Child support issue. I don't know what to do!!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Californiablonde, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Okay so a little backround (and I'll try not to make this too long.) My ex and I ended our relationship six years ago. I opened a child support case against him and they started automatically taking the money out of his paycheck. Last year difficult child 2 temporarily lived with him for six months due to some mental health issues I was dealing with. difficult child 1 continued to stay with me so she could still attend her SDC classes at the same school. As soon as my son moved in with his dad, I dropped the child support case since we each had a kid.

    difficult child 2 moved back in with me six months later. I wanted to re-open the case so of course I could start getting my support again. Ex did not want me to open the case. He was adamant about it. He told me he would pay me on his own so we wouldn't have to go through the "hassle" of going through the courts. I had no idea what his motive was for me dropping the case. I found out later what it was. He still owed me $1200 back child support from when I was pregnant with difficult child 2 and we were briefly seperated.

    When the case closed child support said he no longer owed me the $1200 since I closed the case six months earlier. He also owed the state a few thousand dollars worth of back support, plus interest. If I were to re-open the case, he would still owe the state that money, but I would not be receiving any more money from him. I agreed to drop the case and accept him paying me on his own. He was to pay the same amount as he was before when the case was open.

    On one occasion he shorted me $50 because he said he was behind on bills. I was seriously hurting for that money, and I had to go to the church to get a food box because we were short on food $. I went ahead and re-opened the case so he would no longer pull the same kinda **** again. As soon as the case re-opened, they nailed him for the back support he owed the state. They intercepted his tax refund. He was so upset at me that he called and cussed me out. Then he pulled a no show one weekend out of spite for what I had done.

    As soon as the case re-opened, the child support agency called me for a phone interview. I gave them my income info and they also asked if my kids were healthy and if they had any ongoing medical problems. I told them about the kids' disabilities and what I had to pay in medical costs each month. This year my health insurance at my job went up $200. My co-pay for doctor's visits was also raised.

    Child support told me that I was due for an increase in support since my expenses went up quite a bit this year. When child support called him to inform him of this, he freaked. He decided to take me to court to fight it. He is claiming financial hardship since his lazy wife hasn't had a job for three years. The court date is set for May 17th.

    We both have to bring proof of income and a list of all our expenses. Depending on his expenses and his total income (his wife not working DOES count, I found out) the court will determine how much he has to pay. Worst case scenario I would be getting the same amount I'm getting now. Best case scenario I could be getting several hundred dollars more a month.

    Just recently ex texted me and offered to pay $232 more a month that I'm getting now, but the catch is I will once again have to drop the case. I seriously don't know what to do. I don't know if I can trust him to pay me on time or pay me the full amount I'm due. If we go to court and I lose, I get nothing. If I take him for his word, I get more. Should I trust him or no? He keeps texting me to give him an answer and I keep putting it off because honestly I don't know what's in our best interest right now.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK, I don't know how CA support law works but...

    My income never made any difference in what husband had to pay bio or what bio had to pay husband. Legally, they were not my children, so they were not my problem. When she had another kid, she tried for more support and the judge said to get it from that kid's father.

    NOW, that said...

    I have a friend who had a daughter in HS. He paid support to the mother. Then he and his new wife had a kid, so support dropped a little. Then ex had another kid, so support went back up. He had another, drop, and another (no drop) - and then he got custody of the first daughter with his THIRD wife who had a kid of her own. (Yes, I know.)

    But - here's the thing, her income should make NO DIFFERENCE. But - CA law may be different.

    Regardless, they will require he pay SOMETHING since the kids are living with you.

