Reduce your arrears to a judgment to collect back child support.  This is also sometimes called getting “a verified entry of support.”  If you have child support arrears and want to begin to collect them by going beyond the remedies that Family Court and Child Support Enforcement Agencies offer you, the first step will be to get your judgment for your back child support.

There are two ways to do this.  It can be done through your child support agency or directly through the courts.  The easiest way to do this is through your CSE office, although they will sometimes tell you that you must go directly through the courts.  They can absolutely do this and if the first person tells you that you cannot, you can continue on to that person’s supervisor or the department manager, until you find someone who knows how to do this and that it can be done.  Otherwise, if you want to do this through the courts – or if you case is not a CSE case to begin with, you must get your judgment through the courts.

This how-to will address the steps for going through the courts, there is a letter in the Sample Letters/Language/Forms section for contacting your CSE and getting the judgment through them.  Once you have your judgment in hand, you can begin to avail yourself of the remedies to collect your back support located within our Document Library.

Here are the steps

  1. Download the document “reduce Your Arrears to A Judgment via DIY from the Document Library.
  2. You will need to complete the letter by filling in the total amount of your arrears, any interest due, information on any modifications and the dates of when your arrears began to accumulate.  If you do not have this information, you will need to obtain it prior to completing the document.
  3. Complete the letter.  See a sample of the letter in our Sample Letters/Forms/Language section.
  4. Notarize the document
  5. Make two copies
  6. Attach a copy of your arrears statement showing the total amount due past due from the other parent to the document
  7. Call the clerk’s office in your area and ask them if they require that you mail a copy of your request for your judgment along with a statement of your arrears to the other parent.  In some states this step is required, in other states it is not.
  8. If you are required to send the paperwork to the other parent, be sure to mail it by regular mail and certified mail, return receipt.
  9. Call your clerk’s office and ask if they require that you file the request for your judgment or if their procedure is to just mail it to them.  In some states, because back child support is considered to be “automatic”, all you have to do is to mail a copy of your paperwork in to the court and they will mail back a copy of your judgment to you.  In other areas, you must file the paperwork with them.
  10. If you must file the paperwork, bring your originals to your clerk’s office an ask them what their process happens to be. Example: will you receive your judgment in the mail and if so, how long will it take?
  11. Get precise information that will allow you to follow up.

Once you have gone through the process to reduce your arrears to a judgment to collect back support, you can then move on to your next step.