Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

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Latest post 08-02-2012 4:14 PM by CJ. 13 replies.
  • 08-01-2012 9:08 PM

    • jen78fl
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    Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    Hi everyone. Im new here. I hope someone can help me because I am really stressing out here. Ok so my ex husband has primary custody of our kids. Long story short I basically got involved with a bad alcoholic , but he is not around anymore, and neither he or I ever hurt the kids in any way. He was never even around them. Anyway I only have short visitations with them on the weekend.  I have no overnights as of yet. My lawyer is working on this but the hearing could be a few months away. So, my issue is child support. At our mediation, it was ordered for me to pay $425 for both of my kids per month.I had a temp job, that ended and I have been out of work for a few weeks.\I am starting a new temp job on Monday. Anyway I am barely making ends meet as it is.  Well my ex husband told me today that he received a letter from the IRS stating that a letter had been mailed to me asking for the first child support payment. I have not received it as of yet. Obviously I cannot afford to pay it! So, what I need to know is what is going to happen next? Jail? Garnishment of wages?? I am also wondering if my ex chooses not to fight me on not making child support payments, which I dont know if he would or not, could I still go to jail anyway? I am in contact with my lawyer about this but I need second opinions. My ex husband knows I cannot afford these payments but refused to work out child support with  me on his own and filed the paperwork for child support through the state. All my lawyer can tell me is that the only way that child support will go down is if I have overnights with the kids, but we are required to have another mediation first and the hearing for modification of custody could take months. So at this point I am at a loss for what I am supposed to do. I paid him a little for child support recently , what I could afford, and my mom sent him $400. I do not want to put this on my mom because she is already paying for my lawyer and my car payment every month! She does not have an endless source of money. I dont want to make her and my stepdad go broke!  I just dont know what else to do. Can anyone please give me legal advice here? This has become a huge mess. I have talked to my ex husband about it and all he can say is oh you wont go to jail. He is very vindictive in the things he does but then acts like theres no problems... Very passive aggressive!!  Anyway I appreciate any advice at all. Thank you so much for reading this!

    Jennifer

  • 08-01-2012 10:10 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    jen78fl:
    Jail?

    Very unlikely.  I wouldn't worry about that.

    jen78fl:
    Can anyone please give me legal advice here?

    Only your lawyer or another lawyer can give you advice.  The best that you can expect from posting on this site is suggestions, possible options, etc.  Your lawyer is the best source of "hwat's going to happen next".

    jen78fl:
    I have talked to my ex husband about it and all he can say is oh you wont go to jail.
     

    It would probably be a good idea to limit your conversations to non-legal subjects.  Talk about the kids and let your lawyer do your other talking.  Your ex is likely to play to your fears and make you feel worse.

     

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 08-02-2012 3:42 AM In reply to

    • jen78fl
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    Thank you for the response.  Why is jail unlikely? Would they just garnish my wages ? 

  • 08-02-2012 3:44 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    In most states jail involves wilful non-payment not inability to pay.  They would go through many steps, before jail would even be on the table.

  • 08-02-2012 4:51 AM In reply to

    • jen78fl
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    That is good to know.   One thing I'm really wondering about is say that my ex husband does not fight me if Ido not make the payment ? Would jail definitely not be considered at all or would a judge still consider it? I guess I am just worried because I am hearing about parents going to jail for not paying child support even if it's because they cannot afford it and not because of willfully not paying it. That's what scares me.

  • 08-02-2012 4:52 AM In reply to

    • jen78fl
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    Also would they be likely to just garnish my wages automatically? Thank you so much for all of your help .....

  • 08-02-2012 4:54 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    People go to jail for non-payment of child support only in the most egregious of cases or if they ignore the court and do not respond or show up to scheduled hearings they have been ordered to attend.

  • 08-02-2012 4:54 AM In reply to

    • jen78fl
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    I dont think I mentioned that I'm in Florida which I should have put in my original post ...

  • 08-02-2012 6:23 AM In reply to

    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    Parents go to jail all the time, for failure to pay child support, in these neck of the woods.

    The amount you owe for child support was based upon your earnings;  it's not just some number picked out of the air;  that amount is what you must pay until either the court modifies that amount ( you file for modification based upon a decrease in income- if not based upon your voluntary reduction in income) or the father agrees to vacate the order or decrease the order- with that done through court.  Statements to you not to worry about it means nothing if you find yourself before a judge on contempt.  saying you can't afford it means nothing.  You should be making the payments, some payments, even if you think you can't make the entire payment.  Failure to make any payments only increases a finding of contempt- as yoyu are not making any attempts to comply with the order.

  • 08-02-2012 8:18 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    To some enxtent failure to pay builds up the amount of arrears that you owe --and if and when you get a better job you are expected to pay down the arrears .   Yes, a wage garnishment up to the legal limits is possible .

    Some modest payments on a regular basis probably smells a lot better than no payments .

    If you truly are looking at a log term reduction of income --it makes sense to look at the CS formula as see if it makes sense to petition for a reduction based on your new fact pattern --if granted that will cut down your future duty (Unlikley to cut  your past duty.)



  • 08-02-2012 8:49 AM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    Child support often is paid via a deduction from wages. The child support enforcement agency likely will serve the order on your employer, if it knows who you work for. You would have to disclose details of your current employment at any child support hearing/proceeding and if you failed to appear, that likely would be bad news for you legally.

    Now, if your current employment is temporary and your weekly work hours variable (as happens in retail and in food service industries), you may want to petition for a modification of the monthly obligation based upon your current wages versus whatever figure was used in the original order.

    You do not want to look like you are voluntarily reducing your wages. If your previous job also was temporary, was that clearly noted at the time of the original child support proceeding?

  • 08-02-2012 10:08 AM In reply to

    • jen78fl
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    Thanks so much to all of you for the replies. It seems my only option is to pay what I can afford and hope for the best .... I emailed my lawyer my questions about this but she did not answer them. I told her I really did need to know !   Thank you again everyone   I hope to get more responses to this posting 

  • 08-02-2012 4:14 PM In reply to

    • CJ
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    Re: Can someone please help me? I cant afford child support.....

    If you have to borrow the money from mom to pay your support then so be it.  Whatever you do, don't pay less and absolutly don't stop all together. It's better to owe mom that to owe back support.  And the answer is No regarding if your ex agrees you don' thave to pay would that be okay.  If it's court ordered then he has no say until he goes back to court and asks a judge.

    Hopefully you'll establish more visitation with your kids which will lower your support burden.

     

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