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Author Topic: Child Support Woes  (Read 6443 times)

JVondrak76

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Child Support Woes
« on: Aug 25, 2006, 03:14:34 PM »
Hi everyone, I am new to the forum.  And I desperately need advice.  My husband was married previously, and has two children, ages 9 and 7.  His ex-wife was a legal secretary, and her boss did her divorce work for free.  My husband was in school and not working at the time of the divorce, so he couldn’t afford his own attorney.  There was no distribution of marital debt – he got stuck with over $100,000 in debt she helped him accrue, and he got stuck paying $502.40 per month in support.  Her attorney based it off of my husband’s last job before he started school, telling him that if he claimed no income, the judge wouldn’t let him see his kids.  

His ex got remarried two months after their divorce was final, and was already pregnant again.  As soon as their divorce was final, she quit her job and hasn’t worked since – that was six years ago.  We have gone through every legal battle imaginable with her, including custody disputes because she refused to let us have visitation.  She has five kids total now, and stays at home, even though 4 of 5 kids are in school all day.  

She is now claiming financial hardship, even though she gets support from us, and her husband makes more than mine does, but she still refuses to get a job.  This is a woman who just went on a week long trip to Mexico.  My husband and I both work full-time jobs, and we have a 16 month old daughter that we have to send to daycare full-time, which is not cheap.  

We received paperwork from the child support recovery unit two days ago stating that his ex is seeking an administrative review and adjustment.  Because she has no income, my husband pays her 35.7% of his net income.  I did the child support estimator online, and I show that his support is going to go from $502.40 per month to $872.00 per month.  This is going to kill us financially.  We are already in the process of selling our house because our ARM interest rate just went up 3% and we can’t afford the payments.  We can’t refinance because my husband had to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy last summer to get rid of all the debt his ex left him with, so his credit is bad.  We are going to end up renting an apartment now.  

I contacted a lawyer and asked if we should contest the child support findings and request a hearing, but was told it won’t do us any good.  Judges always go off the numbers pursuant to the guidelines, even though we will be living in poverty.  So, his ex can sit at home all day and not work, but we have to bust our butts to pay her more money, and our little girl is going to suffer now?  No one cares that we can’t adequately support our child because his ex refuses to get a job and help support her own children!   I can’t find anyone to help us!  This can’t be right!


williaer

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RE: Child Support Woes
« Reply #1 on: Aug 25, 2006, 07:11:53 PM »
I would say there has been no change in circumstances tha would warrant a review of the child support. Is there no guidline for it. Did you take the federal tax deduction for your child, that will adjust his income downward some- making the total income less.

this really sucks and I would say, if you can find any way to swing it- get an attorney. We went through something similar with my Dh's ex and my parents helped us to get an attorney and we ended up getting the child support cut in half and the right to claim her as a tax deduction. It can happen- it just takes perserverance.

Are the kids in any kind of child care? If not then what would be the grounds for her getting more money?

GOOD LUCK!

JVondrak76

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RE: Child Support Woes
« Reply #2 on: Aug 26, 2006, 12:13:23 PM »
We do claim one of the kids as a tax deduction.  We are in Iowa, and the guidelines here are so bizarre.  The X stays home all day, so no need for any child care.  4 of the 5 kids are in school all day, the youngest will be 5 in November.  In Iowa, for an administrative review and adjustment, you don't have to have a substantial change in circumstances.  A review and adjustment can be requested every two years, and if my husband has had a 20% increase in his gross wages, the support will be increased.  That works out to about $5k in wage increases in 2 years, which he has had.  So because she has zero income, my husband has to give her over 35% of his net wages in support, even though the x's husband makes more than my husband!  I have contacted 2 lawyers, and both told me we are basically "screwed" - the judge won't deviate from the guidelines unless one of us has major medical issues.  So, the X gets to stay home and do nothing all day (she's not much of a domestic goddess) while the kids are in school, while my husband and I break our backs to make sure she gets another new suburban to drive, and gets to take nice trips to Mexico.  It's just not right, and I can't find anyone to help us try to make the support payments equitable.  

step_momma_2boys

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RE: Child Support Woes
« Reply #3 on: Aug 27, 2006, 10:38:21 PM »
Does the state not compute her wages at minimum wage for 40 hrs a week?  Even if she doesn't work, I thought CS was based on both parents contributing to the child.  In our state, even if a parent just stays at home, their wages would be set at minimum wage at 40 hrs a week.  In our state, it is assumed, given there are not medical reasons a parent cannot work, that each parent can work at least 40 hrs a week.  I would press for that at the very least, or try to have her wages for what she was doing (legal secretary) computed for what the average person in that field makes an hour in your area.  I would do some checking into that if I were you.

