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Topics - FLMom

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Child Support Issues / Out of Norm CS Issue
« on: Nov 08, 2009, 12:45:08 PM »
Time to ask for opinions. I've been so continually fed up the the DOR in Florida I'm just beyond irritated. I'm not out of options, but I have to find a way to do things with minimal cost.

Backstory is that ex and I divorced in 2000. We are joint/joint with ex as CP. In 2003 we both got remarried. Ex moved one county over the summer before ODD was to start high school. ODD wanted to come live with me. I filed for custody of all three kids. Ex's retaliation was to deny visitation down to state minimum (EOW) for the year it took to get to court. Judge urged a settlement agreement. Ex would not agree to joint 55 him/45 me unless he got CS. I agreed at the time, knowing it would change when ODD turned 18.

When ODD turned 18, I went to ex and showed the calculation. With 55/45, me paying all medical and me doing 95% of transportation, it ended up a wash. Ex agreed, I agreed. My mistake was not filing this with the court.

Fast forward to 12/08. Ex buys house #2, and files with the DOR on the old CS order. DOR begins garnishing paycheck. In my field I was able to find a job at 20 hrs. Majority of week is spent shuttling kids as driving them to school and back to pick up is four hours roundtrip. My salary had been enough for our household to run smoothly. Now almost a year into paying CS, our bills are getting further and further behind.

I have gone the rounds with DOR. This is where I need help because I'm not quite sure what to do now. I have been lied to by DOR so many times it's almost unreal.

Filed with them to change CS and was told I'd get a court hearing, and anything else I had could be presented to the judge. Great, so I waited. Next thing I get a letter saying CS is to be RAISED! No no no. So I go back, and ask for the person in charge of modifications, provide her all of the info above. She agreed with my calculations that CS should be zero, and tells me my hearing will be scheduled in a month. Two months later I get two letters in the mail on the same day. First letter says CS is calculated to stay the same. Second letter says this case is now closed. No hearing. So I go BACK to DOR and ask to speak to the modification specialist. I wait the hour and a half, get back to the glassed-in cubicle, and there is someone else there. I ask about the modification specialist, and she tells me that "XXXXX" does not see clients. Period, end of story I cannot see anyone else about this matter, "we're done with you", and if I want to proceed I can file in the courts on my own. I am not allowed to see what ex has entered in as his financial info on his side of the forms, and will not see them until they're put into our court file. Months later I'm still waiting for that to happen.

Ticked off, I called the complaint line for the Governor's Office, who gave me a number to call with DOR. Of course they didn't call back. It took four people being left messages before I finally got a call back. Her instructions? File for a reconsideration and refile everything I already have and hope for a better result. Some help.

Some worker in a back room calculated this, no one will let me see HOW they calculated because then they would have to show ex's financial info, and even though every time I go they tell me I can tell everything else I have to the judge (ex is working under the table for a friend, runs a business that is not registered in the state of Florida, etc etc etc.) who will make the final decision.

Does anyone have any idea what I can do shy of filing on my own? That is my ace in the hole, but if I can do this through DOR I can not have to shell out huge bucks. If I do this on my own, I'm really on my own as it'll be pro se.

There's a whole lot more to the story, but that is the crux of it. I'll be glad to embellish if it helps someone help me.

Child Support Issues / CS Question
« on: Nov 10, 2004, 03:24:50 PM »
CS question in Florida folks. . . maybe someone here can answer a question for me?

Here's the deal:

Ex and I settled in court prior to the judge hearing our case and making a ruling. I agreed to pay CS and ex agreed to a joint schedule.

Court case was July 15. Judge wrote out what the two of us had agreed upon, and ordered the lawyers to both write up and present this new agreement and submit it to him. Also requested ex's lawyer to file a "motion to deviate" for the CS amount being less than state guidelines.

Lawyers now claim they have been playing phone tag for the last 4 months. Neither has submitted the agreement, and ex's lawyer has not submitted motion to deviate. Meanwhile, I know my ex needs this money but as his lawyer has not filed anything (or mine to be fair), my company won't accept the garnishment without an order in place.

