Can I Get Credit for Overpaying Child Support?

Some parents are fortunate enough to pay more child support than is owed per month. The First District Court of Appeal recently made a ruling in Mayfield v. Mayfield regarding the issue of child support, specifically paying additional support over and above the court ordered amount. In 2003, the trial court ordered Mr. Mayfield to pay child support in the amount of $1,400 a month. The Husband routinely paid more than the court ordered child support because he wanted to make sure the children were well taken care of and had everything they needed. He made the additional payments through the state depository and the additional payments totaled approximately $23,000.00. In 2009, Ms. Mayfield petitioned the trial court to raise Mr. Mayfield’s child support amount. After a hearing, the trial court increased Mr. Mayfield’s child support obligation to $1,882.00 a month. However, the court also determined that Mr. Mayfield had paid approximately $23,000.00 more than his court-ordered child support obligation and reduced his child support obligation by $438 a month for the remainder of the time he is required to pay child support to account for the overpayment credit. The Wife appealed that ruling.

The First District Court of Appeal found that the trial court abused its discretion in giving Mr. Mayfield a credit for his generous overpayment of child support. The court found that Mr. Mayfield voluntarily over paid child support out of the goodness of his heart, and he should not be awarded a credit by the trial court for this overpayment. Further, the court found that Mr. Mayfield never offered these overpayments as a loan to Ms. Mayfield and that he never told her that the payments were intended to be an advancement to his future child support. If you have questions about your child support obligation or are considering paying additional amounts of child support that is in additional to your regular child support obligation, contact your expert family law attorney to discuss these matters and how they might impact your case in the future.