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despedina
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: despedina]
      #773506 - 01/09/12 06:44 PM

NikkiL how did you get child support enforcement to garnish medical? I also have built up medical expenses. It does not seem as cut and dried because I'm sure I'd have to provide receipts. Not sure how to go about doing that.

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Pops_IL_CP_Dad
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: despedina]
      #773517 - 01/09/12 08:02 PM

despedina -- Child Support Enforcement doesn't have to file a notice to withhold income for medical. You can do this yourself if you obtain a judgment from the court for the balance owed. Do you have a court order which states that your ex is responsible for 50% (or whatever)?

If so, and if he hasn't paid, file for contempt and ask the court for a payment plan. When he doesn't pay as ordered, file a notice to withhold income. Your court clerk should have all the forms required.

This assumes, of course, that you have furnished your ex in a timely manner all of the documentation required--actual bills (not payment receipts) and a statement of benefits from your insurance company showing the balance due to the provider AND that you have sent by certified mail, return receipt, several requests for reimbursement.

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Focus on what is legally relevant, not morally indignant or petty.


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despedina
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: Pops_IL_CP_Dad]
      #773529 - 01/09/12 09:10 PM

Well I have given him copies of the actual Bills - I believe all the bills noted that it was the amount that was Patient responsibility after insurance or noted that it was a copay. I do have a court order that ex is responsible for 50% of uninsured medical. I have not done the certified mail thing, I have just given him copies of the bills and sent him a running "invoice" every couple of months that lists how much he owes me. It would not be a big deal to send a certified letter to be official (however the last few certified letters I've sent him over the years have been refused and returned to me).
On the contempt thing, won't I have to get a court date and go through the whole court thing again? I dread months of drawn out court dates like when we filed for contempt (for child support) several years ago. It was a nightmare and cost me thousands of dollars in lawyers fees.


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Pops_IL_CP_Dad
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: despedina]
      #773532 - 01/09/12 09:27 PM

Contempt for nonpayment of support or medical expenses is a pretty cut and dry thing. You shouldn't need an attorney. (And you sure shouldn't have had to "pay thousands" for an attorney for a contempt petition before--unless you didn't really have a case.)

But if you use one, you should request fees, too. If he loses (and most do), he will have to pay your fees.

Look, if he was ordered to pay, he was billed, and he refused to pay, that's contempt. The burden is on HIM to prove that he did not willfully and contumaciously fail to pay what the court ordered him to pay.

Of course, you could choose to just let it go... You might as well -- Because he apparently has your number and isn't going to pay because he knows you aren't going to do anything about it, anyway.

I file against my ex every 4 or 5 months. No attorney. Fill out a petition and notice of hearing, send it on, file appropriate papers with the clerk, set a date and bingo bango. We're in court a month later. Having a judge tell her she will go to jail unless she pays within ten days is only way she will pay a single dime of support.

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Focus on what is legally relevant, not morally indignant or petty.


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despedina
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: Pops_IL_CP_Dad]
      #773741 - 01/10/12 07:14 PM

I don't what happened last time then, I was only asking for what was spelled out in our paperwork. When we went back my ex stirred some other stuff up so I wonder if that's why we had lawyers going back and forth so much. That's what I most fear. I was actually thinking about going to small claims but didn't know if I could. I've let all the other medical add up because its $5 here, $10 there for 1/2 of copays but has added up to about $200. But I can tell you if he refuses to pay his $600 it will be time to go back. I'm glad you've shared how easy it is to go back for contempt. It will be pretty cut and dried.

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Pops_IL_CP_Dad
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: despedina]
      #773781 - 01/11/12 07:41 AM

Providing a small claims court would hear the case and not just refer you back to family court --

The same basic things will happen whether you go to small claims or family court. Either court could hand down a judgment and order the ex to pay. Either may put the ex on a payment plan. Either may order a wage garnishment.

BUT, on a complaint in small claims, you can NOT ask for some of the relief (consequences) that you can ask for on a contempt petition in family. For instance, in small claims, you can not request that the ex spends periodic (weekends) time in jail until child support is caught up. (Check your statutes to see what relief is available.) But the most important fact is that the ex would probably be found in contempt in family court. Not so in small claims. There would be no record in family court of the nonpayment. And THAT is where it needs to be.

