Problems with financial assistance!


I was hoping someone is aware of how the states assist people who need financial assistance.

As many of you know, my sister is divorce and her ex is suppose to pay about $900.00 a month. He has not for months now, almost 8 months. He is not paying half of the medical bills either. He is only paying about $50.00-100.00 a month and not all months. Before you say, take him to court, she doesn’t want to do that only because he is not invoking his right to visitation and she doesn’t want him to get angry and than ask for the kids again. He and his wife have abused the child in the past on their visitation and it was a nightmare. The kids are still recovering from that.

She needs help financially. My parents and I are doing the best we can, but she has a special needs child in her son that requires a lot of money, like Occupational therapist who is a specialist in what he has and etc. Anyway, she has tried to apply for financial assistance from the State of Florida. On the forms, it asks if she gets child support. Legally, for she as already talked with one of the workers, she needs to put the child support that her ex is suppose to pay. She told this person that he doesn’t pay that and that is why she needs help, but they said she legally has to put it down. If she does, like she has in the past, they will deny her assistance for they say she earns to much. It isn’t fair. There has to be a way around this. I don’t understand how they can say to put down $900.00 when she may or may not get even $50.00.:shrug:

Anyone know what to do now?


It might seem radical, but if:

  1. He’s only paying 50-100 a month; and
  2. She has no interest in using the courts to enforce payment; and
  3. Him and his new wife have been abusive; and
  4. He has no interest in seeing the child; and
  5. She will qualify for assistance if the support payment is only 50,

then I would have to say make him a deal where if he gives up his rights, he only has to pay $50 a month. It might be easier to put him as far behind her as possible. Then go apply for assistance with the new lower amount so that she will qualify. She might come out ahead in the long run.

Maybe not the best option, but a radical one to consider.


If your sister is not willing to take him to court to enforce the child support obligation, I’m not sure there’s anything that can be done. I know in Texas you can file an attorney general action and there are actions that can be taken, but they’re not going to come looking for you. Is the ex working? Can she get a support withholding order where they take it directly out of his paycheck?

In my best “I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV” answer, the pp had an excellent option – get his parental rights terminated, and then maybe she could get some assistance. It doesn’t sound like he’s too interested in being a father anyway.

Other than that, all I can offer are prayers of which she has those.


The law is there to protect the child and get them the support that is needed. They will garnish his wages if he is not paying support.


She has tried to make this deal and he said no to giving up his rights.


To Nanny and Kage,

He was fired from his last job as a security officer and it has been two months now. He claims not to be working. He keeps saying he is waiting for one police dept. to call him and they don’t. I think he is a liar!!


Unfortunately, unless there doesn’t seem to be too many options that she has – even if she takes him to court, she can get a judgment but good luck collecting. It’s a shame when parents refuse to take care of their children.

All my prayers!!!


I’d suggest she go to her lawyer. If her ex husband is not paying the child support, the legal system may then be able to step in and get her state assistance. They will put him in jail if he continues to not pay, that may be incentive enough for him to go see if McDonald’s is hiring.


I am not sure about Florida, but here in PA, child support does not give someone the right to see the kids. They are 2 different things…child support and visitation. And legally the child is ENTITLED to the support. When I went through my divorce, I was willing to forgo ALL child support in lieu of my now ex signing over the house to me. Our respective attorneys told us" no way". “Children are entitled to child support. It’s the law”



DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit