The general rule on child support in the U.S. is that if you pay more
than received from welfare, after back payments are repaid, the child
support goes to the person who is legally taking care of the child.
Which may mean no further welfare benefits for that kid. Sounds like
the same in Canada..
And, yes, as unfair as it seems to you, anyone, any person or any
organization, who is taking care of your kid can collect support
payments from you, at whatever the guideline amounts are for your
state, based on your income. In many cases, if your income is good,
you will note that you can take care of her for far less than you will
be charged for support payments.
In some cases, it is possible to make an appointment with your local
child support recovery unit and have your basic legal questions
answered by them. They may answer curtly, but they will at least tell
you what will be done with the money, and how much it will be each
Do take any ordered support as a serious thing. C/S can do horrible
things to you for any missed payments, even if you become unemployed
or disabled. And, you can't escape. If after you start paying, the
girl comes home, you still have to pay the support, until a CSRU or
court order specifically relieves you, even as you personally support
her. Do not imagine I am making this up.
The good news is, they may take another look at her father's income,
since both parents are responsible for support payments if the child
is with a third person, and if he is still paying the same $25 a week,
he will almost certainly be driven to the new guideline amounts. And
if he makes more than a pittance, it won't be $25 a week, which to me
sort of sounds unlikely after 15 years unless he earns $100 a week.
Welcome to the wonderful world of child support payments. I hope you
are developing a better understanding of why men complain about the
child support system, and it's not just men trying to weasel out of
paying support as certain extremists have claimed. I am not going to
sympathize with you, because the only way we are ever going to get the
insane system fixed is to get as many women as possible snared into
the same mess. That may sound cruel, but as long as only men suffer,
it is not politically expedient to change the system.
Since legal cases can have tricky aspects to them, general knowledge
of the topic is inadequate in a specific case. That is why legal
advice in individual cases is plainly discouraged on this URL.
It is possible to file a petition for custody of that girl. If you
win, in some states the step-mother can be held in contempt if the
child does not return to your house, or at least leave her house.
However, if you do, please do not come on GA asking for help. This
sort of thing requires some sort of professional expertise and more
time than you can get here. And, such court cases can be expensive,
and you will be surprised what an ogre you are painted for the court.
I will say in such cases, it is a losing battle at that age. Our
legal system today is such that you really can't make a kid do
anything. A rebellious 15 year old girl, well, you are probably
better off without her. I suspect it was not really pleasant with her
before she left you.
I know it must hurt when your own baby treats you like that but she is
not a baby any more. There are hundreds of thousands of sad stories
like that. In some cases, as years pass, there is a reunion. In some
cases the alienation if permanent.