    As for trusting him? Don't.
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Yes I know they will be requiring him to pay something, but I'm taking a gamble going to court. Either I get the same amount I'm getting now (Financially I am struggling with the little amount I'm getting) or I get more. How much more? It's yet to be determined. I will be very upset if we go all the way to court only to have them tell me I won't be getting any more money than I'm already getting. I truthfully need more to support my family right now. Court might say tough ****. It's a risk either way.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Odds are, with everything else, you'll get more. So... It's a pain, but the kids deserve it.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    After everything he's already pulled, I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him! It might be more of a hassle but I would let everything go through the child support office, no private agreements between the two of you. Obviously, the only reason he wants to do it this way is because it will benefit him!
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    DO NOT DROP THE SUPPORT CASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I say that with all kindness and love. You dropped it once and what happened?????????????? He can promise to pay you double, but if there is no support order, he doesn't have to pay a dime.
  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I'm just afraid I won't get more if I go to court. He payed me before, it was just one time he gave me $50 less. Maybe I can talk to child support and see if they can keep the case open and enforce the order for the amount he has agreed upon. That would be the best option right now.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    You should be able to do that if he's been paying a set amount, they should be able to create an order for it. Technically you have to go to court to do that. This is why you don't want it dropped - so whatever agreement you have becomes an order. Anything he shorts you becomes back support that he owes you. Without a court order you really can't get anything from him if he decides to be a weenie.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I really had to jump in on this one, having been there done that. Do NOT drop the case. He can promise you the moon but you have no ability to enforce it if he backs out. In court, tell them about the offer he made to you. If he can afford to pay that much extra AS PROMISED, then he will have to pay EVERYONE what he owes them. The only reason he wants you to drop it is so he can CONTROL what he has to pay. He wants his cake and eat it too and CONTROL who gets the leftovers.

    I know how hard it is to struggle around child support. My ex was an independent contractor and promised me the moon but after 3 months decided he couldn't "afford" to pay the amount he promised me so he stopped paying support altogether. THAT was worse. I opened a case and now (12 years later), because of the laws here, he has spent time in jail and had his driver's license taken away because he is now over $60,000 in debt to me and the state. Would you rather have a steady income or one that is at his mercy? SO FAR he has paid. Are you willing to GAMBLE that he continues being responsible and "generous" enough to continue paying? Personally, I gambled and lost.

    I really do understand the need for more money and really wanting to trust him to give you the increase but unless you are 1000% positive he will ALWAYS continue to do that, you're gambling. I guess it all depends on what you are willing to give up if he suddenly changes his mind. That's you're call. Me, I don't take ANY chances when it comes to my kids and their ability to have the basic necessities without having to scrape the barrel to get them. It really is your call.
  10. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Sounds like financial, emotional (reading this post and several other posts), and psychological blackmail to me. :( The only protection you have against him is to maintain this order. There are always other ways to protect yourself if he continues to harass you when you don't drop it. Even with the court order, sure he may not pay but then the state takes action against him (and they will in many ways) NOT you having to do it (which how can you other then getting upset?). You're still without the money if he doesn't pay either way but at least you have back up, it's the only way and the only way to protect yourself. Seriously.
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Keep the order open. In the short term you may not get more money monthly but in the long run at least you will get what is rightfully yours every month. Don't close that order. I did it once and was screwed over. By the time I went back to court, he owed me over $29,000!!
  12. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I haven't read the other responses so pardon me if I'm repeating. Why would he offer you an increased amount to drop the case unless he knew he was most likely going to lose in court?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Court orders protect everyone. His wife's income or lack there of is likely not relevant -- she did not create the children, she is not obligated to support them.
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

  15. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    " ... but if there is no support order, he doesn't have to pay a dime."

    Yep, this is exactly right! When I was going through it, they told me that without a valid support order in place, legally he didn't owe me anything! And if you trust him and then he chooses not to pay, there is no way you can ever recover that money because there was no valid order for support in place !
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    There is NO WAY that a man crying hardship would voluntarily OFFER to pay you more if you dropped the case. Stop a minute. Turn off the fear and the emotions. Think about this logically. $232 per month is $2784 per year. You know this man. Would he EVER spend that much $ on something that was not for HIS benefit?? If he truly IS experiencing hardship, then why is his wife not working? Is she disabled? Does she have a child who needs her to be available 24/7? How do they manage if he cannot afford the amt of support his is offering?

    It is YOUR JOB to take care of your children. To do what is BEST for them. Is it truly in their best interest to have NO enforceable support from their dad? Sure, he paid you before. But the month when you were really really hurting, he shorted you and you had to go to the food bank. Is that what a good dad does? NO, sweetie, absolutely not. My husband would live on rice and beans before he EVER let our kids go without. There just is not way he would ever have shorted support for his kids if he knew they might go hungry. MIGHT, not would, would be enough for a truly good dad.