After calling the local clerk of courts for instructions, about 6 weeks ago I started giving my ex the monthly amount every two weeks so that when this all finally is settled I won't be in arrears. All is WELL documented. Money orders and notorized statements.

So here's my question. Let's say it's November 15 and court was July 15. I've paid him three monthly payments now. Should I now consider myself current through September 15 or October 15? Would the first payment be due July 15 or August 15? If it's August then I'm on schedule, but if it's July I'm still behind.

I've searched the SPARC site and my state's statutues and I still can't find an answer. This is really important right now as my ex's lawyer has filed to find me in contempt for non-payment!---says I haven't paid ex a dime.

I'm well documented on what I have paid, but I'd really love to be able to say that I'm current when this hearing comes up at the end of this month.

Any input? Thanks!!

Dear Socrateaser / What to do?
« on: Apr 15, 2006, 08:03:17 PM »
State of FL. Joint/joint. I am NCP mother.

Need your advice on how to handle something.

CP father and I are currently on a holding pattern with DOR. He requested assistance in receiving a few months of arrears in 2005. We had first DOR hearing two months ago, where I was asked only if I contested DOR's involvement. I said no, and now we're waiting for the hearing date to be set.

In getting my ducks in a row for the hearing, I realized that not only should I have not been paying CS during the last two years, as my overnights far exceeded what the last order stated, but CP should have actually been paying CS to me throughout the last two years.

He is seeking arrears from me of approx. $1200. My calculations show that he really owes me CS of $15,000 plus return of another $5000 that I paid him. Total amount is a little under $20,000.

In the meantime, he and I have talked on the phone. He has no idea that he possibly owes me this money. He even asked me what the hearing was all about! All he knew was that his atty wanted to go after me for contempt, and he was told by his atty that if he didn't want that he should go visit DOR.

He has no clue what can of worms he has opened with DOR. He doesn't know that they're now in our lives for the long run, nor the possible arrears he owes me. DOR gets $ for $ what they receive in CS, and I know that they will then want to go after him in light of the difference of amounts. A $20,000 fish is a lot bigger catch than a $1,200 one.

I suggested in our phone conversation that things were a little more complicated than he thought they were, and suggested that he and I meet for lunch to discuss matters. As of yet he has not taken me up on this offer.

I REALLY want this to go away. I don't want this money. I just want our kids to stay on the schedule that they've been on for the last two years with no CS payments either way.

My fear is that if I tell him that due to his lawyer:
1) Not taking into consideration summers and holidays split, and
2) Not taking into consideration the amount that I pay to cover our children's insurance,
that he will suddenly pull visitation time and go with what the original order said, which is a far cry from what we've been doing.

I am starting to really feel sorry for him. I know that if a ruling goes in my favor it will mean that he will lose his (our kids too) house, and that his wife will leave him. I also know that if I tell him this prior to the hearing that he will run to his lawyer. His lawyer will probably tell him to pull any visitation time that is not in the order. This is what his atty did last time, and the kids ended up only seeing me EOW.

If I suggest mediation he's gonna want to know exactly why. I could tape a conversation if I could get him to meet me, but it won't guarantee that he won't pull visitation again.

I am currently pro se. According to DOR's own website, they're supposed to provide assistance to CP's as well as NCP's, but I've talking to everyone there I can get in touch with, and I've been told that they won't represent both parents at the same time. They suggested the county assistance program but they won't handle CS issues. There is a family law assistance program, but I make over the amount with our household income, even though my individual income is the only one considered in CS calculations.


Do you have any suggestions on how to try to fix this prior to the DOR hearing without risking losing visitation?

Thanks as always,

Dear Socrateaser / FL DOR Question
« on: Feb 15, 2006, 10:18:13 AM »
State of Florida. I am NCP mother, ex is CP.

I know that you can't remember each post, but I can't find my previous post in order to update. I'll try not to be too wordy in case you do remember snippets.

