Advice on support.

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Latest post 02-21-2013 9:07 AM by Drew. 11 replies.
  • 12-20-2012 11:41 AM

    Advice on support.

    Friend has court order for joint custody. There was no support order filed because the ex didn't ask for it. She was not working for 10 years of marriage. She was awarded home and allowed it to foreclose therefore ruining his chance of buying one since it was in his name.he paid her support they agreed would be fair after resuming in own homes. He also shopped for kids, bought groceries and paid her utility bills when she asked since she has a problem with managing money. She moved and carried his utility service to her new place without telling him racking up a 1500 bill he had to pay to have his name cleared. Now she left kids with him full time, moved out of area, and rarely sees them even when she tells them she will. She is an alcoholic and although he paid for her school training AFTER the divorce she does not consistently work. She lives with uncle and kids stayed with him to stay in schools and activities. She cannot even rent a home due to her poor credit. She served him with papers for support. Filed in November..court date is January 7 and he was just served yesterday. What are his options. Kids do not want to move or live with her. They want to stay here. He works 6 to 7 days a week and overtime to afford his bills. He is distraught cuz he feels the system will rake him over the coals and she will get money when she doesn't even see them and can't have a home for them. 

    "When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my only response is that I'm thankful I have a cup"

    Sam Lefkowski

  • 12-20-2012 11:54 AM In reply to

    Re: Advice on support.

    It is unclear why all the relevant issues were not addressed in the divorce decree or any attendant marital settlement agreement.  It sounds like your friend had bad counsel.

    "She was awarded home and allowed it to foreclose therefore ruining his chance of buying one since it was in his name."

    The obvious truth here is that he was free to ask the court to intervene and ask the court to order the place sold if she wouldn't make the payments (he was also naturally free to make sure the payments were made meanwhile).

    He's free to go after her for the utility bills.

    "What are his options."

    It's not clear what you mean here.  I should think he'd decide to defend himself/fight her petition rather than just sit back and do nothing (also an option).  Naturally, he ought to seek counsel.

    "Kids do not want to move or live with her. They want to stay here."

    I gather you're skipping some mention where she's seeking physical custody; sounds like there's a decent argument against.

    "He is distraught cuz he feels the system will rake him over the coals and she will get money when she doesn't even see them and can't have a home for them."

    I gather someone's thinking she's looking for child support, when your post seems to indicate to me that she's seeking spousal support.

  • 12-20-2012 12:42 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Advice on support.

    Laymans take:

    Not clear if this is a quest for child support or spousal support

    Unless he wants to get skinned alive he gets legal counsel--counsel probably seeks delay to get ready --but bottom line he gets counsel before he steps into arena --there simply is no other prudent option.

    Court may impute an earnings level to Mom--but probably not much more than minimum wage

    Too many what ifs to address--use counsel 

    He was foolish to not nail down some financial issues in past--stop being foolish.

    I do NOT think its relevant to the  child support  but for Mom to have falsified a utility sign up under his name probably crossed over into criminal conduct and it may not be too late to seek prosecution for same . Perhaps, Moms games like this can be used by his counsel to discredit/impeach mom if mom takes the stand --in some forums a small lie can cast a big shadow

     



  • 12-21-2012 11:26 AM In reply to

    Re: Advice on support.

    He did pay the mortgage for her after he found a rental. Then stopped after he could not afford both plus buy her food and pay  her support. She kept the impending foreclosure from him so he had no clue. Actually kept his mail hidden so he couldn't act on the possible foreclosure. When he found out banks told him it was done, they would not allow him to reverse it. 

    She wants full child support which he was told by a counsel could be up to 1200. He has been paying 800 plus paying utility bills and buying food. She waived spousal support. 

    They share custody 50/50 but she lives with uncle now and he has kids full time in his home. He has been trying to get a house but has had no luck due to the foreclosure. He has always had perfect credit until the house and a loan she accrued also another criminal act of forging his signature taking out 100k without his knowledge. He paid most off but she agreed to pay final 11k which she has not done therefore affecting his credit. All of these are outlined as her responsibility in court order but he still can't recover since banks don't care about court orders just want their money. 

    There is no way to know what she will do as far as custody. At his point she has been turned down by several rentals due to her instability with rent , income and credit. She can't even get utilities because they flagged her for lack of payment. She used his name to get it and her moms both times owed over 1000k so they won't give her utilities. I don't know how she will be blue to care for the kids in a home. 

    He sought counsel but they told him he couldn't do anything about the tainted credit or the option she may seek for court ordered child support.  

    I encouraged him to seek counsel again this time but he is pretty certain he will be screwed. Thinks system is severely one sided to help women even ...women like his ex who has drinking problem, does not want to work, and kids admit she does not take care of hem like he does. His odest is 13 and does not want to live with mom at all. His pungent is 8 so he is the one he worries about mst. 

     

     

     

     

    "When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my only response is that I'm thankful I have a cup"

    Sam Lefkowski

  • 12-21-2012 11:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Advice on support.

    I think he kinda knew she wouldn't be paying the mortgage if/when he stopped, and if his name's on the loan, he certainly could've kept up on whether payments weren't being made.  Maybe should have asked the court to order the place sold.

    He was free to pursue a contempt motion if she refused to pay what the court order had her agreeing to pay.