    Don't close the case. It can be super hard to get that order back if you let it go several times. Your ex could also use not having an order of support to show that you are NEGLECTING the kids by not making sure they have a steady stream of support from him. Yes, I do know how backazzwards that is, but I also know women who have had to deal with this in court. They dropped support orders/cases, let the dads pay 'what they could' and then the dad got an order for support from the state because mom needed social services so dear ole dad filed for custody on the grounds that she neglected them by dropping the support case. I even know a mom who LOST CUSTODY because this and had to pay support to her ex. He let her keep the kids at her house because he didn't really want them (totally hurt them) and he still refused to pay her a DIME because well, she wasn't even 'allowed' to have them. He even insisted they stay with her when she was HOMELESS and he was ordered to have custody. She finally got the youngest one old enough to testify and taped his phone calls about everything, then took him back to court. But it took her four YEARS where for 2 of them she was homeless with 4 kids to do that. Dad knew that his kids were homeless, but he and new wifey had a new baby and the 4 kids were 'too much mess' in the house so they didn't want them. None of the kids will even speak to him now, of course, but it was a long, hard way to grow up.

    Don't you DARE drop that support case. This is NOT for you. This is so the kdis will KNOW they have a source of support they can COUNT ON that is ENFORCEABLE. So what if he doesn't like it? He probably has been told by his atty that his hardship claim will NOT be well received and he will pay more. So he is trying to get you to think this is a 'sure thing' when really he won't have to pay a dime in support.

    There is NO WAY he would offer you that much more a month if he truly had hardship. No possible way. It totally makes no sense.
  17. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    If you're lucky enough to have the child support agency/DA's office on your side, don't drop the case. I had to fight for everything even when I told them where Useless Boy was working, where he lived...and they still wouldn't get it together. Don't trust him. Period.
  18. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Do NOT drop this case. It is for yoru children and whatever you get from him is his duty. I do not believe his wife's income counts at all. Not do your expenses. I believe it is a % of his income. Period.

    If he is willing to offer you more, it is likely you will get even more than that from his income today.

    Just let it be easier to have it on record. Believe me....with time it just becomes a way of life...he will get over it.
  19. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well I called child support yesterday and they said I could still keep the case open and collect the amount he is offering. All we have to do is go down to the office together and sign a stipulation form stating how much he has offered to pay me. It will still go to court, but we do not have to show up. The court will legally enforce the amount he has agreed to pay and it will take four to six weeks after the court hearing to start receiving the increased amount. I informed ex of this yesterday. I texted him and I am saving all texts including the one where he offered to pay more money. His response was "Okay, thanks" when I gave him the number to call. I have no idea if he is going to agree with this or not. I know he still wants me to drop the case and I have a feeling he is not going to go for signing a stipulation and keeping the case open. I have decided to take it all the way to court if I have to. He may not sign and if he does not, he will have to get a lawyer and fight me on it. Hopefully I can get him to agree to my terms.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    In some states the wife's income IS counted if she is not working. The thought is that if the father can afford to have his wife not work, then he can afford to pay child support in the amount that is typical based on the formula that the courts use. Hardship is SUPER hard to use to get child support lowered if his wife is not working and does not have a reason like a disability, health issue (documented by doctors) or child with special needs who needs a parent on call all the time. Too many parents were having one spouse not work and then claiming hardship but having one spouse not work when able-bodied is considered a luxury. The courts figure if you can afford to have one spouse not working then you can also afford to fully support your children.

    Expenses can be figured in sometimes, again depending on the state, because some things cost more but are beneficial or unavoidable, like medical expenses, afterschool things, cost of housing to keep kids in a school district, etc.... A friend of mine's ex insisted their kids be in one certain district but the housing costs and taxes there are incredibly high so the dad had to pay a lot more because he was the one insisting. Also there are cost of living type increases if expenses go up substantially in many areas.

    A LOT of the custody and child support rules differ widely from state to state and even from one county to another. I know people who have moved in order to get lower or higher child support because they figured this out.

    Good job on keeping the case open!