My husband and his ex-wife have co-domicilliary status of their son; he is with us one week and with his mother one week. Although custody is evenly shared, my husband still paid her child support for the weeks that she had him. He was never late and he even increased the bi-weekly amount by $10.00 on his own accord.
His ex wife went through Support Enforcement Services, not because he was late, which she even told the truth that he was never late, she went through them because she wanted an increase in support and she also didn't want to have to get the money directly from us anymore. When she finally got a court date and all of this started, the support was increased, but because they went retroactive back to the original date that she applied for support for, that left my husband owing what they are calling arrears, which happened to be over $2000.00. However, the judge told him that he could pay an additional $15.00 a month on top of the normal monthly support amount until the arrears were paid off.
We were given a document verifying this and that was that, or so we thought. We immediately started paying the normal monthly support amount, and every month we added an additional $15 just like we were told to do, and sent it to the Department Of Social Services as instructed to do, by the way, we have always paid on time and always paid the exact same amount, which I'll say again was the amount that the judge and the court told him to pay, verified by the paperwork we received.
Within a month of starting to pay the child support, we started receiving letters from this department stating that my husband owed arrears and that if he didn't pay the whole amount off in like 30 days, then it would negatively affect his credit report. I immediately wrote them a letter, explaining how he didn't owe arrears because he didn't pay his child support, but rather because it took so long to get a court date and the increase in payment went back retroactive to that date she first applied for it. I told them how the judge told him that he wasn't expected to come up with over $2000 that fast and that he could pay $15/month towards the arrears until it was paid off. I also included a copy of the paperwork that we were given at court that verified what I had just told them was 100% completely true and that because of the circumstances, it was not right for them to file a report against his credit.
They never contacted me back so I called our lawyer and told her what happened. She also emailed them the exact same information, but like me, she also received no response from them. Although they continued harassing us with threatening letters, I figured they weren't going to file a report with the credit bureau because it wasn't until a year or so later that they did file that report. I didn't even know about it until I received a letter from not one, but two of our credit card companies, stating they were lowering our credit limit due to a negative report on his credit. I looked into it and not only did they file a report on his credit, but to look at his credit report, they didn't report that he owed arrears due to something beyond his control, but was consistently paying towards the arrears every month, no, they had to go all out and make it look like he didn't pay his child support at all! I was furious!!!!
My husband had excellent credit for many years and now all of a sudden, credit cards are lowering our limits, we're getting turned down for things that we used to would have been approved for and all of this just because his ex wife wanted more money and wanted to go through support enforcement to get her child support and it took a long time to get a court date! He has never been behind on payments and never missed any payments. Our lawyer said to dispute it through the credit bureau and that it wasn't worth opening a lawsuit for; however, I disagree, they have harassed us with threatening letters and now have ruined his credit when he has done nothing wrong, and I will not sit back and take it without trying to fight it. If anyone can tell me how I should proceed, I'd greatly appreciate any input.
Denham Springs, Louisiana