The ex may try to "stir up some other stuff" to delay or confuse the issue, to force additional attorney fees to get you to drop your case or make it so costly that it makes no sense to pursue. If that can be proven or if the ex delays and obviously is responsible for you incurring needless attorney fees, he can be held responsible for those fees.

OR, what happens in the majority of cases, including a couple of times in my case, a check gets handed over or an agreement gets reached 10 minutes before court because the LAST thing the ex wants is to appear in front of the family court judge for nonsupport of ANY kind.

Make sure you have complied with everything--send bills promptly and regularly. Send copies of these THREE ways. 1--by certified mail, return receipt. 2--by regular postal mail. 3--by email. Why? The ex can refuse to pick up certified mail and claim that he never got it which would delay everything. However, if the postal mail does NOT get returned to you, then the court presumes that the recipient did, in fact, receive it. If you regularly correspond by email, then the court will also presume that the ex received the documentation.

When you say you have "let all the other medical add up", I hope that does NOT mean you haven't billed the ex. Bill him each and every time no matter how little the expense. Send him a statement of all money due monthly. Record on each original bill every date you bill the ex for that bill and the method of notice.

Regarding "lawyers going back and forth", that's just out of control attorneys running up billable hours. You should be managing your case AND managing your attorney. He is, after all, your employee. If you hire one, you should have explicit instructions on how you want your case handled -- i.e. "this is what I want and I will not pay for conferences between attorneys and letters between attorneys while they discuss things or try to negotiate a settlement." There is nothing to discuss, nothing to negotiate. Your stand would be that he either pays or goes to court.

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Focus on what is legally relevant, not morally indignant or petty.


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NewMexPop
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: Pops_IL_CP_Dad]
      #773798 - 01/11/12 09:45 AM

The courts look to see what is in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD.

They really don't care much for the bickering between parents and the silly control struggles that go back and forth. If you have documentation that the kids teeth are a mess, get braces on. Plenty of notice was given and it's in the CHILDS BEST INTEREST to get them on. I don't think you can equate braces with breast augmentation. With teeth, in many cases, the longer braces are delayed, the more corrective work needs to be done and the more expensive it gets. There is a lot of selfishness going on here.


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Pops_IL_CP_Dad
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: despedina]
      #773833 - 01/11/12 02:27 PM

When you go to the ortho, take your orders with you that show who is responsible. Ask that the bill be divided between the parents according to the order. In other words, suppose it is going to cost 2500 for braces and insurance will pay 1500. The balance of 1000 should be divided--550 to you and 450 to the NCP. (You pay the first 100 and then the balance is split 50/50)

The ortho may or may not do this but it's worth a shot.

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Focus on what is legally relevant, not morally indignant or petty.


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despedina
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: Pops_IL_CP_Dad]
      #775799 - 01/28/12 01:40 PM

Well I want to thank everyone for there help. Right now we are just kind of waiting - my daughter's first ortho appt was last Wed and they took a look and told us everything that was wrong. Not only are her eye teeth behind other teeth but they were concerned that her back teeth were not touching top to bottom when she closed her mouth. My daughter never said anything because she didn't realize there was anything wrong with it. Our next appt is in 10 days where we will get the written diagnosis and start on a payment plan. We're going to get all of that in writing, make copies and show my ex in person. I also have a letter from a lawyer friend clarifying that this work is ordered in our paperwork.
After showing and discussing in person I should have an idea of whether my ex is going to play nice. But regardless I will send the letters and email as requested. Hopefully he sees this is a losing battle and that he just has to pay his portion of the payments (which will be about $50 per month if paid over 12 mos). I think this is terribly reasonable.


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Goodmom
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Re: Can't get ex to help pay for braces. [Re: despedina]
      #775827 - 01/28/12 06:36 PM

[quote]He responded that braces are like a breast augmentation or like liposuction and optional so if I wanted to do it I was responsible for all costs. Our paperwork specifically notes that "medical expenses" is defined as anything listed under IRS statute 1987 section 213 which I looked up and it does include braces on the list. Also, on our paperwork further down the paperwork it does specifically note "orthodontia". He thinks this means only emergency orthodontia and not "cosmetic procedures" as he calls it. [/quote]

Your ex is incorrect. And your court order supports your stance in two ways, first by stating that medical expenses are defined by the IRS guidelines, which list braces, and second by specifically stating orthodontia in it.

How you get him to see? Well, you present him with his portion of the bill, after all applicable insurance payouts, and when he refuses to pay, you take him to court for contempt. Be sure to ask for legal fees.


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