I am in arrears for a few months in 2005. Ex went to DOR and they have filed a "Motion to Intervene". I took your advice and adopted the attitude that it would be more troublesome and costly to fight the intervention than it would be to just let it happen.

Local legal counsel did not at all appreciate this.

My (now ex) attorney got extremely ticked off at me about not fighting intervention. He was my atty for the previous go-round. We had a brief phone conversation in which he then said, "I'll call you right back". That was weeks ago.

Interview with possible new atty. "We must fight this. I'll be there for you for the DOR hearing and then we'll go from there. BTW, that'll be $2000 for the hearing, and then we'll go from there".

Can't afford it. So, I'm going into this hearing on my own.

Since the start of this DOR motion,  I've figured out that my ex, under the CS guidelines, will owe me child support. The visitation amounts are over the 40% line that changes the formula for calculations.

Only problem is, I'm afraid that ex will suddenly want to go by the visitation in the last order, even though it hasn't been followed for well over a year now. I don't even want or require the CS from him---I just would like the leverage so I can maybe talk him into true joint with no primary, split IRS deductions and living the next 8 years with no CS either way.

It seems like I should actually WANT the Motion to go through, because as soon as it does DOR will be required to assist me in modifying the CS amount.

I have no idea what's going to happen in the hearing, and the local CS office couldn't help. I tried calling and asking them but they were unable to answer.

I'm thinking that at some point in this hearing, since I was served papers, that they're at least going to ask me if I object to intervention.

Ideally, I would like to ask if I can read a short letter. There will be a transciptionist there, and I feel like it would be a good idea to have it in a court transcript that I fear that the ex will deny me the status quo parenting time as soon as he knows that I will be seeking a modification of the CS amount.


1) Should I just not say anything at the DOR hearing, or should I mention that I am concerned that ex will revert back to the schedule of the settlement agreement?

2) If my ex doesn't like where things are leading, can he ask DOR to drop the Motion?

3) Do you have any ideas of what the basic happenings of this hearing will be?

4) If the answer to question one is yes---to mention my concerns--- do you by chance have the time to read over what I have written? (I'd have to Email it to you due to the personal nature)

Thanks a million Soc,

Dear Socrateaser / DOR/CS Question
« on: Jan 26, 2006, 09:40:11 AM »
State of Florida. BM (me) is NCP, BF is CP.

Settlement agreement in 2004 with regards to CS states that BM will pay BF $XX per month. I was unable to pay in 2005 during a four month period. I should have entered a motion to modify CS amount (downgrade) but didn't.

My employer now takes $$ directly from my wages and deposits it into BF's account. Department of Revenue has never been involved with our case, as settlement agreement states $$ to come directly from employer. The settlement agreement even has BF's bank account # listed for this reason.

In late 2005 BF went to DOR and requested assistance. At this time payments were being made monthly again, although there were arrears of approx $1100. At no time did BF's attorney attempt to contact my attorney to discuss make-up payments.

My only ability to play "catch up" has been now, as my tax return has arrived. My employer is willing to let me give her this amount and have her deposit it, so that I will have a paystub that shows that this amount was paid.

DOR has now entered a "Motion to Intervene". Hearing is in February. My attorney and I both agree that the last thing needed is the monster that is DOR involved in this case.

I am now in the process of doing what I should have done last year, and filing a motion to modify CS. Overnights are so prevalent according to the settlement agreement that BF should actually be paying me CS according to statute guidlines.

In looking over the Motion to Intervene, my attorney made the comment that I would probably never be able to ask for CS from the BF. He stated that BF had asked for financial assistance from DOR, which I can hardly believe he requires. BF makes $22 an hour at his job, owns his own business on the side, owns rental property and has assets of $300k +.

I'm completely new to this whole DOR thing, so maybe I'm not understanding how it works.

We are vehemently going to try to keep DOR out of this case when we go to the hearing in February


1) Can DOR step in for a few months of arrears when it is obvious that other payments have consistently been made?