    No, he can't do anything about the tainted credit insofar as go after her for it.  

    If he has the kids with him full-time, then I don't see any reason why she'd get child support (it's also unclear why he'd be paying her money if the kids were with him and she waived child support). It also sounds like she's got no firm basis to seek custody if that's what you're getting at. 

  • 12-21-2012 5:01 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Advice on support.

    Laymans guess:

    The courts are supposed to be sex neutral about this stuff--and it sure reads like mom sunk her own ship --but that said I think the only intelligent option is for Dad to use counsel to ward off Moms gettinga fresh slice of his skin.

    That fact that Mom trashed Dads credit is past history and very hard to cure . That he paid Mom more than the order required is not going to earn him credits --but it may show he lacks dirty hands.

    If Mom stole his identity to secure services that may be a criminal issue but I'm not sure if to spring that is good idea right now.

    She may owe him money re the order and her other misadventures but you cannot squeeze money out of a stone.

    Her course of action seems weak --but don't give her an easy victory by not using good counsel.

    BTW what was her career prior to not being in workforce and what is her level of education?  Lots of women go back into workforce for a varitty of reasons, often doing so when their chldren are a bit older . Being out for 10 years does not get one my vote as an excuse to sit on ones duff.



  • 02-20-2013 11:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Advice on support.

    So he's going back today. The court scheduled a new court date since she didn't show last time. Scheduled mediation but she didn't go either. She has her own place now but kids want to live with dad...little guy wants to visit but teen hates her and won't go. If she doesn't show up today what are his options? Can he file for a change of the order today so it shows he has full custody her visitation? Will he still be required to pay her support if he has them full time? 

    "When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my only response is that I'm thankful I have a cup"

    Sam Lefkowski

  • 02-20-2013 12:32 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: Advice on support.

    CA uses a shared formula for child support determinations. Even if he has the kids 90% of the time, if she has any visitation at all, she might get some child support if the disparity in their incomes is significant. Without facts and figures about the extent of her visitation rights and their respective incomes, it is not possible to come to any conclusions about whether he will or will not owe child support to her.

    If there is an order for visitation that applies to both children, then the teen has to go or Dad risks contempt of court charges for failing to make the teen available for any scheduled visitation. Bad idea to let the teen think that he calls the shots here. However, she does not have to exercise her visitation rights and if she does not choose to legally contest her son's decision to not visit, then it may not be a legal problem for bioDad.

    Judges tend to grant that first request for a continuance and/or excuse one failure to appear when scheduled. However, if she missed a previous court date without good cause/notice and also was a "no show " to mediation, I would think that bioDad would be in a good position to ask the judge to rule on his case on a default basis, if she is again a no show. He can ask the judge grant whatever "relief "that he is requesting. He may not get everything that he wants. (Most people do not get everything that they want in a legal case.) The child support formula, in particlar, tends to be rather rigid in its application as long as all necessary financial data/extent of time children are with each parent, is available. If she is not working, he can ask that the judge imput a minimum wage to her, if she is capable of working and simply chooses not work and/or does not have any specific skill set that would allow the judge to imput a higher income to her. If she has remarried or is living with someone, however, her new spouse's (or BF's) income is not on the table as such individuals have no legal obligation to support a child that is not theirs by birth or adoption.

     

     

  • 02-20-2013 12:45 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: Advice on support.

    BTW, it seems as if you are asking about child support, but your post is far from clear. Because they were married for at least ten years and she did not work during the marriage, there could be an issue of spousal support. However, I would think that she should have made that request at the time of separation. It might be a little too late to ask for it now.

  • 02-21-2013 6:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Advice on support.

    Thank you for your response. He went, she didn't again and judge dismissed it. So now he waits to see if she files again. I figure she will in. Couple months and then no show. Crazy how she can keep doing it and using it as a threat against him. He lives in constant turmoil cuz she lays threatens court. 

    "When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my only response is that I'm thankful I have a cup"

    Sam Lefkowski

  • 02-21-2013 6:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Advice on support.

    She waived her spousal support, so only child support ...they have 50/50 custody. 

    "When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty, my only response is that I'm thankful I have a cup"

    Sam Lefkowski

  • 02-21-2013 9:07 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Advice on support.

    Laymans guess:

    She can probably jump into court a number of times before she gets tossed out for abuse of the system--but a couple of no shows sure  might seem to hurt her credibility and not amuse the judge --sorry, dad is sort of required to defend each and every time --just in case she does show!

    On a different tack -IF EX forged his signature at least twice as you post suggest--to tap $100,000 and to secure utility services  -- it  might be prudent to sort out if there events are stiil "alive" in terms of the statutue of limitations for prosecution, and if "alive'", seek to work with law enforcement  and address any and all appropriate criminal charges.

    Do NOT get into discussions with EX along the lines of pay me or I turn stuff over to law enforcement --thats a major can of problems if one goes too far into "extortion" --true in some states there is an excpet ion if one seeks to apply a lot of leverage to get ones own money back --but that stuff needs to be reviewed with counsel before you play any such hardball games!

    It would not suprise me that EX is coy enough to be seeking to keep Dad off balance as to criminal issues vs custody fears. Do not let fear rule the day!



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