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Author Topic: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused  (Read 8629 times)

shuckybucky

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In 2006 I went to mediation and came out with an order to receive child support and medical support. The Texas attorney general has not taken the correct amount since then. They have shorted me ( $105.00/mo X 8 years). I remember calling about this in 2009 but the person I got was hateful and of course I didn't know what I was talking about. I recently filed for a review (around September 2013) and a formal complaint about the CS never getting fixed. The AG set a hearing on April 4,2014 and notified the ex of the over $10,000.00 arrears. She was given a continuance and we have a new hearing June 4,2014. As of April 10 the AG quit dispersing my child support. Now they claim until the hearing they can't release the payments and they have to have a hearing to fix the wage withholding to the correct amount. I used the AG because I don't have money for a lawyer and really don't feel I should have to pay for one. I paid one the first time around and they haven't followed the judges orders.
I'm so confused!
Is this normal behavior for them? What are the chances they are playing games and my child is going to lose all that support (since it's their error)? I spoke with my attorney who knows my son is special needs and he said representing me in the hearing is best but I can go to the hearing and see what they do. If it's not what I think is fair come to him immediately and we can file an appeal.


ocean

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 02:36:16 PM »
Little confused...(but I am from a different state).

2006- You got a court order stating xx in child support then you never were paid the correct amount since then?

Do you have child support offices in your state? Here, we would go to the child support office and give them a copy of the judges order to enforce. Not sure how they arrived at a different amount to pay you UNLESS you/child received state benefits during this time. If you/child received state medical or money (rent/food card) benefits then your child support would be reduced to help pay the state back.

Also, you child should be receiving SSDI (social security disability benefits) if child is disabled under federal guidelines. This does not reduce the amount of child support.

You can always file for child support enforcement in the family court near you for free or small filing fee yourself.

If you have court orders and it was the state who messed up, you will be owed the money. You can make a deal with ex to pay off that amount or let the state handle the amount to pay each month until the arrears is paid off.

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 09:38:07 PM »
Yes in 2006 I got an order for $530.00/mo;however, the attorney general (AG) has only taken $425.00/mo since then. Since my child is 16 I decided I better formally file a complaint (they ignored my previous calls about it) and the AG office called me back and after months said yes they made a mistake but claim they can't just change the wage withholding (even though I have a court order) and since we have to go to court I should have child support and medical support reviewed. I agreed and in April the AG had a hearing but that was the first time they told the NCP that the wrong amount has been garnished so naturally the NCP asked for a continuance and they reset it for June 4. Since that court date I haven't received any support so today I looked online and saw that they are receiving payments but holding them. Now they claim that since we have a court case pending they have to hold the payments until after the court date. So at this point hey are garnishing less than ordered and holding the payments. I got so furious I finally threatened to call our local state representative and advocacy groups they claim they are releasing the funds they have but I won't get anymore until we go to court. None of this makes sense to me! The reason they have garnished the wrong amount is my ex took me to court every year trying to get custody for about 5 years so our orders changed constantly and somewhere along the way they put old orders in or didn't update orders. In Texas all child support has to go through the attorney general (child support unit) even though I had a private attorney in 2006 the AG has to handle the withholding and disbursement. My child has never had any services from the state or welfare.  It's a common misconception that a disabled child is entitled to SSI but it goes by the parents income and he has never qualified since my ex and I are both nurses. This is simply a clerical error that seems to be going to the extreme. I don't know if I need to hire an attorney (I really don't have the Money you for one and I feel like I already paid an attorney for these orders). Are they covering up their mistake? Will they go in his favor so it doesn't look bad on them? Is there a family code or TAC (Texas Administrative Code) that gives them the right to act in this manner? If I contact local state representatives will it make it worse for me? These are the things I'm concerned about.

MixedBag

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 07:12:29 AM »
I'd be more inclined to advise going UP their chain of command vs. a representative personally.
What you're saying makes no sense to me -- holding it until court part.
 
