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Meet Shannon Matthews of Child Support Specialists

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon Matthews.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Shannon. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Child Support Specialists is the oldest private child support agency in Texas. I’ve been with CSS for over 27 years.

My parents divorced when I was very little. I was then raised by my mom. My dad very seldom paid child support or saw me. It greatly impacted my childhood. I can remember going to high school and not having any lunch money to eat. I was lucky that I had friends that would help out and buy me lunch. This is why I’m so passionate about what I do. I love working with clients and I’ve have become close with many of them over the years.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has never been a smooth road. Child support collection by an agency, other than the state, was new and unheard of in 1990. We had to invent a new industry. I believe moms and dads should have choices. The field of private child support collections was not licensed in the beginning. We saw some companies come and go for various reasons.

Finally, the Texas Legislature passed laws granting the Department of Banking responsibility for licensing private agencies which greatly improved the industry and its perception. We strongly encouraged regulation and we were a leader in this.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Child Support Specialists – what should we know?
Child Support Specialists enforces child support. We specialize in Court Order child support, Non-Order child support, Paternity Testing and Locate. We are different from other agencies in a several ways. CSS is the only private agency to help moms and dads that do not have an order yet. This is important because parents are not usually in a situation to pay an attorney to get them a court order. They need money in the household right away. We also provide quick service. Most of our cases pay within 30 days or less. This is why many clients choose us. Some clients have been waiting years with the state agency. Child Support Specialists will also assist the absent parent with visitation. I’m very proud that we always have offered this. It’s important that the mom or dad have some type of visitation. We always ask the absent parent if we can help set up visitation for them. Last year a father called us inviting the staff to his daughters High School graduation. We contacted him for child support when his daughter was just a baby and he paid all the years needed. It was my proudest moment, not because we collected, but because he told me that without CSS, he would have never had a relationship with his daughter.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe I have empathy for my clients. This is the biggest key to my success. I understand what it is like to go without. I don’t think people can fully understand unless they have lived through it. I know what it’s like to have the lights turned off at the home and this is why I can relate to my clients when I get calls like this.

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