There are instances where you as the child custody paying parent may send a child support payment that exceeds the court ordered amount.
What If You Overpay Child Support?
In such a scenario, the law expects the child support agency or local child support registry to refund the parent that has overpaid if the parent files suit to recover the amount. Normally, if the child support agency is aware of the overpayment, they will set up a repayment plan with the parent that received the overpayment.
The person that overpaid will then receive whatever the custodial parent repaid monthly.
If the agency was not aware of the overpayment or was not notified, then it is assumed that they had a good faith basis for continuing to distribute those funds.
That means that the paying parent will have to take the responsibility to recoup the funds from the party they overpaid. You can file a lawsuit against the other parent if your demand for payment fails.
However, this only works if you are not in arrears on your child support obligation. If you do express intent to get that overpaid amount back, the agency or registry shall credit the excess amount to your future child support obligation.
They may also promptly disburse the excess amount to the other parent.
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Child Support Overpayments in Texas
An overpayment may result when a parent is continually garnished for payments when a child has already been emancipated or has turned 18 or died or dropped out of school or got married. A noncustodial parent is only expected to pay until the child reaches the age of 18.
Another thing that may happen is that the noncustodial parent’s employer may react slowly to changes in your child support wage garnishment. The problem some non-custodial parents experience when they discover they have overpaid is that phone calls to the child support agency are sometimes ignored or end in automated service.
If you find yourself in this situation, you should find an experienced attorney that can help you get your money refunded.
When the parent receiving child support dies.
If the custodial parent dies, the noncustodial parent still needs to continue paying child support. The payment must be distributed proportionally for the benefit of the surviving child named in the support order.
The payment will go to the person that is in charge of the care of the child if one has been appointed.
Amount of child support determined by law.
Guidelines for child support are often based on net resources. These resources include things such as commissions’ money, overtime pay, retirement benefits, pensions, capital gains, gifts, social security benefits, and salary.
To calculate the net resources from gross resources, amounts paid in the form of taxes, union dues, and expenses the obligor pays for the child’s health insurance. In a situation where a parent does not pay child support they may be made to pay later when a retroactive child support order is issued by a court.
When considering the amount that should be paid for a retroactive child support order, the court looks at the time period where no child support was paid. There are other factors that the court considers before agreeing to issue a retroactive child support order.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get reimbursed if I overpay my Texas child support?
Typically an experienced family law attorney can help you get your money back. You may have to make a cost / benefit analysis between how much you overpaid, and how much it will cost you to hire a lawyer for this task.
How is my child support amount determined?
In Texas, the amount of child support you pay is determined by the Texas Family Code and the Family Law Courts. You can find more info here.