Changing Attitudes on Back Child Support Debts Are Creating New Resources for Dads in Need

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People don’t normally associate Home Owners Associations with helping the homeless, but recently one neighborhood Facebook group became the nexus for getting a homeless dad back on his feet. Across the platform, people are using the power of Buy Nothing, Pay It Forward and Buy-Sell groups to access necessities.


Helping Men Find the Resources They Need

A post on Thursday in a secular homeschooling group asked for help for a homeless dad of four in the Houston area. A mother had been delivering meals to the homeless with a local charity when she ran into a dad who had a second job offer from a restaurant but needed steel-toed shoes for work – size 14! Someone from her neighborhood FB group miraculously had an old pair in good condition, but she learned he needed more help.

[Covid-19 impacting your job in the Houston area? Check out resources for Houston restaurant workers.]

She talked more with the man and found out he was diabetic, skimping on insulin and living in a car that was about to be repossessed. The stimulus check he’d hoped would bring his car payment up to date was taken for back child support.

Members of the group have been able to help this man source more insulin, register for food stamps and find out how much child support he owes. The woman’s HOA saw her original post and paid for a hotel for the next two weeks.

Changing Opinions on Child Support Debts

As more people learn how states tack on extra amounts to child support debts and take those payments from the children they’re supposed to help, the public is turning away from the “deadbeat dad” stereotype. In a group of thousands, only one mother staunchly said the dad should have lost his stimulus check because his ex and kids need the money. Other members came to the man’s defense.

In Texas, mothers of children on welfare and Medicaid receive the first $75 of child support payments. The rest goes to to the state. In other areas, the state takes all of the payment or adds interest to the debt, making it nearly impossible for a man to get ahead.

Changes to child support programs in Georgia and Colorado have been successful enough for public policy leaders to take notice. If a man’s income falls under a certain guideline level, he should not be financially responsible for repaying those debts to the state. It’s an unreasonable burden that impacts his ability to work, to thrive, and most importantly, to be involved in his children’s lives.

While religious organizations often try to help men who are struggling, dads don’t always feel comfortable seeking help for fear there will be strings attached. Community groups on FB are rising up to fill that gap. Men who are afraid of the social repercussions of asking for help in a public forum can often reach out to other members to make requests on their behalf.

Legislators have started to offer more support as well. The more stories they hear from men who are buried by unfair child support orders – unable to work, unable to secure housing, unable to see their children – the more supportive they become.

You can help create lasting change by reaching out to your state and federal representatives and ask them to make changes to the way child support is affected by assistance programs. Look up your contacts today at

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2 thoughts on “Changing Attitudes on Back Child Support Debts Are Creating New Resources for Dads in Need

  1. Missouri is terrible when it comes to determining child support. They use some of formula to determine child support based on “what they think” you should be paid… In states that you have worked but not necessarily in that capacity. Via Administrative Hearing, with in house attourneys. You protest, and a review is set, but change goes to district court where is approced automatically. You are not notified of district court date.

    Missouri also will come after non-custodial parent (father here) for housing, medical (yes, i maintained insurance), etc in relation to care for the kids. Child Support *must* be paid through the state, yet when you do, the other costs of “care for the children” are taken first, then you are late paying child support.

    Mother passed away Aug 2019. I am STILL trying to get the child support case closed. Monthly “owed” continues to increase. I notified in Aug a week after she passed and was told no death certificate needed. Was assigned to Special Case Investigator. Never heard anything else from them. Then stimulus gets intercepted. Call them up, 75 minute hold time, and despite giving death certificate number – they cannot verify. Social Security sees the death, county she lived in sees death (issued certificate), vital statistics sees death, even State of Texas can see death, but child support payment center for Missouri cannot?

    And to top it all off, I was told I have to essentially sue the state of missouri, in district court that divorce occurred in, and in person, to get refund of stimulus.

  2. Fuck Missouri My Children got what they needed yet I lived on $300 a month that was the half of my social security while I was in a wheelchair 8 years I had to survive on 300 buckes FUCK MISSOURI

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