 

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2014, 07:48:18 AM »
It makes no sense to me either. I have filed complaints with the AG. It seems like such a mess for what was originally a clerical error.


ocean

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2014, 02:50:00 PM »
Have you tried:
1. Call the CS office and ask for a supervisor, then ask for their supervisor. Say you see payments but you are not receiving them as court ordered and you want that money released.
2. Send CS office a registered (signature) letter stating the same thing (proves you asked them).
3. Go to their office and see someone in person.

Also, SSDI should only have to do with the child. I know a few children here whose parents have good jobs and child still receives. Not SSI, SSDI.

Also, go to your family court and ask for copies of your last 2 child support orders. Might be a slight change it was changed without you realizing it.

What type of papers were filed for this court date...modification? or enforcement? If it is modification, then it can change the amount of the order. Contempt of court/enforcement hearing would be better to just ask why you are not receiving the amount ordered.

Ugg.. Good luck...took me months and months to straighten out an issue then my ex was in arrears for thousands of dollars. System is broken.

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 06:45:35 AM »
Disability is based on income so I'm not sure how they are on it but I'm not worried about getting it. My son will be 18 soon and can apply then. I have also started speaking with my attorney about lifetime child support after my son turns 18. I have talked with supervisors and I was told they were releasing the payments but they haven't released them. The case is for modification and enforcement. Modifying CS and medical support and enforcing CS and they did file a contempt on the arrears. I have looked at the file and nothing changed. They have admitted they entered the wrong orders. My ex took me back to court every year trying to get custody back and every time the orders for support would go up or there would be a contempt. In 2006 the order read to refer back to my final decree of divorce for CS and the AG looked back at a modification and not the final decree. The AG simply entered an old order which was for $105.00/mo less. That adds up over 8 years. I'm going to talk to my lawyer today but it irritates me because I already paid a lawyer in 2006 and now I have to pay him again to get them to enforce what was ordered. I really don't have the money for an attorney but I also can't afford for them to play games and cost me all the arrears or current support while they try to cover up their mistake.

ocean

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 05:15:37 PM »
Sometimes on enforcement/contempt of court cases you can file for lawyer fees ...but in this case since it was the state who screwed up, probably won't make your ex pay it.

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2014, 08:55:08 PM »
Things went from bad to worse today. I met with my attorney who advised me they haven't filed for a contempt or arrears gesture or updates their system to reflect any arrearages. He quoted me $5,000.00 to take the case because basically he's going to be fighting the AG. He sees the mistake and said it clear and he's NEVER heard of holding the child's payments until court. The lawyer actually said this is a good case for the possibility that they are retaliating against me for outing their mistake which is typical state beurocracy. I can't even begin to come up with 5 grand to redo what I already paid a lawyer to do so my son I'm going to have to just forget it I guess. I'm so mad!
1. Does anyone know who I would contact above the AG or outside of their website online complaint system?
2. Who oversees the AG?
3. Are there any advocacy groups that love these types of cases against the state or would help because he's special needs and gets no assistance?

ocean

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2014, 06:06:38 AM »
Not sure how the lawyer can see all of that but okay. What did they file in court then if you have a court date?

1, Do they have a building you can go to and see a person?
2. Request an accounting of your case in writing ....(but they will just print out what they paid out so not really going to show anything).
3. You can file in family court yourself , contempt of court for non-payment (it will be added to the case that is already going on) and ask for lawyer fees in those papers. "petitioner asks that the courts garnish the child support in the correct amount from previous court order dated xxx. Petitioner asks that the AG let go of the hold on all payments and she was told that they will not disburse payments until the court date which is unfair to the child to hold child support monies. Petitioner also asks for lawyer fees and she has been asking this to be fixed for years and neither the AG or respondent has made any attempt to adjust the child support to the correct numbers.

A judge has the power to change it and once the AG sees their are court papers against them making them look stupid, they may change their thinking. Family court has the paperwork to fill out and sometimes it is online for you to do at home. Here a person types it up for you at the family court intake office.