We almost had to go through a review in which the BM was going to start.  She had voluntarily left her job and was telling me how she was going to ask for a CS review.  I told her to go ahead because I had already checked it out and because she VOLUNTARILY left her job, we would push to have her wages computed for the going rate in her area.  That would have amounted to $1.50 more an hour than what she was making when she left her job.  She, of course, didn't believe me and I told her to contact their case worker, since she is the one who told me how much they could compute BM's wages at.  Well...... that review never came forward.  BM must have checked to see if I was telling the truth and I was, of course.  She ended up going back to work since she found out she wouldn't be able to sit at home and live off of us!  LOL

reagantrooper

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RE: Child Support Woes
« Reply #4 on: Aug 28, 2006, 06:32:38 AM »
Welcome to my world!! The world of involentary servitude. Work work work to hand out all that free money afterall she needs her BON BONS!
Sorry no advice except to just keep plugging away!


Giggles

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Wait...m
« Reply #5 on: Aug 28, 2006, 07:12:58 AM »
Was the BM working prior to the divorce?  Can't your DH get her income "imputed"?  I think you can get an income inputed....also, you may get credit for your additional child?
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

Skippy89

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RE: Child Support Woes
« Reply #6 on: Aug 28, 2006, 05:47:23 PM »
Child Support should calculate her income as "potential income" based on her previous work.  At the very least they should calculate it at minimim wage.  Most states will not look at spouses income as they are not financially responsible for children that are not theirs.

I would file an answer with the courts once you are served with the complaint.  You have every right to have your side of the story heard.

If you have custody in your order I would file contempt against the mother for not letting you see the children.  

JVondrak76

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RE: Child Support Woes
« Reply #7 on: Aug 28, 2006, 08:04:48 PM »
I cannot find an attorney to agree to impute her potential income based on her previous work.  I know they won't look at her husband's income - but they look at mine!  I don't think my income should be considered since the children are not mine either.  But, CSRU claims they must look at my income to "get a better picture of how much my husband can contribute."  It's totally biased towards the custodial parent, even though she has more money and resources than we do.  

We are going to contest the order and request a hearing, but I'm not very optimistic that a judge will deviate from the guidelines.  Not much history of it unless there are extenuating circumstances - such as large amounts of medical bills.  We'll see what happens.

IceMountain

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RE: Iowa child support
« Reply #8 on: Aug 29, 2006, 09:15:31 AM »
This is what CSRU told me:

They cannot impute the CP's earning potential, only a judge can do that, so if you want her earning potential entered you will have to appeal it and go to court.

Go to Iowa Workforce Development website.  Find out what the median wage is for a legal secretary (that is what she did, correct?) in your area of the state.  Print off what it says and take it to court.  You can use the figure to prove what her earning potential is.  (If you need help with the search, let me know)

Like I said, CSRU will not impute this number for you, you must go to court to get it done!  Also, don't forget the deductions for uncovered medical ($25.00 a month - my lawyer says everyone gets it) and health insurance (whether paid by your husband or you).

As far as them looking at your income, again according to CSRU, they don't use it to determine the child support amount, but to get a better financial picture in the home.  The actual child support worksheet will include only your husband's income and his ex's income.  Now, if you were loaded with $$$ there is no doubt in my mind they would look at household income to determine child support, but by reading your posts I can see that you aren't sitting on a pot of gold so there is no need to worry about providing your income.  (but I agree it's a crock!)

Make sure when you go to court you have child support guideline worksheets filled out that show her earning potential.  

One more thing, imputing her earning potential will also help lessen your husband's share of the uncovered medical.  (my husband's is 100% responsible for uncovered medical because the ex had negative income after the deduction for her other child.  When the court reviewed support in March (private action) they found no need for an adjustment so even though we had her earning capacity entered, the order didnt' change so he is still 100% responsible for uncovered medical.)

JVondrak76

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RE: Iowa child support
« Reply #9 on: Aug 29, 2006, 11:28:27 AM »
This was very helpful - thank you!  You have an Iowa child support case also?  I looked up the median income for a legal secretary on the IWD website - I can't believe it!  It says the median income in our region (12) is $13.36 an hour!  That is huge for us!  I did the support estimator online again, and it brought the support down to $786.00 from $872.00.  We do claim the $25 in medical expenses.  Can we claim our health insurance premium if it is just myself, my husband, and our daughter?  His X opted to have her husband carry the insurance on the 2 kids in question because she doesn't want to have to carry around 2 sets of insurance cards.  So - I bet only she can claim the insurance premiums.  But still - if we can get the judge to impute her wages based on the median wage for legal secretaries, that would be so great.  Was it hard for you to convince the judge to do it for you?

 

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