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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I adopted a child in 2001 he was 12 years old that I had

Customer Question

Hello I adopted a child in 2001 he was 12 years old that I had legal guardianship already ,by 2003 he joined a gang went in an out of jail till today.When I adopted him the children court said they would assist me with money to support him but after he was in jail they stopped the money now child support has put a Lein on my property for child support from 2003 till he turned 18.His mother has never paid child support.
Debra k
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
So, they are coming after you to recover support money for time he was in jail? Why are they seeking support from you?
Also, was the mother supposed to pay you support for the child?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Originally I was his foster mom with legal guardianship from birth his mom was on drugs when he was born so Dcfs Ask me to adopt and i did.No his mother has never paid me or the county child support
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Once you adopted him, you became liable for his care and support and upon him being jailed the state had to stop paying you any supplements. So the question I was asking is they have a lien for you paying for his support for when he was jailed, is that why they placed the lien?
Have you contacted the state about the lien yet, since they evidently did not ever notify you that they wanted support money from you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He had been in my home since birth he was adopted at age 12 but the court had said they would pay me till he turned 18.
I was working at the time and I knew about the child support they were taking it out of my check but they sent a letter stating they close the case so I thought that was the end of it till I tried to modify my home.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't understand how the court could tell me they would assist with him till he turned 18 But when he went to jail. why the money they stop giving me did not go to child support?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry yes the Lein is for when he was Jail off an on till he 12 to 18
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
They stopped payment because he went to jail, this is no different than the money from social security, which stops when someone goes to jail. Going to jail terminates any government support I am afraid.
Now, if they were taking the money out for child support from your check while he was in jail, then sent a letter closing the case, then you would need to find that letter first and foremost if possible. Even if you cannot find the letter, you are going to have to start by contacting the state and asking them for information about the money due and why when they closed the case. You need more investigation before you can determine the next step.
If they tell you the support was due from when they stopped collecting from your check until he was 18, then you need to ask for an accounting, because they closed the case and no money should be due. If they are trying to charge you interest and penalties, then you need to file an appeal to the director and ask for them to waive any such penalties and interest since you were notified the case was closed and no money should be due or you were never notified of any further money due.
Finally, if you cannot get anywhere with them or they will not agree to waive the penalties and interest you would have to sue in court claiming "estoppel" since they closed the case and never notified you money was still due, they should not be entitled to now benefit from not notifying you and continue to try to collect and ask the court to remove the lien.
You really should consider using a local attorney or legal aid to assist you getting through this process, even though it is not hard unless you need to go to court, it can be frustrating and daunting for someone who has never had to do this before.
However, this is what needs to be done based on the information you provided.