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2014, 07:58:00 AM »
He can see it because our county court is online. That's how I have known things are wrong. The attorney said the problem is judges go off the print out from the attorney general on arrears and their print out shows no arrears because they have never put in 2006 orders so they have the incorrect support orders but they have garnished the amount they put in. The June 4 court date is to modify current child support and suspend the 2003 orders. The lawyer stated is absurd since the 2003 orders were suspended upon the judge signing orders in 2006. He also said they actually didn't even file to modify medical support but the motion. To.modify child support could be stretched to include medical so he's not as concerned with that. I guess there's no point in bothering with this if they can do this when they please. I can go back to court and end up right back here again since they obviously don't have to be accountable or fix their mistakes. The salt in this wound is that I agreed to a MUCH lower amount of CS in 2006 and they garnished even less. I also carried the I sur acne and paid 100% out of pocket so the NCP got away with $430/mo for child and medical support (total) on a special needs child. The attorney looked it all over and figured up that I'm owed closer to $15,000.00 plus interest. I don't know why my son has to go without support because the AG made a mistake. RIDICULOUS!!!!

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2014, 01:30:33 PM »
Just an update- after thinking and stewing I decided to I file a written complaint online to the Office of Inspector General Department of Criminal Justice about the handling of the this case and that with holding the payments is retaliation to my previous complaint and blowing the whistle on their mistake. I also included this is a special needs child and their actions are causing serious medical and physical undue stress and hardship as we have no other resources to provide his care. They are garnishing the money from the CS but not dispersing it to the NCP so who is to provide for this child? I also mentioned the attorney on the 2006 orders for the NCP is also the lead attorney for the AG office. I'm so irritated by this incompetent mess! Everyone makes mistakes but fixing them shouldn't be the burden of the innocent. I'm not sure they are the correct agency but at this point I have nothing to lose. I'm getting $0 and will have to pay a lawyer to get what I already paid him to get me in 2006. Maybe at the least it will get someone's attention outside of the AG office. This is a time where I might need to be the squeaky wheel. :o

MixedBag

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2014, 11:25:00 AM »
I guess my question becomes....it's 2014....do you REALLY have a valid 2006 order and could that be the heart of your "problem" legally?  Any why did you wait so long?  It's been 7-8 years....
 
I (guess) that the first month the amount was wrong is when you should have legally filed -- vs. calling... paperwork.
 
Well, call once or twice, but after that strike three you're out, back to see a judge.
 

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2014, 09:19:29 PM »
As I stated I began calling in 2009. It was impossible for me to know any earlier because the NCP has been in contempt with arrears since the final divorce so it's constant contempt and arrears piled on top of each other. At one point I was told they could only garnish up to a certain percent of the NCP check and the NCP wouldn't work full time so its easy to see where garnishments weren't enough. Of course I REALLY have a valid court order. That's not even an issue. I don't know how I would have a court order that isn't really an order. I paid an attorney and went to court and a judge signed the orders. That's all that's required. The issue is the AG overlooked the 2006 orders and now it's a nightmare getting them to fix it. I actually retained my attorney today and he called while I was in his office. The case is just as I presented it and they acknowledged it. They are still dragging their feet filing the contempt. Why now??? I have been dealing with them since 2009 about this issue. Even if I hadn't began contacting them in 2009 that wouldn't mean the issue doesn't exist or that it's my fault. I guess I don't live in a world of being able to hire an attorney and run back to a judge but the issue is until they update their system what would I show a judge? Contempt for arrears are based on the AG system and their system doesn't show the arrears because they are using the 2003 orders. People and agencies make mistakes....... Even a state agency.

ocean

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2014, 06:45:58 AM »
You would show the judge the signed court order with the correct amount.....

So, is you lawyer going to file the contempt paperwork now? Will they include lawyer fees?

