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Author Topic: Out of Norm CS Issue  (Read 6472 times)

FLMom

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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.


FLMom

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #1 on: Nov 08, 2009, 12:54:46 PM »
Oh yeah. . . thought of one more thing. The current CS order also includes ODD, who is getting ready to be 21 in a couple of weeks. DOR said the order was not a "per child" order, so that fact didn't matter to them. Just in case that matters to anyone who may answer.

ocean

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #2 on: Nov 08, 2009, 02:42:32 PM »
DOR enforces court orders and can't change an order unless it addresses it within the last court order. You need to file in court. DOR will show up along with your ex. At the hearing you will be heard and a new enforceable order will be put in place.

Even if you all agree they can't change the order. They can add money to collect on the past amount you owe since you never changed the court order. You probably will not get that money back or changed but you can change the new amount to reflect one less child and get ex's financials.

FLMom

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #3 on: Nov 08, 2009, 07:06:42 PM »
Thanks Ocean for posting. I see what you're saying, but is it maybe that here in Florida things are different than where you are? Here's what I mean. . . go to:
 
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/childsupport/modification.html
 
Both the noncustodial parent and custodial parent have the right to request a review of the support order for possible upward or downward modification. If determined appropriate, Child Support Enforcement (CSE) can initiate action to increase or decrease the support order based on Florida Child Support Guidelines.
 
I meet the guidelines for a change of the support order. It seems like once I proved my case, they quit speaking to me. I understand that I can go file an order on my own, I'm just trying first to go through all of the channels with DOR to lower the amount out of pocket that this is going to cause. According to the guidelines within the FL statutes for the amount of overnights that I have, and using an estimate of ex's income, I should be due that hearing and at the very least, a downward modification.

MomofTwo

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #4 on: Nov 08, 2009, 07:51:32 PM »
FL child support for a NCP equates to approximately 20% of your income.  It doesn't matter what his income is or the way he derives it, the formula will still equate to 20% of your income.  Additionally, since you never filed your agreement for no child support with the courts, you were building arrears that whole time.  In FL when you have arrears, they can and will take up to 65% of your net income to pay the regular support plus the arrears.  They typically will not reduce child support when there is an arrearage.  When you asked for a review, you opened the door for a possible upward modification which is apparently what happened. Your base amount may have gone down, but your overall payment went up to pay the arrears.  They probably are adding on to pay towards the arrearage.  Even if your salary reduced and you would have typically been entitled to a reduction, because you had arrears, they are making sure payment is applied toward that.  And yes, once a child is emancipated in FL, they do not reduce the amount of child support if there are other children, and especially if there is arrears.
 
 


FLMom

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #5 on: Nov 08, 2009, 09:06:15 PM »
Thanks for answering MomofTwo. Lemme see here. . ..
 
It doesn't matter what his income is or the way he derives it, the formula will still equate to 20% of your income.
 
It does matter in Florida as they take both parties wages into consideration for CS calculations. Additionally, when you have significant overnights, which at 45%, I do, the whole formula changes. It's not found on any online calculator. . . it is within the FL statutes. It takes into consideration both parent's incomes, plus any daycare, medical and additional expenses. I pay all medical (which almost equates to the monthly CS amount), and the additional expense here is transportation, which I cover almost all (95%) also.
 
In FL when you have arrears, they can and will take up to 65% of your net income to pay the regular support plus the arrears.  They typically will not reduce child support when there is an arrearage.  When you asked for a review, you opened the door for a possible upward modification which is apparently what happened. Your base amount may have gone down, but your overall payment went up to pay the arrears.  They probably are adding on to pay towards the arrearage.
 
That's not what happened if you'll re-read the original post. I know all about arrears and that isn't my issue. I asked for a modification. CS amount was raised. I went back and showed minimal evidence that CS should be zeroed/lowered, and was told I'd be able to show more evidence at my hearing. This is the fictional hearing that I was never given. They then said "no change" and closed out the case. Nothing in this has anything to do with arrears. . . ex hasn't even brought that to the table.
 
And yes, once a child is emancipated in FL, they do not reduce the amount of child support if there are other children, and especially if there is arrears.
 
Unless you know to specifically ask for a "per child" order, which at the time I didn't. But once again, arrears are not on the table.
 
