Should I file for child support?

For mothers who are not with their child’s father anymore - do you get voluntary child support, or did you file for child support through court? My and my children’s father broke up last year after a decade together. Sometimes we get along, and other times we don’t;, I think it’s due to us still processing all of the emotions related to moving forward past our relationship. I have full custody of the kids. He has no job, but at times he does well with paying about $400/month. My problem is that if he and I aren’t getting along, he won’t send money for the kids. Or when it was his girlfriend’s birthday and his birthday, he told me he didn’t have money for the kids. I would like to file for child support so it can be consistent and without me having to go through the drama of talking with him directly about payments… I am only concerned that since he doesn’t have a job that I won’t get much through court. What has worked for other moms in this situation


I would file so you have something more concrete. Especially since he is being petty.

When he has the kids is he taking care of them normally for a breakup it should be 50/50 you take care of them when they’re with you and he takes care of them when they’re with him

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Go to maintance enforcement

Wow. Sounds like my kids father. I felt terrible but i needed stability for them. I put him on court ordered. Sometimes he works sometimes he doesnt. But. They find him or take taxes


Why wouldn’t you file? His kids he should support them whether you and him get along or not. Kids need, food, shelter, clothing all basic needs both parents are responsible for


Just cause you file for child support doesn’t mean he’ll be consistent with it. There’s tons of men and women who are behind child support n rather lose their license etc than pay child support sadly.


First the worry shouldn’t be that you won’t get much. Go file if it’s through the state it will have to be paid

You can file if you want but they will go by how much he makes. With that being said you may not get $400 or you may get more than that. Also because you file doesn’t mean he’ll send it in.


In NY the minimum he would be required to pay is $25 a week. And then it could be readjusted when he starts working. If you guys don’t always get along, just expect him to be angry once he gets served with the papers.

I would file. I didn’t have to file since the state went after my ex due to him being a dead beat dad with his 1st ex wife and their two kids. At first the CS was set at $89 due to him not working. Not it’s $460. He doesn’t pay it. And that’s okay. It will catch up with him one day.

After years of trying to be nice and let him “pay” on his own I had to file through the courts…also if he doesn’t work you won’t get paid it just goes to back payments

You should go through the courts.


I would file so you dont have to beg for it I know how that feels and he might be ordered to pay more than 400 if there is more than one child. Most pay 400 per child


File! I been separated from my kids dad for 7 years and never made him pay child but also let him half ass on his part of the his responsibility while I bust my ass to do it all. I finally said enough is enough and got my child support order 4/9/21. Our babies deserve better… remember that!! Stay up for your babies. I’m pretty sure you know in your heart the right thing to do! :heart: Good luck mama. It’s hard now, but it will be totally worth it in the end!

Just cuz u file it is not a guarantee u will see a dime…lots of people lose their license over it and still dont pay anything.


Sounds like my sons dad. But he’s NEVER helped with money.
I never filed, much rather have legal custody than his money.
But that’s me. He tried on me though I care for my son and it turned around on him and he owed money lol
He didn’t report his earnings and they dug deeper
But we have standing agreement on child support
Just not custody. Though he doesn’t ask for his son.
You can apply and hell get notified. Or get assistance and it’ll go through automatically

You should just file directly through your county’s court system! It avoids you going through other issues & spillingypur personal info as to “why” you & your child’s father aren’t together.

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Also depends on if he has anytime as custody and parenting time is different if he has them for any amount of time it will change how much you would potentially get including resulting in you having to pay him child support if he doesn’t have any income at all…and yes I know someone this has happen to even though they had the kids most of the time so just be careful…you stated you have full custody but that’s doesn’t tell us how much he has them or if he doesn’t at all.

Definitely get child support
It’s through the courts and if he works it will come from his Check . He doesn’t get to choose if and when or what to pay.

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Mine did that after I filed he quit entirely only got it when he filed taxes then that pissed him off and stopped working altogether. It just keeps adding up. Courts dont do anything.

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In Ms, if he doesn’t have a job, it will be based on min wage, which is about $135 ish a month, and just because it’s through the courts doesn’t mean he will pay it. :woman_shrugging:

Definitely file. But don’t make yourself dependent on someone else. Use what you get to buy extra things for the kids or add to a savings account for the kids.

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I personally think it would be better to file that way you have it and it’s all legal and in the court system. It’s true he may still not always pay and you may not get as much depending on his job. I mean he has to live off of his income also so the amount he gives has to be manageable for him. But at least it will all be on record.