2) Does DOR help anyone, or do they have to show that they have a need for financial assistance?

3) If the answer to #2 is no, and that BF told untruths to DOR to gain assistance, could we possibly use this fraud as the reason DOR should not be allowed to intervene?

4) Would it be better to go ahead and now deposit the arrears $$ into BF's bank account, or wait until after the DOR hearing?


Dear Socrateaser / Hopefully a quick question
« on: Dec 20, 2005, 05:11:53 AM »
State of Florida.


In 2004 I took ex to court re: custody and visitation, and ex countered for CS. Prior to hearing any evidence and after a very poor mediation attempt, Judge told both parties to take a few moments and see if they could hammer out an agreement without his guidance. Quote: "I guarantee that you both will like what you work out better than what I come up with".

Agreements were made and entered into the court records. Both parents have abided by those agreements with relatively few glitches. I began paying CS, and my visitation changed from EOW to 45% of the year.

Early next year I will be taking the ex back to court re: CS. Per state guidelines, ex will now be the one to have to pay CS .

I have a few ideas in lieu of CS payments, such as tax exemptions and what our kids really want, which is having no "primary" and changing the agreement to true joint custody. It is truly not necessary for ex to pay me CS on a monthly basis, however it is causing difficulties for me to continue paying him.

I realize that this a mixing apples and oranges. I feel that the few problems that we do have, and what bothers our children, is that the playing field is not level, and if there were no primary and strictly joint we could all breathe a lot easier.

I know that we will again have to go through mediation, and I would like to offer alternatives during this mediation so that we could possibly avoid a court hearing.


1) Would suggesting a change of custody and of tax exemptions instead of receiving child support be considered a form of blackmail?

Thank you for your time Soc,

Dear Socrateaser / Child Support & Medical Insurance Question
« on: Oct 10, 2005, 10:58:24 PM »
State of Florida.

I am in the process of crunching the numbers of the child support guidelines worksheet. One of the deductions listed is for payment of insurance premiums for the children.

Florida is a state where the incomes of only the parents are considered, not the household income, for CS purposes.

In our household, my husband (the children's step-father) wholly carries their medical insurance with the company at which he is employed. It is not deducted from my income, but his.

Now, on the worksheets, one of the questions in computing CS amounts is a deduction of medical expenses and coverage for the children.


Do I claim this on my allowable deductions, even though it is my husband who actually pays through his employer?


Do neither my ex or I claim this deduction?


Dear Socrateaser / Proper Wording of Letter
« on: Aug 04, 2005, 10:21:21 AM »
State of Florida. Joint legal with father as primary.

Court order finalized April 2005 stating rotating weeks during the summer, and school schedule states certain specific days of the week. Summer schedule non-specific.

At the end of school year prior to summer, mother and father held a phone conversation to plan the summer schedule. In the interest of dovetailing the schedule that step-daughter of father has with her father, mother wrote up a schedule taking this into account. Also taken into account were that each parent would have a ten day span of vacation time. All else split close to 50/50.

Mother submitted this schedule to father. Father replied with a different calendar that was the opposite of what had been discussed during the phone conversation. Daughter age 16 balked at father's scheule, as he had given himself the majority of the summer. Mother called father and both agreed to follow the schedule that mother had written.

All was well during the summer until this week, the last prior to school beginning. Mother was to have children Thursday eve til Saturday eve in order to shop for school clothes and supplies.

Father left a message on mother's phone Monday, stating that mother would not be allowed to pick up on Thursday, that it "wouldn't be necessary", effectively denying agreed upon visitation.

Childen are upset. Mother is ticked. While one offense does not a contempt make, I would like to send him the message that, while I am not going to fight this one transgression, I WILL in the future file if he pulls this again.

I am considering writing a letter to send to my attorney (who is chronically AWOL) and to his attorney stating that I will persue legally in the future should he try this again. I have the feeling that if I hit him in the wallet on this (his atty will charge him about $100 to receive the fax, read it and call him to smack him on the hand) it will head off future events.


