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Messages - oklahoma

Child Support Issues / RE: CS & Summer Vacation
May 05, 2004, 04:39:17 PM
Why should he pay extra?  The system is already working against NCPs.  My husband had to continue paying CS to his ex when we had my SDs full-time for two months--and we provided for all their needs while they were here.

Many states do include parenting time in the CS calculations, but at least here it is based upon the court order--not what actually happens.  Perhaps if your friend really wants more money, she needs to haul the ex to court, reduce his visitation and then ask for more money for it.  My suggestion is that she should be grateful that he is willing and able to pay CS in the first place.

Child Support Issues / RE: Going to court
May 05, 2004, 04:12:52 PM
You will only be successful if you can prove that this is not a voluntary pay cut.  In our state, it seems a VERY difficult thing to prove--we have tried a few times in recent years (one time initiated by ex, once by us.)  Even though my husband was injured on the job, on complete disability for 8 months, only allowed back to work with restrictions, and declared "medically stationary," the state would not reduce CS.  He started school full-time after his accident, and CSD says that is "voluntary underemployment."

Almost every situation I have heard of suggests that CS is only changed retroactively to the filing date.  Our state recently changed it to the date that the other party is notified rather than when you file.  When my husband's CS was reduced, the forms the state sent never indicated that it was retroactive--however when the ex appealed and the amount went up, they were pretty quick about getting the right date on there.

That said, get in there and take care of it.  You really have nothing to lose by not trying to reduce CS.  Make sure everything is in order and good luck to you....
I just want to say "Good luck."  Oregon CSE sucks!!! (at least for the NCP.)  We have been through the modification process twice and both times were shocked at the amounts set and the reasons behind the amount.  Just be ready for battle :)

Let us know how it goes.  My husband is considering an appeal of sorts.  He is a full-time student and CSE based his CS amount on an imputed full-time wage PLUS his financial aid.  We have talked to a few attorneys who were aghast, but we couldn't afford any of them.  We would love to modify CS retro to when he began school....
Check your state CS guidelines.  SPARC has links to the states' sites.  Our state has an online calculator to plug in all the numbers and it spits out what the state would order.  That is the best way to find out if a court-ordered CS amount would be less than $80/week....

A lot of people complain about wage garnishment for CS, and there is a lot to complain about.  BUT it is nice to not have to worry about sending a check every week or month.  And when my husband was behind on CS, CSE relaxed a bit once they had his employer's info and they knew they would be getting something.  So I guess there are some advantages to being in the System......
Child Support Issues / Annoying notices....
Mar 10, 2004, 07:34:05 PM
A few weeks ago, we received notice from Support Enforcement saying they were going to suspend my husband's license.  This was just a few days AFTER we received notice from the IRS that a good portion of our tax refund was going to support arrears.  We tried contacting CSE (email and phone) several times to discuss options to avoid suspension.  My husband never talked to a real person.  Caseworker called our house once, I gave her my husband's cell number, but she never called him....

A week or two after CSE's notice, we received the DMV notice stating suspension would be in effect last Saturday (3/6/04) at 12:01 am.  Today we got a Notice to Reinstate License from CSE--dated 3/8/04.  We assume it is because the tax return finally found it's way there.  How frustrating!!

Relieved that we can reinstate the license, but very annoyed that we have to pay an extra $75 to do so, because the federal and state and county agencies couldn't get things figured out together.

(Even more annoyed that the CS guidelines are so out of whack that my husband is ordered to pay an unreasonable amount in the first place.)

On the outside, I read your post and say, "No way!"  My first reaction is stop paying if they are not full-time students.  I'd be requiring report cards to prove they are full-time students.  Of course, I also realize that I am not in the situation of actually dealing with so much animosity.  And I do not know what you may lose by being hard-nosed about finances and school.  We are still 7 years away from OSD going to college, and somehow I think when it comes down to it, we will be paying for most of it--despite what any laws or stipulated agreements may say.  

Next, car insurance is not a college expense.  I did not have a car and still managed to get a BS. (And my parents helped only a little my first year--I pad for the rest.)  All college students get a Financial Aid Award Letter--it includes cost for tuition and fees, food and housing, books and supplies, and personal expenses.  The Letter also deducts any scholarships and/or grants, giving you the grand total of "parental contribution." The school tells you exactly what the child needs to live as a college student.  That seems like a good number to go by if your SDs are full-time students....

Also, I know a few people, and have heard of lots more, who take their tuition money and turn it into play money.  One friend would register for classes, his parents paid the tuition directly to the school, he dropped the class, and was reimbursed the money his parents paid, which is why I suggested getting report cards.

It sounds as if you and your husband don't just lie down and take what is handed to you by BM.  Hang in there!
My experience with this is as follows:

When I was not employed and the ex requested a modification of my husband's CS, the judge showed some--very little--leniency in setting the amount.

When I was employed, the administrative judge said essentially **I** could support our children, while my husband's income was used for CS.  The judge asked my husband very specific questions about my income (it was a temporary position too), but did not allow any questions about ex's spouse's income.  Go figure!

So, officially CSE cannot use the new spouse's income to calculate CS, but there is a human factor in determining the amount also....

I'm not much help, because we have always been forced to go through the courts--almost always because BM files for some reason or another.  But, here is my suggestion, if you have not already tried it.  Visit your state Child Support Calculator.  Enter the numbers you have or guess--maybe even plug in numbers for BM at minimum wage.  For our state, the CS calculator includes cost of insurance, child care, etc.  Explain to BM the amount the court would require her to pay--including consequences such as wage garnishment, withholding tax return for arrears, etc--and then see if she will agree to a reasonable amount outside of the courts.  And then if she agrees, and sticks to the agreement, work something out on the exemption.  Remember that the calculation of CS makes the assumption that the CP will claim the child on taxes.....
From your original post, it sounded as if you have already decided the ex can't afford more--you made the point that he was living in a lower-income part of town.  That was the reason I responded.

In my opinion, there are two very distinct problems in the child support system.  The more obvious one is fathers--NCPs--who refuse to pay child support.  Many, many laws have been created and enforced to take care of that problem.  Obviously, laws and enforcement are not perfect and situations like yours occur.  You have legal recourse--such as getting your ex thrown in jail--and the sympathy of many.  Obviously he still has some agency--barely--to decide that he still doesn't want to pay.

However, the laws created to take care of that first problem have created the second problem--unreasonable CS amounts that break NCPs and their second families.  Quite frankly, NCPs who simply refuse to pay CS are in the minority.  And yet, NCPs--unlike any other citizen in the US--have no say in how CS is spent on their children, have wages garnished, tax returns withheld, licenses revoked, jail time, etc. etc.  Society is not on the side of the father who does not have custody of his children.  That is the problem to which I was referring.  I apologize for not clarifying.

And as a side note... my family also received state assistance--at one point it was the exact amount that my husband was ordered to pay to child support.  Go figure!
Child Support Issues / Reply to just one question
Feb 10, 2004, 09:08:17 AM
From what you have written, requesting an increase of CS seems ridiculous.  If you don't think your ex has the financial means to even pay what is ordered, why ask for more?  Go through the courts or whatever to get him paying what he is supposed to in the first place.  Obviously, getting a higher number on paper is not going to translate to your receiving a bigger check, since he is unable--and/or unwilling--to pay the original amount.  And really that does nothing to help your children.

My husband's ex waited until we had lost a business and my husband missed his first child support payments in 7 years.  Then she dragged the modification process out so long that my husband had gotten a new job, so we had to pay the higher CS for the several months he was not employed.  The system already sucks.  Don't contribute to the problem.