, not the federal government, not community leaders, not your neighbors. To get your child support arrears, you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and put in the work yourself. 

I know, collecting child support arrears from someone who honestly doesn’t want to pay feels like moving a mountain. However, if you break down the task and go through it step-by-step, you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish.

1. Focus on details

Ensure you have the father’s correct name, birth date, social security number, or address to track him down. If he’s trying to hide, any small detail from a boat he owns to a cousin he used to talk to can help track him down. Also, renew your court order regularly.

2. Establish paternity and get a legal child-support order

You can’t collect payments without a court order, and establishing paternity, by a blood test if you have to, limits his ability to challenge the ruling. Establishing paternity isn’t necessary if you were married though. The law automatically assumes they are his children. Start at the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement Website to find your state agency’s link and learn your state’s specific laws.

3. Know Your Rights

Support isn’t just a monthly check. It can include coverage for medical expenses, daycare, and college expenses, for starters. Those are large expenses, and they shouldn’t be yours alone to bear. You can also put a lien on his personal and business assets, such as mechanic tools, so YOU get paid if he sells it.

4. Be Persistent

If you have a caseworker through child support enforcement, be sure the caseworker knows your name, keep accurate notes, write letters, and keep paper and email trails. Not everyone has a caseworker, though. You won’t have one if your ex makes payments directly to you, and many states are phasing out caseworkers anyway. In any of these cases, you are your own caseworker, so you have to be even more persistent because it’s entirely up to you to keep track of everything.

5. NEVER Use Your Kids as Negotiating Pawns

Children always know more about what’s going on than you think. Using them to pressure the other parent or turn them to “your side” will only backfire in the end. They didn’t ask for their parents to separate, so don’t bring them into the fight.

6. Be Strong

A child support battle could take months or years to resolve. Collecting child support arrears can push your limits, so remember, you are doing this to benefit your children. Take a breath, and keep fighting.

Athena Can Help

Athena provides Mamas with over 20 years of child support collection experience and the support you need to collect. Athena’s technology locates your ex and his assets, then provides you with the necessary documents to file in your specific state. You get step-by-step instructions throughout the whole process and assistance when you have a question. 

You have the RIGHT to collect your arrears. If you are ready to start getting paid, sign up for Athena today!

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