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Posted by: rubi123 ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 11:22AM

I apologize for posting off topic but I wondered if anyone reading this could give some general legal advice.

My ex-husband's monthly child support payments were calculated on a relatively high-paying job that he had at the time, a few years ago. Since then, he has had a number of jobs that don't pay as well -- but he never had the child support adjusted through the system. (Child support is collected through ORS, as my ex owes probably seven or eight grand in back support at this point). Each month that large amount owes just goes on the balance, as he works and slowly wittles it down.

Today his attorney emailed me a spreadsheet, detailing my ex's employment, basically saying that this is why he does not owe all of the back child support his paychecks are currently being garnished for.

My question is -- is there legally a way for him not to have to pay back child support, if he never bothered to adjust the amount? I think his attorney is just trying to get me to say I'll waive the back support, although I am under no obligation to do so.

Thanks in advance for your input. :)

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Posted by: sbg ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 11:34AM

Unless the courts forgive the amount I would not budge. The fact it is being collected through garnishment says the court believes he owes it.

This is his KID getting the money, not really you.

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Posted by: Recovered Molly Mo ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 12:08PM

I would go to your courthouse (Family Law Division) and see if there is a service for free legal advice. Some employers also offer benefits for free legal counsel.

You want LEGIT legal advice for your state. Dont budge on your current agreement.

Most states make the person who is unable to pay child support due to loss of income FILE a reassessment in court. If that is the case for your ex...then HE needs to take the steps to request an adjustment. Until then, he is still bound by his contract and his lawyer knows it.

If his lawyer pressures you to "adjust" and tell you that your ex is not obligated to keep his commitment..I would seriously consider getting a lawyer to take a look at the law on your childs behalf.

RMM

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 02:40PM

This is very sound advice and exactly what I'd say. He (or his attorney) needs to tell it to the court. The current court order doesn't adjust automatically just because there's a material change in circumstance. And you need a Utah attorney to give you direction.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 12:17PM

The attorney knows your ex owes it. His attorney is probably trying to take the cheaper way out by getting you to stipulate to his owing less so that he can ultimately get a stipulation signed by you without the expense of going to court, or at the very least will be able to have the reduction dated back to the time you signed any stipulation when he eventually has the funds to take it to court.

Unless the attorney is incompetent, he or she knows perfectly well that the child support order stands until adjusted by the court and that sending you spreadsheets is meaningless.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 04:10PM by scmd.

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Posted by: rubi123 ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 12:32PM

Yes, that makes sense. And it's not my job to get the child support reduced or changed. It's his responsibility.

I wonder in what cases a judge would sign off on back support being waived.

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Posted by: StillAnon ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 12:51PM

"I wonder in what cases a judge would sign off on back support being waived."

In Utah? If your ex is a good, tithe paying priesthood holder, and you're an apostate heathen, you never know. Utah has 2 justices systems. One for the good ole boys and another one for the rest of us.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 04:00PM

rubi123 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, that makes sense. And it's not my job to get
> the child support reduced or changed. It's his
> responsibility.
>
> I wonder in what cases a judge would sign off on
> back support being waived.


If I were at home I'd ask my wife. I really don't know, either, but I would think not under many circumstances.

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Posted by: NeverMoJohn ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 02:10PM

My brother made the same mistake in California. Instead of going to Child Support and reporting his changed circumstances, he did nothing. He didn't have the money to pay and wasn't functioning well enough to report it to Child Support. The back child support grew and grew.

It was my understanding at the time that in California he could report his changed circumstances to the court and have current child support adjusted, but the back child support was his problem. It didn't really seem particularly fair to me, but courts make decisions that don't necessarily have to have anything to do with fairness.

He died without ever recovering. His ex wife got his retirement and whatever else. Water under the bridge.