I’m not with my sons dad, we’re in different countries, and when I went back to my country he claimed that I was kidnapping my own son :woman_shrugging:, so we went to court and he had to pay child support, so he kind of shot himself in the foot there cause the court awarded me full parental responsibility

I did it! While I don’t usually receive anything, just the fact that I don’t have to communicate with him at all makes it worth it to me! Usually the only time I receive payment is when we have to go to court for non payment or he actually gets arrested. I’m ok with that!! My son spends summers and school breaks with our son along with every other weekend and it has no effect on the amount he pays! It’s just easier and less stressful

Any money received outside of court is considered a gift.


He sounds super mature. I’d have court order done. Child support is for the kids. Not when you feel like it or get along with the mom

I would file so it’s set in stone. If he isn’t working it’s based off min wage. If he ever gets a better job you can always go back for more money… if he doesn’t pay then when he does work and get taxes then you will receive his tax checks. Some states have where you can pay a small fee where they enforce it. That means he can only get so far behind then they would throw him in jail. Most men don’t wanna sit in jail so they work and pay the support. That will keep him from not working so he doesn’t have to pay if that’s an issue.

They calculate by what he has generally earned so even if he doesn’t have a current job they go by what he is capable of earning

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Well depending on if he works, then you may get less than what you are getting now. Most the time they end up working off the books and bitter. Js. that’s my opinion.

Even with a job you more than likely won’t get much pends on his occupation

If he isnt working good luck. I have orders and dont even get 350 combined for two kids a month and thats only if it’s paid. But definitely go and get child support because it benefits the kids. Also it does back up if he doesnt pay with interest that he will be responsible for even after the child turns 18. They dont always take it out of taxes either. There has to be a substantial amount owed in back pay for a judge to order on that. And depending what state you are in. Lots of factors but yes get the cs order.

They should base his support on his potential income, meaning the income that he consistently had made.

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Filed and still don’t get shit that’s why I took him to court and have full custody and he has no visitation

Definitely file. My daughters father thought $20 a wk when he thought about it. I figured whatever I got, I needed to be able to count on it. He wasn’t happy, but oh well.

I get 55 a month for 3 kids which was decided through the courts a decade ago. They based it on his income. I didn’t even want to go after support but because I applied for temporary assistance to help me get on my feet the system made me. I still get the same amount of support now because I never pushed the subject. But he is a good father to them and buys them things on his own and I don’t want his money to support our children , if i wanted that i would have stayed with him. Do you really need 400?


I’d file if I were you, he’s already shown you and the kids who he really is. He would deny his own children…based on his “needs” which are more like “wants.” Maybe having court mandated support would spur him into working full time.

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A court order protects both parties, because as it stands he likely has zero acceptable proof he’s paid anything. So it’s in everyone’s best interest to go through court. They’ll either go by your state’s minimum or what they feel he’s capable of earning based on last employment.


Always file. Get it in writing. Don’t leave your child’s support to chance or a whim


My daughter’s dad isn’t around much, worrying about child support constantly was a headache I didn’t feel like dealing with anymore. I have him help with clothes, and other expenses that pop up once in awhile and I have him just spend money on her while she’s there instead of give me money. Honestly I’d rather work a little extra than to deal with relying on something that isn’t always consistent and not have to think about child support every other week


I have a child support order, my ex just quits his job every time they track him down and garnish his wedges. He’s a real piece of work making $100k a year and not supporting his kids. Idk if it will help you to have an order. In the 3 years I’ve had one I’ve had to go back to court 13 times just for child support enforcement. It’s exhausting and ridiculous.

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If he doesn’t have a job on the books, you’re probably not going to get anything if you file. If he has under the table income, I would just leave it as is. But thats just me personally. As long as it’s just extra money for the kids and you’re not depending on it to buy groceries and whatnot.

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You should file. He shouldn’t get to decide whether or not he has the money to support his kids. It’s the fair way to do it and then he can’t use it to manipulate you.


Always file with the courts/social services.
Even if he doesn’t pay one month he will still have to pay it - also just because you have established child support doesn’t mean you will get it.
My ex didn’t pay for several years but when filing taxes I got his return.


I filed as soon as I got divorced because I knew my ex husband would run and disappear. Sure enough he did. I didn’t see any money for quite awhile and then he suddenly started paying. I now haven’t seen a cent since last June. I received his first stimulus check but nothing else. Despite him thinking he can somehow avoid it he is still being held accountable because at some point he will go to jail for being so far behind. My point is, when you file you may not see the money but at least that person knows that at some point the have to face the music. I take care of the kids we had together all on my own. I haven’t heard a word from the father in years. Definitely file for child support so that he is held accountable not just verbally between the two of you, but on paper through the courts.


