Can I modify CS????

Posted by: Geneva

Can I modify CS???? - 02/25/07 10:55 PM

Ex and I switched custody on 15 year old. I was working and pregnant with my third child and CS was set at $80.00 per week. A couple of months before I was due the company closed and I went on unemployment. I thought I would go back to work after my other son was born so I agreed through my attorney that I would pay $39.00 per week ( this was based on unemplyment and then go back to $80.00 per week with the understading on my part that I could then come back for a modification based on 2 children at home and new wages ( I have a 6 yr old also).

Well after my son was born my husband and I decided that after daycare and other expenses I would really just earn enough to pay that and not really help with the bills. So I wanted my attorney to file for a modification and let them look at my past income over the years. I have never made over $20,000 a year when I have worked.

Atty said that I could not go back because I had agreed to that amount when I was unemployed and I am still unemployed so my situation has not changed. (keep in mind he is 26 and just graduated law school) I cannot afford another attorney. My question is "can I just file through the state for a modification"? I am paying $80.00 per week and I am behind a a couple hundred right now and I am unemployed!!! This doesn't seem right to me. My friend said they would consider me voluntarily unemployed and impute me to 38,000.00 per year but I have documents showing what I have made in the past. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
Posted by: Gecko

Re: Can I modify CS???? - 02/25/07 11:35 PM

I don't even know where to start.........

So what your attorney is 26 and a recent graduate...that just means his knowledge of law is current.

Your current CS agreement is based on the fact that you said you were going back to work...that you just needed a temporary break. NOW you've decided that you don't want to go back to work and think that what...CS should stay the same or disappear?

Your friend is correct. If you can work 40 hours/52 weeks and earn $38k...that is what they will based your income even though you only worked say 30 hours/40 weeks.

As for you being behind...if your husband is in agreement to you staying home, then he needs to pay your child support.
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: Can I modify CS???? - 02/26/07 12:21 AM

What was the $80/wk based on BEFORE you became unemployed? If it was based on $38K is that what you were making with the company that closed? A judge may or may not impute it to that. Yes, you're voluntarily unemployed BUT, you were NOT voluntarily unemployed from THAT company with THAT pay. You have to be able to prove all you can make is $20K, that you just got lucky in that job and that you had no choice about losing that job. They may still set it at the $38K. All depends on who has the better case and what side of the bed the judge woke up on. It may also be that since you just recently made this agreement, you may have to wait a couple years before you can try for a mod.
Posted by: almostheaven

"then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 12:23 AM

That's true regardless of his feelings on the matter. If you have a home in BOTH your names...they can take it. Joint bank accounts? They can sieze them. Joint tax refunds, they can intercept them. He's married to you, he's supporting you. That means he also needs to support your bills, ALL your bills. Or he may face the consequences of it in the long run. If you end up in jail, who is going to watch the kids then?
Posted by: Geneva

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 12:32 AM

Th e$80.00 was based on $12.00 per hour and 1 child. No I have never madse 38K. I believe that is the guideline for a female in TN if you cannot show proof of past income. My husband it helping me pay it but it is beginning to get difficult because I am not earning anything right now.

I don't wan't to stop paying just have it lowered a little to were it's managable.
Posted by: jsp

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 12:56 AM

Given how little you are paying, if you get it any lower, its not going to really help dad so at that point what is the point of paying child support?

I can understand your choice to work vs. day care, but why not get a job for a few hours at night or on the weekend when your husband isn't work and can watch the kids so you can continue to pay your child support?

If you had custody of your child and dad was paying child support and not working, would you be ok with him paying no child support as he was voluntarily unemployed (regardless of the reason)?
Posted by: M5M5

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 12:59 AM

In TN they will base it on your last known income @ 40 hrs a week.
Posted by: Geneva

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 01:07 AM

I see your point, when you look at the big picture it is not a lot considering he is a teenager. I cannot work at night or the weekends my husband is in sales so he travels quite a bit and stays overnight so I could not count on him to watch the kids. $80.00 just seems like a lot when things are a little tight.
Posted by: Miranda

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 01:15 AM

Females have special provisions in TN? WOW!!!
Posted by: jsp

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 01:37 AM

$80 might be tight for you, but have you ever considered your son's needs? If he were living with you, how would you at minimum feed the kid given you can't afford anything in child support?

You have no friends, family or a babysitter to watch the kids so you can work 10-15 hours per week? You can't find an on call job where you can work when he is in town? How about babysitting in your home if you can't work outside your home and no one can watch the kids?
Posted by: steppedonmom

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 01:40 AM

If the shoe was on the other foot, how would you feel about it?
Posted by: jsp

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 01:54 AM

Who are you asking?

