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Attorney & Mediator
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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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I was divorced in 1986 while I was stationed at Ft. Bragg,

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I was divorced in 1986 while I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. She moved back to Tampa FL and filed for divorce. The divorce took place in Hillsboro Cty. The divorce papers said to pay $300.00 ($150.00 per child) a month until the kids were 18 years old. I had the military send them an allotment in that amount each month directly to her. I left the military in June 1988, I was involved in an accident where I lost my right leg, and haven't worked since. I started drawing Social Security since then, and Social Security paid my dependent children thru my ex-wife. She was paid $46,416.00. That is more than I was ordered to pay. Now, fast forward to 2009. I receive a letter from the Clerks office in Tampa stating that I am $37,667.49 in the rear. My oldest child is 29 and my youngest is 27. My question is do I have to repay my ex-wife even though she was paid once before, and the kids are grown and out on their own.
If Social Security was paying your child support in the full amount as ordered, then she would have been paid and there is no need to pay the alleged arrears as those would be a mistake. In general when you get social security disability the amount your children get is substracted from your child support, so if that amount paid the amount of your monthly support then the arrears can be cleared up. Now if your SSD benefits only covered a portion of your support obligations then you would be responsible for the difference. So you need to make sure the amount you are now being asked to pay is not the difference and that your actual SSD paid the total monthly amount owed. If so, then you are not obligated to pay her twice for something that was already covered.

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