I guess it really is up to you to pay a lawyer that kind of money to maybe not see the return, especially if NCP does not work full time, all the time. A lawyer will take your money and not guarantee a return (and can't as he never knows what may happen).

Our state is computerized also, and you can see limited amount of information (arrears, payments). Our state also has the court dates computerized and you can see what is filed and future court dates.

Sometimes you think you have a valid court order and they do not due to another order over riding it or it was signed but judge did not "so order" it. Family court does not follow common sense.

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2014, 07:40:50 AM »
I retained him to go with me to the June hearing and ensure the current child support and medical support get handled properly. I did not retain him for the contempt because they acknowledged to me and my attorney that the arrears are owed and it's in the hands of their financial department to get the numbers together. My attorney advised I hold off on the contempt and see if they will file the contempt or at least update their system. I'm not worried about getting the ex in trouble but my son deserves the money he is entitled to so I want it on record. The NCP does work full time and that's one reason I want my attorney there. The NCP is a nurse and works at agencies where you determine how many hours you want to work. The NCP will get 2 different agency jobs and whichever one the AG is garnishing from will only work a few hours a week there. In court the NCP always brought a 12 hour paycheck trying to keep CS from being increased. My attorney is going to be there to keep that from being acceptable and to ensure my son gets a proper medical support order. As it is now the NCP pays $100.00/mo and I carry insurance and pay %100 out of pocket. Since this is a special needs child that's a bargain for the NCP...... If you think about the amount the amount shorted since 2006 the NCP has paid 0 medical support. The court orders are legal, binding, and valid and the odd thing is the AG has the correct order in for medical support from the 2006 order but not CS. If they wanted to play some game and claim the 2006 orders aren't real then the NCP would owe me every dime of insurance premiums because our 2003 orders said the NCP had to reimburse me for it. The arrears would be 2 - 3 times higher plus the out of pocket is through the roof.
The issue seems to be that our 2006 order states "refer back to final decree of divorce for child support order" then it went on to order medical support and arrears on the contempt. The AG (whoever proof reads the orders and put them in) referred back to the 2003 modification child support order instead of the final decree of divorce. Now they have it in a mess! They told my attorney (I was in the room when he called the AG) that they placed the current support on hold because they aren't sure what's correct at this point.  As my attorney pointed out to them they are still garnishing the wages from the NCP even though they don't know whats correct so they feel that's ethical but not to send them to the CP for the child? I asked my attorney what law their operating under and he bluntly said they aren't. This is completely illegal but family courts don't operate like any other court. He's hoping the pressure I have put on them, the complaint I filed with the OIG, and the fact I have retained an attorney might help them get this mistake resolved and the AG attorney told my attorney she would like to hear the contempt at the June 4 hearing but it's waiting on the financial specialist.

MixedBag

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2014, 10:43:59 AM »
So you've basically just answered your own question just now -- you don't have a clear order from 2006 -- because it refers back to other orders and presto, bingo, boingo -- things got confusing.
 
To you the orders aren't confusing, to your attorney they are not confusing, but if there is a possible way to interpret the order a different way -- then guaranteed there is confusion....this IS family court.
go over to the legal section and search on "three elements of contempt" and after your last bit of details -- I'm guessing that your situation fails to provide a clear order -- because it's vague and refers back to another order which causes a person to go back to the WRONG order.
 
As for your EX working two jobs etc....when asking for proof of income, you should be asking for taxes and W-2's.  If you feel like she's lying, ask her to sign a 4506T (I think that's the number) where you can get a short transcript directly from the IRS sent to you (or your attorney or to the court)....it's the same one a bank will use when verifying your income when applying for a major loan.
 
Yes, there's a federal law that says only a certain percentage can be garnished from your wages (won't quote if it's 50% or 60% -- but something like that -- easily searchable with today's google.)
 
So that's another REASON -- she's not in contempt -- what she has failed to do is to go back and ask for CS to be lowered due to her lower income.....etc....HER problem really, not yours.  (KWIM)?
 