Take what you can get…

Yaaa, with no job you’ll get jack crap from the courts

400 a month is a lot! Like a lot a lot. I would take what you can get because if you file you probably are not going to get that much

Definitely file if he’s not doing his part


There is a formula they use depending on state. When my ex didn’t have a job for 1 child I would have gotten $30. For 3 I got $103.

From my experience I’m telling you yes, go file. I tried for 5 years to work with my kids father for CS. If he’s already not consistent he never will be. Just go file and save yourself years of grief and let the state/court handle it. If he tries to even talk to me about it I say it’s out of my hands now call the CS case worker.

Do what you need to do for your family. In my case, not filing was the best option for us. In your case, filing could be the best option for you.

Depending on your state it will depend on how much you will get wether he has a job or not. If he doesn’t have a job he will most likely still have to pay something for child support. In my experience I had my kids and my ex didn’t see them very often or pay anything. He did how ever still owe child support and he had to pay or they would take his driver’s license or send him to jail.

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Never do child support or custody Without the courts. It leaves you open to be manipulated & taken advantage of. Your kids needs don’t go away because you don’t get along or it’s his girlfriends birthday.

You probably won’t get consistent payments even court ordered. But you have recourse. They can take his taxes, order him to take classes etc. It won’t solve the problem but it’s better than him manipulating you to go with what he wants just so you can provide for your kids.


I would still file if I were you! They will still hold him accountable to pay even if you guys are not getting alone and/or if he wants to spend his money to things other than them. If he doesn’t pay, they can take taxes, take any future stimulus, etc. from him as back child support. I would definitely go the route of filing through the courts. It is likely they might make him get a job depending on the state also.

It took the two of you to lay down and create your children… it is both of your responsibility to provide for your children. Children’s basic needs can’t just be put on the back burner to pay for his girlfriend or his wants… he needs to be held accountable :woman_shrugging:t2:


My cousin years ago was paying $400 a month for 1 child on an income of 20,000 a year.

Mine was done automatically during my divorce which slowed the divorce down. My ex doesn’t pay it but at least it’s on record…he’s a slime and when it’s time the boys will get it

Google child support calculator for (your state). Sometimes you can find the form and do the calculations yourself. In florida theres a xouple websites that will do it for you.
If he doesnt have a job put him in as making minimum wage full time. Run the numbers. If you think based on that outcome its worth it do it.

But if he works under the table they will have no way to garnish his wages automatically so you will wait for him to send the money… if ever.

But child support enforcement can do things like suspend his license etc.

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If you file through the courts, do it when you know he has a job. If not you probably won’t get much at all…

File for child support

His kids, his responsibilities

I have a court document stating how much my kids father had to pay every month and I would recommend going to DHS and they can take it out of his paychecks directly.

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My children’s father put himself on child support.

I was with my ex husband 13 years. He walked out 3 months after our son was born, he is now 7. When he left I went on assistance for a while so it was automatically filed by the county. He owes me $47,000. He has made 2 payments and bought one box of diapers. He is not involved except maybe once a year when he decides he wants to show up and act like he cares. I’m cordial with him and have always told him I don’t care about the money. I’d be super thankful if he had a relationship with our son and could care less about the money. My son doesn’t even know that’s his dad because he doesn’t show up enough and is inconsistent. BUT, if he figured himself out one day and they had a solid relationship that I knew he wouldn’t abandon again, I would write off the due child support in a heartbeat. Does he spend a good amount of time with the kids? Does he provide for them while they are with him? If so I would leave it.

Do it through the government. Most states have a child support enforcement agency. They will go after him if he doesn’t pay and they will give you his income tax if he ever gets any money back.


Have a 4 year old son. Filed for child support. Father doesn’t have a documented job. Sentenced to pay $50 A MONTH. Haven’t seen a single check…

My son is 5. His dad and I have an agreement outside of court to pay a certain amount monthly. No issues.

If he doesn’t have a job, they will make him find a job or he will go to jail for not paying. File asap to secure yourself

I have two children with my ex. He is suppose to be paying $680 each month but instead he gets away with only paying $20 a month. Attorney general won’t do anything.

Good luck, get yourself an attorney.

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Lawyer up and go to court.

Well my son and his dad divorced after 2 years I went through the attorney general here in Texas they set up child support he only supposed to pay $110 a month in 1990 he did not pay after my son turned 23 or so they attached his dad’s check $60 a week or every two weeks after a few years of that they told me that all the money he owed me was paid in full so well then one day I find out that they’re attached to check again I got a letter in the mail that said something about the money so I checked my card and there was over $500 on my card then this morning I noticed I had a letter from the attorney general in the mail I checked it had $520 on my card and it shows on the letter that it’s child support from him back child support now as far as my daughter we wasn’t never married we had to do the blood test proved he was her daddy he was only supposed to pay $137 a month that was in 1992 he never did pay and I’m old over 60 something thousand dollars but he ended up in prison for life so I’ll never see that money my son is now 32 and my daughter is now 30 I don’t know why they kept telling me that my son’s dad had paid in full what he owed me and then they turned around and gave me more money and then told me that was it and then they turned around and gave me more money now they’re doing 60 to $68 a week so it can go either way when you go to court but it is better to get child support set up through the court which in our case is attorney general of Texas

I went through court and it granted me full custody and that’s it as he wasn’t working bc at the time.