What I'm trying to get to here is if anyone has been through dealing with a department of revenue in their state, how they presented their evidence, and how they were able to get a hearing. Is there a specific thing I need to file through DOR? "Request for Hearing". . . that kind of thing.

 
 

MomofTwo

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #6 on: Nov 09, 2009, 07:26:47 AM »
Hi FL Mom,
 You are right about taking both parties salaries into consideration, but it still equates to about 20% of your income, however, you are absolutely right that anything over 40% of overnights should be taken into consideration and factored in as well as the fact you are responsible for 100% of non paid medical.  FL DOR is the worst.  I would suggest you file yourself with the courts for a hearing for a downward modification but I also know that when DOR is involved (because I went through it too) that the hearing would not be scheduled since the case was considered DOR's and they had not initiated the filing, I did (out of complete frustration).  Seems FL DOR gets it wrong on both sides, I am the CP and my ex is 33k in arrears and they have done nothing, but I know NCPs that get put through the ringer and they were paying.  No rhyme or reason when dealing with them.  I did what you did and contacted the governor's office, who like you, did nothing at all to assist.  I know it's not much help, but I would call and be the squeaky wheel....ask for a supervisor and keep calling till you get someone with some knowledge.  If all else fails, file yourself for a downward modification directly with the courts.  At least someone will have to acknowledge you then.   I am sure you are familiar, but here is the FL court form for downward modification that should be used.  http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/forms_rules/905b.pdf.  You have to include your financial affadavit or they won't even consider it.   Also, be sure to spell out your current income is not reflective to the amount being paid, that you do have 45% of overnights....and include that you are responsible for 100% of medical, all of the reasons you know your amount should be deviated from the standard that was not included.  Be the squeaky wheel! Good Luck, I know it's VERY frustrating.

Giggles

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #7 on: Nov 09, 2009, 09:03:40 AM »
Momof2 is right FL DOR has got to be the most incompetent of all CSE's!!
 
My DH has his CS taken directly from his check, has never missed a payment and has NO arrears...yet was hauled into a FL court for "Failure to pay support"..WTF??????
 
When he got before the judge, the judge read the paper work and with a confused look on his face said "You're here for failure to pay...but I see you have been paying and have no arrears....what do you have to say"....before my husband had a chance to even take a breath the judge said "No...don't say anything, you won".  BUT....My DH still had to pay court costs!!!
 
FL DOR is a SCAM!!!
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

FLMom

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #8 on: Nov 09, 2009, 11:59:27 AM »
Hey again MomofTwo,

That's it! I'm giddy that someone else gets it. Sounds like you've been through JUST what I've been through, but on the other end. You've answered quite a bit of what I need to know. . . that I'm not the only one DOR has done this to, and how you went about dealing with them. It seems so simple on what they're supposed to do. . .  I just never counted on it being all cloak and dagger with them. I'm sorry that your ex is a tool.

I've been on SPARC for a while, so I know to document big time. I've got everything together, I just didn't want to go down the road of filing myself. Looks like I'm going to have to.



Giggles,

You are SOO right about FL-DOR being incompetent. I've got your $90 beat though. My office manager, who handles the garnishment, was off for a few days extra due to a death in the family. She mailed in my CS about three days later than usual. I got a letter not too long later from DOR for driver's license suspension, although the money had been paid! CSE office said they couldn't change anything, to go down to the courthouse. Courthouse says "Why did they send you here?. . . . we just have the records." Back to work for ALL paperwork, back to CSE office to a different person who finally realized what happened and canceled the driver's license suspension.

However. . . . .

Because of that error, that no one can seem to fix, my car insurance sayss that I have a suspension order that was at one time pending. Even though it was DOR's error (the payment was actually a MONTH early due to my employer paying ahead for me),  DOR won't clear their records. Because of that, my car insurance is $40 more per month, every month, than it should be.

They got your hubby on a one time sting---I get kicked every month. Maybe your husband won't feel so ticked now, lol.

Davy

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Re: Out of Norm CS Issue
« Reply #9 on: Nov 09, 2009, 12:14:51 PM »
FLmom.... IMHO your best effort is to file pro se in court and do so with the confidence you will prevail.  You, better than anyone else, are most familiar with the issues of your case and you are capable of researching the relevant statues as well as organizing your case for presentation.

Generally speaking, calling a government agency for resolution is a frustrating waste of time.  It is best that I suspend further comment.

 

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