Ability to pay an attorney or not.....in my eyes -- it doesn't always come into play as to why this hasn't been resolved or filed like 3 months after the initial error ....  CS is fairly cut and dry.   So after 3 months of not receiving the amount you THOUGHT you were supposed to receive.....it's time to take action -- letters at first, and then court motions.    Now a change of custody, or violation of parenting time....that's a more difficult subject to prove in court, but pro se here always for myself and I've been successful (much to the chagrin of two dads).....(but I must admit -- EX#3's situation needed an attorney against his EX -- and boards like this helped me learn how to stumble through the process without an attorney).
 

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2014, 02:45:52 PM »
I couldn't have gone back to court within a few months of the order because as I stated due to NCP never working full time at the job the AG garnishes I have never gotten the correct amount of support. The NCP has tried on numerous occasions to get CS lowered but always walks out with a contempt. That's why we have had so many orders. My attorney got the NCP tax return Friday from the attorney general and using it the CS should double plus medical support. The NCP attorney drafted the court order and she works for my local AG so it doesn't matter the Co tempt will happen. If they want too stick with 2003 orders then the contempt will be for about 3X as much money. As my attorney stated they can't pick and chose what part of an order they want and since it was a mediated order and both attorneys in record from 2006 will be there its not going to be a hard case. The only problem is getting them to update their system. I won't stop filing requests and complaints until this is resolved. As I stated before it isn't my son's fault they ignored the court order and my many requests to look at it so he's not the one that should go without.

passem

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2014, 12:30:50 PM »
The AG may have messed up as you said here: "I don't know why my son has to go without support because the AG made a mistake. RIDICULOUS!!!!," and it is ridiculous but let's not forget that the NCP has also been manipulating the system to keep support at a minimum, knows full well what the court order said and obviously doesn't care enough for his child to step up and man up.

It reminds me of my wife's ex and it pisses me off.  At least her ex had the good grace to drink and drug himself to death shortly after we married.

I hope all goes well for you and you take him down in court and the AG as well.
Care not for show.  Life is too short and too sacred for make believe.

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2014, 04:24:56 PM »
I understand completely. The NCP has been non compliant since the day we divorced and seems to get away with it. At one point the judge found the NCP in contempt on 5 different things! It's frustrating and this is a special needs child. At one hearing the NCP actually stated to the judge I should just get Medicaid instead of an order for medical support. I feel like my son is blessed to have 2 parents that make above average wages and we should support him until we die. Its our obligation not the state or governments. I have paid for him to go to a special needs school for years, paid  %100 of medical, dental, and psych care, meds, paid for all clothing (for both houses), I even paid for all child care while with the NCP (to ensure my son had adequate care) and I have never tried to get the extras paid by the NCP and I gave full access to visitation because I just want my son to be happy and taken care of. I'm only irritated at the AG for not fixing the mistake and updating their system so I can pursue the NCP. My attorney also pointed out the clause that states it's the NCP responsibility regardless if there is a wage with holding in place so ultimately the NCP is the one that has to pay it all up. My ex is the type that if I asked for assistance paying for something for my son (for instance his birthday cake for the party I throw every year and both families are invited) the response is "I pay child support. I'm not paying for anything else." but of course had no problem sponging off of me. I could go on and on but in the end I did everything for my son's benefit and all I'm asking for is the bare minimum that's court ordered.

shuckybucky

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2014, 03:56:32 PM »
The AG finally updated their system. The arrears are a few dollars under $15,000.00 and they released the payments they have been holding. It's been a long battle. Court in June to modify existing orders and this chapter will be over!!!!

passem

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2014, 05:37:49 PM »
Congratulations!  Perseverance works.  Glad it worked out for you.
Care not for show.  Life is too short and too sacred for make believe.

MixedBag

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Re: Attorney General has messed child support up and I'm confused
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2014, 05:48:20 PM »
yeah!

 

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