Use debtor examination for child support collection.  Check our Document Library for sample questions that you can use as a starting point for your examination (question and answer session) with your debtor (your deadbeat).  This list is in no way meant to be an entire list and you should absolutely look at each question, think of all of the questions that you can ask that might be related to what you need to know and ask those as well.   For example, on the list provided you will see that you should ask whether he has any automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles.  But you should also ask if there are loans on them, who are the lien-holders, if any, whose name is on the title, if there is a loan on the vehicle, how much is the monthly payment, etc.

Like the subpoena, the debtor’s examination can be a powerful tool if used correctly.  It can be used to both go on a “fishing” expedition to learn information about the deadbeat that you didn’t know before and it can also be used as a point of leverage because if you didn’t get the information that you needed to get from the deadbeat the first time around, you can request a continence from the court and bring him back in for more questioning.  As long as you have something valid to go on and will not be seen as simply harassing the other parent, this can go on until you get paid- – and that’s the point.  Further, if there are others who potentially have information on the deadbeats assets, you can combine the debtor’s examination with subpoenas to third parties.  For example, if he says that the car that he drives belongs to his girlfriend, then you can subpoena her and bring her in to show her title, proof of payment and proof of income stream to support the payment.

Expect that the deadbeat is going to try to test you.  If he arrives and does not cooperate with you when answering questions in whatever private room that the judge/hearing officer sends you to, go back into the courtroom, speak to the bailiff and tell him or her that your debtor is not cooperating.  The judge/ hearing officer will have you two to go back into the courtroom and appear before the judge.

You will achieve success in extracting information by preparing your list of questions ahead of time, being calm, and being willing to continue the examinations for as long as it takes to get paid.  You may need to have more than one examination, take the information that they gave you, uncover some more of their lies and subpoena other people, entities, and records. This might go on until you find hot spots where you can extract money or until they realize that you are not going away and they decide to pay you.

You can ask that the deadbeat provide documents to you.  For example, you can ask that he bring bank statements from the last 6 months or a copy of the title for his prized corvette.  You can’t require him to create a list of his monthly bills (so that you can see his expenses), but you can ask that he bring a copy of each of the bills that he pays on a monthly basis. He will only be required to appear in the county where he resides.

If the deadbeat lives too far away from you in order for you to do an examination personally, you will instead need to do a written interrogatory, which is an examination through the mail.  Please see the Document Library for this information.  If you need some help creating a personalized examination list for your questioning, please contact us: