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Messages - Brent

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Teenager's support raised to $8,000

Father appeals $220,000 lump sum, files to stay retroactive support due on Jan. 15
Maurice Bridge  
Vancouver Sun
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
VANCOUVER - A 14-year-old Vancouver girl and her mother have been awarded monthly child support of $8,000 and a lump-sum payment of more than $220,000 following a drawn-out fight in B.C. Supreme Court.

The payment was ordered by Justice Donna Martinson, who determined that the father's monthly child-support payments, which total $5,212 a month, have been too low for several years, given his current million-dollar annual income and his ex-wife's lower standard of living.

The $8,000 is believed to be one of the highest monthly child-support payments in B.C. The judge, however, spared the father from paying the full amount allowed by the Canadian child-support guidelines, which would be more than $11,700 a month for a person of his income.

In the decision handed down Dec. 15, the judge ordered the increased support payments to cover, among other things, a country-club membership and holidays abroad for the child and her mother.

The girl is already attending "an expensive private school," according to the judgment, and living on a monthly household budget of more than $10,000, which covers herself, a stepsister, her mother and her mother's husband.

But it could be awhile before mother and daughter see any of the lump sum payment. The father has appealed that payment to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Because filing an appeal does not automatically put the lump-sum payment on hold, the father has also filed a stay application on the retroactive support payment due on Jan. 15.

The appeal does not address the amount of the monthly child support. Neither the father nor his Vancouver lawyer, Bob Brajovic, would comment on the case.

Following standard practice, the court does not reveal names or other identifying details of the parties. However, the judgment makes it clear the father lives in the United States, where the parents married, lived and were ultimately divorced.

The case, which took 12 days to hear between March and September, involves complicated interpretations of how a seven-year-old U.S. divorce settlement applies in this province.

The 1996 U.S. child-support order directed the father, who then earned about $200,000 Cdn a year, to pay $3,900 Cdn a month in support, which he has done since then. Additional expenses such as school fees and orthodontics bring the total to more than $5,000 a month.

Since then, the father's income has risen, and in 1999 it reached a high of more than $1.7 million US. At the time, he was a partner with a large international firm, whose nature is not specified in the court document.

He is now a salaried employee of the firm, with no opportunity for profit-sharing, and his annual income is $1,003,505 Cdn.

The court document reflects a bitter dispute, even though in a previous B.C. Supreme Court action concerning access, "the court specifically found that the mother and father are loving, caring and capable parents."

The latest judgment notes that during the access fight, the father successfully applied to have the mother found in contempt of access orders on two occasions.

The two remain substantially at odds in their views of the current situation. The father told the court:

"I believe the amount of child support should reflect what [the child's] needs are to live a comfortable life that is consistent with (a) how we lived before the divorce, (b) how I live now with my wife and my other two children.

"It has been six-and-a-half years since the divorce and [the child] has a well-established lifestyle, which is very similar to the way I live. My current child support payments, even by [the mother's] own budget, exceed [the child's] needs as established over the last more than six years.

"More importantly, this is a matter of the values with which I want [the child] to be raised.  This is the same for how I want my other two children to be raised. I do not want [the child] to grow up with an inappropriate sense of entitlement."

The mother maintains her child does not live as well as her former husband's other two children from his subsequent marriage.

"[The child's] lifestyle should be similar to that of his children. They have a full-time maid available to them, they live in a house that is worth over $1,000,000, and these children want for nothing.

"[The child] resides with me in a house in [British Columbia] that is substantially encumbered and is approximately a one-hour drive to and from her school.  His children go on vacations to such places as [countries named] and on the Disney cruise; they have that advantage of a full-time mother and a housekeeper.

"Their family stays at the best hotels. In contrast, our only form of vacation is camping as a family because it is the cheapest way to spend a vacation; I must work outside the home to help make ends meet and we have no housekeeper.

"The respondent and his family go to professional sports games [baseball and basketball] and to the concert. [The child] does not attend any of these activities here."

The court found the mother's new husband makes about $82,000 a year, while her annual income here has never exceeded $7,000. However, she holds a master's of business administration degree, and the court found she is under-employed, so it imputed an annual income of $30,000 to her for the purposes of calculating support.

The court rejected a request from the father that trust conditions be imposed on any payment, saying there is "no indication whatsoever that the mother has inappropriately spent money on this child."

In 2002, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld a decision ordering a West Vancouver doctor who was earning more than $1 million a year to pay monthly child support of $12,360 to his ex-wife for his two teenage children.


Okay, first of all, a couple of suggestions:

1) Don't type IN ALL CAPS. IT'S VERY HARD TO READ.  Please use upper- and lower-case in your posts, or people may not read it.

2) Please break your post up into paragraphs. A giant block of text is difficult to read, and most people will simply skip over it and won't bother to read it. You want a response, so you want people to read it.

As far as her seeking a lower-paying job to reduce her support payments, it almost never works for fathers who try to do this. The judge usually tells them they're intentionally "under-employed, and leaves the CS payment the same.

This may work when mom tries it, however, as judges often go easier on them. Sorry, but it's the truth. If you're lucky and the judge is fair, he will not lower her CS payment, he will impute her income at the previous level regardless of her current income.

Also, do a search on this site for 'child support'. You can double-click this word to do a search: support

ACLU says alleged ‘‘deadbeat dads’’ jailed without due process

    EAGLEVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Ninety men serving time in a county prison for failing to pay child support were denied their due process rights, the American Civil Liberties Union contends.

    Thirty of the men were released from the Montgomery County Correctional Facility on Wednesday, officials said. The other 60 inmates were being interviewed by county officials and others, and they could be freed within days, said the county’s president judge, S. Gerald Corso.

    Pennsylvania ACLU staff lawyer Malia Brink said that county courts throughout the state often jail such men, often referred to as deadbeat dads, for civil contempt without adequate notice or enough time for them to get lawyers.

    Typically, the men meet with domestic relations officials, are declared in arrears, and are quickly brought before a judge. The judge usually finds them in contempt of a court order to pay and jails them for about six months.

    Corso has ordered a review of court procedures for all those incarcerated for failing to pay support. Among the changes already implemented: Contempt hearings will be scheduled two weeks after enforcement conferences, and defendants will be advised throughout the process of their right to an attorney.

    ‘‘The ACLU thinks everyone facing prison should have counsel,’’ Corso said. ‘‘We do not disagree with that.’’

    Amid similar criticism from ACLU attorneys last year in western Pennsylvania, Westmoreland County judges agreed to provide court-appointed attorneys in child support cases and Lawrence County judges freed 37 inmates jailed for nonsupport.

    ‘‘The ACLU hopes that the president judges of counties throughout Pennsylvania will respond to the ACLU’s request with the same dispatch and sense of justice that Montgomery County showed,’’ Brink said in a prepared statement. ‘‘But we’re realistic and realize that we may have to file suit against one or more counties who refuse the request.’’

    Of the 90 child-support inmates, those on work-release were freed after agreeing to have the money they owe deducted from their wages. A second group was told they could leave the prison if they got jobs and agreed to return next month for hearings.

    The third group, which Corso called ‘‘chronic offenders who have had three bench warrants issued against them in the last few years’’ for failure to appear, will go before judges to see how their cases should proceed.


Child Support Issues / Child support burdened by the new system
« on: Dec 07, 2003, 11:45:46 AM »
Child support burdened by the new system
Rush to meet deadline leads to mass confusion

By Adam Emerson
Lansing State Journal

A $459 million computer system meant to make life easier for families paying and receiving child support is so riddled with problems it could be years before it works effectively, child-support leaders say.

In some cases, parents who pay support are getting notices that they're not.

Money isn't reaching the families who need it.

And an already big bureaucracy inside county court offices has grown statewide, making answers hard to find, families say.

Even state leaders concede Michigan's Child Support Enforcement System was rushed to completion. But they were facing $147 million in federal fines that would have jumped by $60 million if they didn't get all 83 counties on the same system by Sept. 30.

It's that race that created a high-maintenance system with problems that will take months to fix, officials say.

"It's hard to see any discernible progress," said Jeff Albaugh, president of Michigan's Friend of the Court Association.

"Clients will see some improvements at mid- to late next year. But it'll take three to five years before we see huge, material, obvious results."

Marilyn Stephen, director of the state Office of Child Support, acknowledges the problems the state is scrambling to correct - and will spend millions more in the next three years to do so.

The system processes $30 million in child-support payments weekly, but in a number of cases it fails to process them correctly.

Every two weeks, Bruce Chandler of Munith pays toward his $4,000 child-support arrearage. The state processes the money and then, because of a computer glitch, sends it back to him. So the Ingham County Friend of the Court, seeing the money didn't reach its destination, warned him he was behind in his obligation.

Chandler said when he contacted his caseworker to complain, "She knew when I called that I was just the next one in line."

At a time when local officials are stepping up child-support enforcement, the new system is leading Chandler and thousands like him to ask questions. Here are some of the answers.

Why the need for a statewide enforcement system? What is happening in other states?

The 1996 federal welfare-reform law, noting that child support was processed in a splintered way by local governments, required each state to create a central office to process support by 1999. Nearly all of the states, facing multi-million-dollar penalties if they missed the deadline, rushed to finish their plans.

Most experienced problems like Michigan's. Thousands of checks were delayed in Nevada. North Carolina made $5 million in emergency payments to frustrated families. In Ohio, among the latest to make the switch, critics say the system has delayed checks, sent the wrong amounts or sent money to the wrong people.

Stephen, a former Jackson County prosecutor who joined the Office of Child Support last year, said Michigan was faced with an "impossible task."

"The nearest a state that I know has completed a system was in five years," Stephen said. "It was done in Michigan in 2 1/2 years."

Critics of the rushed implementation point out that the deadline had loomed since 1996.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees states' child-support enforcement, certified Michigan's system last month. It was one of the last states to comply. With that certification, Michigan will get back $35 million of the $68 million in fines it's already paid.

Now the state must show the federal government the system works effectively every year, or it could face penalties, such as a reduction in federal funding.

What is this system supposed to do? What are the problems?

The system is meant to streamline child-support payments and enforcement under a state umbrella. County Friends of the Court had been the traditional overseers of the operation.

With $7 billion in child-support owed in Michigan, the state promised the system would automate actions against parents who don't pay. It would be easier to issue bench warrants, seize taxes and yank licenses from deadbeats.

But what resulted when Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties switched to the system in June was frustration for many.

For instance, the system misread about 3,000 of 21,000 addresses in Ingham County, delaying checks and court notices. Elsewhere, tax returns seized from deadbeats were sent back to them.

Of the 800,000 child-support cases in the state, 250,000 clients call the state hot-line each week, Stephen said. Some just want to inquire about payments. But more than 15,000 clients call the Friends of the Court.

Counties can do little to help them, Friends of the Court say. After the computer conversion in Ing-ham, calls to caseworkers tripled at the same time their ability to resolve problems and release money ended.

"Every time there's a problem, I have to beg someone at the state to make a change," said Donald Reisig, Ingham County's Friend of the Court.

When will people start to see the system's benefits?

Stephen predicts that Friends of the Court and families will see more benefits in a year.

But Albaugh, the state's Friend of the Court Association president and Calhoun County Friend of the Court, isn't convinced.

He said while problems are fixed monthly, new ones continually surface.

Karen Murton, 40, of DeWitt Township only recently received two checks the state cashed on Oct. 14 and Oct. 22. Her ex-husband has been sending $250 checks to the Lansing disbursement unit every week. But they weren't reaching Murton and her two children, ages 9 and 7, who had been receiving support under the previous county system.

Murton finally got the checks - money she relies on monthly - after Clinton County Friend of Court pushed the state to act.

"People receiving support are having their telephones shut off, their electricity shut off," she said. "These are single parents - male and female. This has caused a lot of problems."

One of the worst problems, court workers say, involves those who are paying off an arrearage, as ordered by a judge.

After the state switch over, the computer didn't recognize the payment arrangements parents had made with county judges. It saw only arrearages. Some people were threatened with having their driver's licenses revoked or their debt reported to a credit bureau.

Stephen said it could be months before that problem is corrected.

When will the problems be fixed? And whose job is it to fix these problems?

Fixes have been made monthly for some problems - such as the garbled addresses. But after this week, no more will be made until May.

That's because the state has hired Bermuda-based Accenture to fix and maintain the system installed by another vendor.

Denver-based Policy Studies Inc., which state leaders say performed an "impossible task" in installing and launching the system by Sept. 30, lost the bid to maintain its own software.

Accenture has to learn the system before it can begin repairing and upgrading it. So only "emergency fixes" will be made before May, said James Fricke, the state's director of the system.

The move to Accenture is not a knock against Policy Studies Inc., Stephen said. The state wanted to go with a "better value" and Accenture will better perform long-term enhancements to the software, she said.

Controversy swirled in 2000 when the state canceled its bidding process on the statewide computer system and issued a no-bid, multimillion-dollar contract to Policy Studies. The firm was uniquely qualified to complete the task on a tight deadline, state leaders said.

Policy Studies proposed building a statewide system by adapting one used in Wayne County, and it had developed a precursor to the current system.