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Posted by: scmd ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 04:09PM

NeverMoJohn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My brother made the same mistake in California.
> Instead of going to Child Support and reporting
> his changed circumstances, he did nothing. He
> didn't have the money to pay and wasn't
> functioning well enough to report it to Child
> Support. The back child support grew and grew.
>
> It was my understanding at the time that in
> California he could report his changed
> circumstances to the court and have current child
> support adjusted, but the back child support was
> his problem. It didn't really seem particularly
> fair to me, but courts make decisions that don't
> necessarily have to have anything to do with
> fairness.
>
> He died without ever recovering. His ex wife got
> his retirement and whatever else. Water under the
> bridge.


In some ways it seems harsh, but in other ways it seems reasonable because (particularly if the child support has been up-to-date but even if in arrears to some degree) the manner in which the other parent provided for the child was, in part, contingent upon amount of child support as constituted. (Karate lessons may have needed to be stopped until the other parent figured out how to pay for them, for example, with reduced child support.) It wouldn't necessarily be fair to make the change retroactive.

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Posted by: badassadam ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 02:43PM

I have no experience or knowledge in this area but i assume he should pay all that he owes you.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 04:52PM

Your husband is trying to seek a downward modification of his support order.

Don't go along with it. Because he could be fudging his resources. My ex did that multiple times. He tried to get out of paying child support for years resorting to claims he wasn't working when he was.

I've stuck to my guns and let the courts do the fighting for me. See if Utah family court will appoint a family court attorney for you.

Are you in Utah, or is your husband? (Or both?) I ask because the Statute of Limitations varies from state to state for arrearages. The SOL depends on what state the order is filed, regardless of where the paying spouse lives - or you. If it's a Utah judgment for arrearages you'll be bound by Utah's SOL. If you're in another state than Utah by now, you may be able to transfer the order to where you are. I mention this because Utah has perhaps the worst SOL in the country for support arrears.

Interest accrues on the support arrearages according to the state's interest rate where the award is registered.

Don't let his attorney buffoon you. It's a game they're playing and using you and your children as bargaining chips.

Family courts are very pro-custodial parent and children.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 04:54PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: rubi123 ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 05:13PM

We are both in Utah.

I figured that he should have let ORS know when he changed employment. Also, at the time, he said that he voluntarily left his good paying job for another one that he thought had better hours. His attorney is saying it was involuntary job loss. If it goes to court, I wonder if that would be made known -- whether the job loss was voluntary or not. Because our decree states that with involuntary job loss the child support will be recalculated.

Thanks for the advice and info.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 05:33PM

This is why you may benefit from a court ordered family attorney - if Utah assigns them for custodial parents.

He and his attorney are trying to fake you out, and the courts. Don't let them do that without a fight.

Stick to your guns. It isn't easy, but it's worth it.

At least don't let him off easy. That's what he wants is to owe nothing. Typical deadbeat dad.

:(

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Posted by: bobofitz ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 05:40PM

Rubi...what it sounds like to me is you are asking the people of this board to predict what a judge will declare, in the future, in court, if your ex's lawyer petitions for a reduction of his debt because of his change in employment. No one, even a lawyer, can possibly know that. It sounds like his lawyer is trying to settle out of court to save you both time, attorney fees and court costs. You can get yourself an attorney and they will help you make a decision if you should negotiate this out of court or go to court. By sending you spreadsheets he's just showing some evidence he thinks will bolster his case in court. Whether it does, no one knows. I hate to be redundant but no one knows how a future court case will turn out. Get an attorney and listen to their advice then make your own decision.

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Posted by: rubi123 ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 05:47PM

Yeah, thanks bobo.

I'll get a lawyer if need be.

But when it costs $125 an hour, I'm not going to rush right out.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 05:51PM by rubi123.

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Posted by: Amyjo ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 08:37PM

Check with your family court to see whether they assign an attorney to represent you for free, or a very low fee.

I did that when I went back to court with my ex. My regular attorney charged $250 an hour. The Family Court was next to nothing, and they were more effective than the private law firm in representing me.

As for your ex and his lawyer, they are both trying to manipulate you into settling for less than he can afford to pay.

If again he quit his job voluntarily, that is a dead giveaway now that his slimebag of an attorney is twisting it around to involuntary termination of employment.

Don't settle is my advice from someone who's been where you are now.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 08:40PM by Amyjo.