It’s a long process and it may be worse off or better off. It’s really up to you on what you think is best.

I personally wasn’t with the father very long so it doesn’t bother me that I don’t receive anything. I decided to keep my baby so I pay for all of his things.

Good luck


We tried the first option. But we ultimately agreed it was helpful to have the court order in place. Of course it was a bit more of a journey than that. I think it depends on your specific circumstances. If he isnt working they will verify that and then probably share options for you as far as any social services available. If he is giving you money sometimes, you have to weigh the pros and cons of possible outcomes of each decision. You can always talk to your local support services to atleast get more information. But, dont ever feel guilty for doing whats best for your children. Good luck mama.

It’s always better to have it filed through the court so there’s no questions about it. He’s just gonna have to get a job and deal.


Just because you file for child support and they order him to pay doesn’t mean he will. My ex is $10,000 in arrears right now and just started having his wages garnished again after a few years of dodging it. They came looking for him to talk about taking his license away and possibly jail time. He pays $400 a month but made them split it up into two payments of $237 instead. He worked jobs under the table so they couldn’t take his money. So I reached out and told them about it and they sent him a warning about taking further action.

Yes you need to file for it. Some is better then none

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File for it and then after a couple of missed payments file thru family maintenance they will take care of it for u! Hold on momma and he will def owe u back pay too 400$ isn’t enough and they will go all the way back to when u broke up!

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If he has no job how is he going to pay child support? Also just because he has child support payments doesnt mean hes going to pay it… youll unfortunately need to cover all costs and if he pays yay if not your kiddos still have the basics from momma.

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Depending where you live they will demand him to get a job and will give you direct payments.


If he’s no job then realistically how can he pay anything. If has job on side id be demanding he buys clothes etc. Id file thro goverment if he works. Its ok him going to jail but if he see’s kids regular this will be upset if he goes to prison

I always believe the custodial parent should file thru the court system. It saves a lotta hassle. If he misses a payment let the court deal with him.


Doesn’t matter if he has a job or not he has to pay child support plain and simple and not just when he wants to


Talk to him first and tell him you need the child support every week or will be taking him to court

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Or monthly I don’t know how he pays you

They are his kids too and he needs to step up to the plate

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If its not consistent now… What makes you think it will be then?
I know people who switch jobs every few months to keep from paying.


Sounds like a bum. He can get a job. He’s probably working under the table

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Definitely file in court. Men are sneaky. They quit jobs, lie etc just so they don’t have to support their kids. Your ex is working. Those $400 payments are coming from somewhere. Get him to admit he’s been paying you $400 a month or that he will vis text. Say something like “you don’t even support your kids…” Or something that will make him go on the defensive saying he’s been paying $400. Set up an account for him to deposit money into that he can’t take it out (in your name only not the kids but for the kids). With this you can prove in court that he can afford $400 when he claims that he doesn’t have a job etc.

Always do it through the courts. It sounds mean, but it’s really the only way to keep a neutral third party involved. End of relationships will always carry emotional baggage. Sometimes you’ll get along and others you don’t.

You can file but there’s no guarantee that it will be any more consistent.

Depending on the state as well, you may end up having to pay him child support if he doesn’t have a job and you do.

Shouldn’t matter if you are getting along or not. My ex-husband set up monthly payments from his bank to mine the month we split up and has never missed one month in nearly 6 years. The money is for the children to make sure they have shoes, food, uniform, coats…they don’t stop needing those things just because you aren’t getting along with each other.


I’m confused. If he doesn’t have a job, how is he paying you $400 a month?

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Do courts for child support they will also make him get a job

Go through COURT it is free for you. Will follow him through Social Security years.

No we had joint accounts so I just wrote a check then sent him a notice. Only happened a couple of times.

The judge will basically order him to get a job to pay or be can go to jail.
If you don’t have legal custody, get it. Like, yesterday.
You can request the state minimum with the option to reevaluate in a certain time frame.
It’ll depend on the state so you should probably speak to a lawyer. Some states have child support & visitation seperate, some don’t.
If he was trying & not playing games, I’d say work it out but since he’s petty, let him be petty with a judge.

Wait until he starts working then file