Policy Studies' contract with Michigan ends Dec. 31. This time, the state wanted "a level playing field" in bidding out the project, Stephen said.

How much will this cost taxpayers?

Accenture secured a three-year, $44 million contract for basic maintenance to the system. Enhancements to the system will cost the state an additional $7 million to $10 million each year for the next three years.

Local officials question hiring Accenture to maintain a system it didn't put in place.

"What you need on a system like this is stability," said Barbara Hamm, head of the family division of the Ing-ham County Prosecutor's Office, which establishes the initial child-support order. "It's got to be reliable. Right now, it isn't.

"It's affecting people.

"It shouldn't be this difficult."

Contact staff writer John Schneider for matters related to child-suppport enforcement.

He can be reached at 377-1175 or jschneid@lsj.com.


Child Support Issues / RE: How long does it take..........
« on: Dec 06, 2003, 11:49:28 AM »
> How long does it take for a child support reduction to go through?

Ther's no set time. It could be a week, it could be a month, it could be 3 months.

Normally the reduction starts from the day the motion was filed.

Moms Without Custody / RE: Is this a
« on: Sep 10, 2004, 03:22:17 PM »
>I thought this was the "Shared Parenting Access and Resource
>Center".  I don't see "support" in there anywhere.  Only
>Access and Resource, both of which I provide.

Yes, this is a "support board, even though it's not in the name. There are a lot of things SPARC does that didn't make it into the name. :)

Moms Without Custody / Welcome aboard!
« on: Jul 15, 2004, 06:25:40 PM »
Glad to see you here- I'm sure this will be of great benefit for NCPs moms and dads alike.

Shrink Rap / RE: Rorschach
« on: Sep 02, 2005, 01:21:37 PM »
>Is there any psychologist who can tell that these informations
>are correct?

No, that's one of the great things about the Rorschach- no one can really say what if anything the responses "mean".

>Can I be sure, that I have any advantage by using this
>information or might I see disadvantages? How far could this

It is worthless and should never be used in the context of a custody or divorce action. It's meaningless. If you've seen and read the page then you are no longer a candidate to take the Rorschach because you've been exposed to it in a non-clinical environment.

>Do the authors want me to lie to the shrink (etc)?

NO!!!!!!!!!!!! Read the page fer chrisakes!!! Are you daft?? NO, the page IS NOT about lying to anyone for anything.

> Or what
>else is that page good for? How can I be sure to lie in the
>right direction, so these lies help me?

DON'T LIE. The whole point of the page is to be able to familiarize yourself with the test at which point no reputable clinician would administer it to you. The page is a way of NOT taking the test. Again, read the page. All of it.

>What does a Rorschach of someone normal look like?

No one knows; there does not appear to be such a thing.

>Why is it better to use that homepage than to read the
>original books by Rorschach or Exner?

I don't recall anyone saying it was.

>Has anybody had bad experiences with the Rorschach (wrong
>psychiatric or psychological treatment, been sentenced though
>not guilty, lost her or his child etc)?

Lots and lots of people, although it has fallen out of favor in recent years.

>Who are the authors of these informations? Are they Rorschach
>experts? Can I trust them? Why?

1) I don't know.
2) I don't know.
3) I don't know.

Shrink Rap / RE: Time Tracker Question
« on: Jul 22, 2004, 01:32:18 PM »
>Would like to email calendar (only one month, not entire time
>tracker) to ex.   Can't seem to save that "picture" of
>calendar month as file for email, forced to save the entire
>time tracker.  Any help would be most appreciated.  Thx

From what I understand, since the Tracker at Parentingtime.net  became available, the PTT isn't really supported much anymore. I know it's still available for download but I don't believe there's any active development or support for the PTT any more.

With that said, you may be able to copy just that sheet out and send it as an attachment. If not, I'm unsure what to suggest. Make sure whoever you send the sheet to has Excel or they won't be able to open it.

>I'm wondering if there's a general reason why a 730
>evaluator would be doing this... and I'm hoping that
>the only reasonable explanation means good things for
>me. Could it mean anything BAD against me?

It very well could mean the worst, that the evaluator has "bought" your ex's story and is now discounting you. I strongly urge you to read this:

Overturning Parenting Evaluations


"If you think that the evaluator is biased or is conducting the evaluation improperly, notify your attorney immediately. Report any unethical, improper, or biased behavior BEFORE the evaluator's report is writen and the custody recommendation is made."

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