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 06:23PM

the court is not going to do anything about adjusting it relative to the past. the court will ONLY look forward.

He might stand a chance to get it adjusted down with respect to the future, after an established history of being employed at a lower pay rate. That is what is actually being attempted.

I would never hire an attorney, because they are thieves and because I have arrived at the point where I can represent myself better than any (thieving) attorney ever did for me in the past. I realize that is not the case for everyone.

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 06:03PM

Don't worry, in Utah the system automatically absolutely despises the divorced male parent.

The system expects that every man's income is automatically steeply going up even if the economy is badly tumbling downward and slips into deep recession or even depression. They expect the man to be able to keep his job and / or readily find a new job that pays him tons more no matter how trashed up his employment history (and criminal record) is by false arrests and jail time due to any allegations that an angry spiteful female former spouse makes.

how ever, IF your ex husband does manage to come up with a higher paying job in spite of prevailing poor economic conditions ( of the last decade) the state will readily jack up his child support obligation faster than you can say "your honor". If he loses that new higher paying job the very next week because his new employer went belly up then too bad for him, his child support obligation is never going back down.


The system is inherently male loathing. It is perfectly willing to devastate and destroy any divorced male former parent as a person for amusement on their whim. Just come up with the slightest negative commentary on your former husband and the system will take over and go after him like rabid wolves. The negative commentary will not require the slightest semblance of veracity or any proof or any foundation in actual reality. If you say it, regardless of what it is or how outrageous that it may be, it is automatically fact. That grand american notion of innocent until proven guilty is simply is pure idealistic hoopla (garbage) that does not apply to divorced men.

as well, the system will never require you to do anything to prove that you actually spent any of the child support that you receive on the children.


best of all, after the system has destroyed your ex husband's ability to function as a person /individual, they will still be perfectly happy to chide, mock, and ridicule him for not being able to keep up and fully function as an ideal parent.

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 05:15PM

I know exactly how he can get out of back child support.

Some attorneys know it too, but they will not divulge it because it really ticks off judges and gets the attorney in trouble as the judges sees what is going on. as well, the same system does not care at all if the attorney totally robs the already financially devastated male parent in the process of supposedly representing him.


In Utah, He can also get out of future child support obligations by formally surrendering his parental rights, which is something that my POS attorneys never told me about because Judges HATE it when that kind of petition is filed.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 06:02PM

He forbade me to consult an attorney on my own ("If you do, even once, I will know about it, and I will HURT you! Don't try to sneak behind my back.") He had a long history of abuse, so I believed him.

He demanded primary custody, and I (who had been essentially a single mother for the first 11 years of my son's life) was given a weekend visit twice a month. And the ex demanded that I present him ahead of time with a written list (subject to his approval) of every activity I had planned for son and myself.

I had moved to NM while son was in his teens. As soon as he turned 18, he moved out here himself. He has lived here ever since, for more than 20 years. He barely speaks to his father.

I didn't understand why the ex would want custody, since he never lifted a finger to do any kind of child care himself. Current DH explained that the ex did not want to have to pay child support. (This is totally consistent. The ex has always been a money-hungry monster.)

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Posted by: smirkorama ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 06:11PM

you must have been very quiet about the matter ....and your son as well, because IF the system would have had any idea then they would have crushed your ex husband.

Sorry about what you had to go through.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 06:21PM

If your ex along with his lawyer think that he has a case, they will take it to court to get a modification. Until then, I wouldn't trouble yourself about it. Don't let yourself be bullied. There is no sense in bringing a spreadsheet to you -- you can't change the order!

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: September 13, 2017 07:58PM

I have no idea if this is the case:

There is a quasi network of 'guys who feel wronged by the system' that supports men like your ex by helping them arrange circumstances to appear to be worse off financially than the really are. The OP said, "...he had a high paying job...then got jobs that paid less..." Certainly on its face, no one would intentionally do so, and the OP may be satisfied that the loss of income was "legitimate". But often members of the quasi network help others find ways to make it look like there is a loss of income, when really, it's just a loss of 'visible' income.

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