Is there a form letter for this? I searched the SPARC archives, and while they have a good one on intent for seeking visitation, I cannot find one for this kind of matter.

Seeing as my atty will take a week to get back to me (at least if he ever does), is it kosher to simply fax this letter to both my atty and his?


Dear Socrateaser / Glitches
« on: May 01, 2005, 03:32:44 PM »
Both parties in Florida.

Parties have been living by a stipulated agreement since July 2004.
This agreement was finally signed by the Judge and recorded into
public record April 2005 as “Amended Judgment and Order Denying Supplemental Petition to Modify Custody and Ratifying Stipulated Agreement“. Also signed at this time was the “Income Deduction

i.e.--The ink is barely dry on what it took our respective lawyers
a long time to accomplish.

In the Order concerning the Stipulated Agreement, it states:

a. The Mother will maintain health and dental insurance coverage
for the parties’ minor children so long as it is reasonably available.
The Mother shall provide insurance cards to the Father within (10) ten days of this Order.

In the Order concerning the Income Deduction Order, it states in full:

TO: Each employeer, present and former or subsequent, or any other person or agency providing income money or benefits to XXX XXXXXX , Petitioner and obligator, including any Workers Compensation Center;

YOU ARE HEREBY ORDERED pursuant to Florida law to make regular deductions from all income of (my name), Social Security No.:(my SS number) in accordance with the terms of this Order.


1. To deduct from all income due and payable to the obligor $XXX.XX per month to meet the obligor’s support obligation.

2. To promptly forward payment to (ex’s name), c/o (ex’s bank), Account number (ex’s bank account number).

3. This Order is effective immediately.

The flies in the ointment are the following:

a. I am currently working two jobs, and will be leaving the first job
I have had for several years to go to the second.

b. As part of this job change, insurance will not be “reasonable available”. The cost of "family" insurance through this small company
would equal my gross wages. It will, however, increase my annual
gross income by $4-6,000 with a potential to increase my annual gross
by $8,000 in the next few years.

c. In litigation we have a history of the fact that I did not want ex’s spouse to carry the insurance as it meant a change in health providers. However, our children can at  this time be added to MY spouse’s insurance and still keep the same providers.


1. Should I write something to state for the record that I am leaving my current job for another, so that that the Judge would not think it hinky that just as the Order is signed, I appear to “quit working’?

2. Considering that having my spouse cover the children on his insurance is not directly money out of my pocket, even though it is money from our household, can this be considered as me
maintaining health coverage?

3. Should I send my ex the insurance cards, knowing full well that this
insurance will be cancelled within the month?

4. Isn’t an Income Deduction Order made so that it goes through the state depository?

5. Have you ever heard of “direct deposit” such as this before?

6. Is this “double dipping” in that if I did have two jobs, both employers would be required by law to take the full monthly amount out of any pay received?


Dear Socrateaser / Earned Income Credit question
« on: Jan 21, 2005, 04:07:50 PM »
State of Florida

Original custody order during tax year 2004 was 50/50 custodial time with Parent A as the primary residential.


Parent A, in defiance of a court order and Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, denies Parent B visitation as outlined in Order. This denial of visitation changes schedule from 50/50 to EOW and four hours one weekday a week.

Earned Income Credit rules state:

"Your child must have lived with you in the United States for more than half of 2004 (183 days or more) or you will not be eligible to claim the credit, even if you meet all other requirements."

There is a small section pertaining to "special circumstances".

"Count time that you or your child is away from home on a temporary absence due to a special circumstance as time lived at home. Examples of a special circumstance include:
School attendance,
Detention in a juvenile facility,
Vacation, and
Military service."


1) Can denial of visitation be used as a "special circumstance" to enable Parent B to claim Earned Income Credit, which therefore gives stepfather the ability to claim Head of Household?

2) If Parent A denies Parent B's right to claim the Earned Income Credit, what recourse does Parent B have?

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