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FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28046
Experience:  10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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I have been trying to resolve a child support issue with the

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I have been trying to resolve a child support issue with the state of CA for almost 10 years now. My dispute is in regards XXXXX XXXXX amount the state says that I owe in back child support. I've tried going through their process with the omnibudsperson and got no where. I am trying to get them to review their accounting records and explain why I now owe almost three times more than I started with and I've been paying on it for almost 20 years. The print outs they sent me just don't add up. I am living in another state and trying to deal with this by phone is impossible. Currently I am 64 years old, disabled, and out of work. Do I need an attorney? What should my next move be?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Do you have records that show you payments over the years, which evidence what the amount should be? Have you been paying on time or did you miss payments and there are arrears? If so, do you know if they added in interest and any other fees?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I have records of payments since 1997. Prior to then I was an alcoholic and was about 10 years behind. After "97" There were some missed and late payments due to job changing. The problems arose in 2001 when Kentucky stopped sending payments because according to them I was paid in full. Then I got a notice from CA saying that I owed 44,000. The original amount was around 19,000. I contacted CA and requested my records. At one point those records show a ZERO balance then 6 months later they show the original amount plus interest and then the original amount in interest plus more interest which sent the balance to 44,000. I knew that Kentucky was wrong and that I still owed about 10,000 and since then I have paid over 30,000 but CA says that I still owe 34,000. I moved from KY to Arizona in 2000 and was eventually able to get everything transferred there. Now CA keeps sending me back to Arizona and AZ keeps saying there's nothing they can do about it and CA keeps saying it's in AZ hands. Now I've moved to Tennessee and TN is suggesting that I get it straightened out before I have any balance transferred here and I just keep going around in circles getting no answers

Lawrence, thank you for the additional information. It certainly does sound like a mess and you do have a legal right to contest/dispute the amount owed. It is common for interest to be charged on past due amounts, so you want to first find out exactly how much interest they are charging and applying to the balance. There is certainly a big difference between the $10,000 which you state you owe and the $44,000 which they claim. Once you obtain the interest charged, you can calculate how much you truly owe. When you determine that amount, you then want to submit to them proof of what you have paid, calculated you owe and the records to support it. This way, the burden will shift back to them, to show why you may not be correct. At this point, the people you are dealing with are likely looking at a computer screen just stating what it says. It is possible that nobody has even looked into the matter, so you do want to dispute it in writing. Before consulting with an attorney, you may want to sit down with a CPA and have them go over the numbers and the interest, to see if the amount they claim you owe is accurate. If not, you can ask them to prepare a report showing how they determined what you owe and submit it for review. It may be more affordable this way, rather then have an attorney jump in right now. If they will not correct it after you show them proof, it would be at that time the a meeting would need to be set to wort this out or the matter would need to proceed through the court.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

With regards XXXXX XXXXX interest rate. It was my understanding that CA can charge UP TO 10% ANNUALLY on the BALANCE owed. Is that correct? Because the print out they sent us looks like they are charging 10% of the original amount owed monthly on both the arrears and the interest. So I'm confused about the CA state law regarding charging interest on child support. Also, to my knowledge CA was only collecting payments for my ex-wife. My ex-wife was at no time receiving any compensation from the state of CA so what am I being charged interest for?

Under California law, interest is added onto back child support at the rate of 10% per year. For example, if you have a support arrearage stretching back 10 years, the amount you originally owed has nearly doubled. Based upon what you stated above, that could be the case. I have also provided for you below, to read and consider, the family codes that they may be applying. This is why you want an accountant to determine how they came to the figure they say you owe and an attorney to present what you think the proper amount is, based upon the calculations.

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