If it were me, it wouldn't be an issue - I always pay my bills and debt. When my husband wasn't working due to military retirement, we cut out everything, lived off my income and he got a job and worked as much as he could at a store and paid his support - it was a lot more than $80 a week. He never once was behind. Just because he made a choice, doesn't mean his kids can stop eating (given mom doesn't financially contribute a dime toward the kids care). As the spouse, I felt obligated to help him as much as I could till he was in a better position, which is exactly what I did. I even paid for the plane tickets for his youngest son when necessary, bought gifts/clothing and other needs. Marriage is a partnership!
Posted by: Gecko

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 01:59 AM

$80.00 just seems like a lot when things are a little tight.

---> I'm sorry...because things are tight, you're not going to feed your child...let him go barefoot in the snow?
Posted by: steppedonmom

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 02:13 AM

Sorry. I should've clarified. It was directed to the original poster.

And I am with you on that, jsp. When my husband was unemployed, his first thought was to reduce c/s. I said NO! The kids come first! We had to cut corners to make ends meet as best as we could, and reducing c/s was a last resort. Of course, his c/s was not a huge amount. If it was wayyyy too high, we might've done things differently. He went 7 months without a job, and we made it work without reducing c/s.
Posted by: jsp

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 03:28 AM

If you all weren't paying a lot of child support, I agree with you. But, I think now given the situation if my husband were unemployed we'd consider a reduction but the ex gets child support and military retirement and there is no contact. If we had a relationship, then I'd do what I needed to do but when she terminates it to be the only parent, I think she should learn what it is like to be a real single parent (with a live-in boyfriend).

If a parent chooses to be a stay at home parent or underemployed, to me they need to find a way to continue to support their children, in or outside their home. I can't imagine feeling it is ok not to financially provide for my children. I can understand taking a few years off to be a stay at home parent due to child care costs, but that is only if we could pay our bills/obligations, including child support.
Posted by: tsl

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 11:08 AM

Simple:

Find a job that has opposite work schedule as your hubby. Thus, no need to hire and pay for day care. Even if it is JUST part time!

If he works 1st shift, then find something on 2nds or 3rds. You are home when hubby works, he is home when you work.

You do what you have to do to support ALL your family, including child that doesn't live with you!
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 02:32 PM

Someone's giving you some really bad info. NO state claims a person (female or otherwise) can make $12/hr. just because they can't show proof of past income. UNLESS, your ex claimed that's what you were making and the court just believed him. But if you have proof, show it. And get a better lawyer. It should be based on what you CAN earn, HAVE earned, and are CAPABLE of earning. Not on a mythical figure pulled outta someone's butt.
Posted by: almostheaven

I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 02:35 PM

She's NOT disputting CS, just that the CS she pays was based on more than she does, has, or ever has made. ANY NCP who came on here saying they've always made $20K but their CS got based on $38K would usually be told to seek a modification. She COULD take a job, but with kids and the kind of income she could earn, the price of gas, etc., she'd likely only break even. It's just not worth it. But her CS should be based on what she typically earns regardless.
Posted by: almostheaven

I'm not getting this... - 02/26/07 02:36 PM

This has NOTHING to do with her choosing to stay home. Her CS was based on an INCORRECT INCOME from the start.
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 02:37 PM

She's paying over $300/mo., depending on how many weeks in the month...AT LEAST $320/mo. for one child. I don't see that as being so low that it doesn't help.
Posted by: M5M5

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 03:20 PM

I think she may be talking about the standard yearly income that is imputed for a female..which is a few thousand less than a males. I forgot what it's called...but I don't think it's used that often. I think it was like 34K or less for a female and 36K or more for a male. I've never heard about it actually being used though.
Posted by: Miranda

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 03:24 PM

Wouldn't that be unconstitutional? Do you mean median income?
Posted by: M5M5

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 03:27 PM

I don't know. I remember reading it long ago...it may be in our state's guidelines.
Posted by: Geneva

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 03:28 PM

Actually my CS was based on $12.00 per hr which I was making at the time, but now I have two children at home instead of 1 and they did not adjust for that, not that it would have made much of a difference. but I am talking to a friend about babysitting her two children after school and in the summer so that will help...........
Posted by: Miranda

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 03:29 PM

That sounds like a good idea.
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 03:40 PM

Ahhh, then this is where the problem is. You WERE making that. So it's very likely then that the court may continue your CS at that amount, since you've shown you're capable of making that. You didn't give that info previously. So your lawyer may be correct in what they're saying then.
Posted by: M5M5

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 03:43 PM

They will also impute it at 40 hrs per week...full time hours..even if you only work part time. You should also get a credit for your in home kids...however...with your first in home child..you got the max credit...so for the second child...you may get a $30 credit on top of it...more or less.
Posted by: Susanf31

Re: "then he needs to pay your child support"... - 02/26/07 05:14 PM

Why should your ex_h and your 1st born child have to take less because you voluntarily decided to have more children AND you voluntarily decided to stop working?

Why should they have to "suffer" at all for your decisions? If you can't be a stay-at-Home mom AND meet your obiligations to your child, then you shouldn't be a SAHM. If you can't have more children and be able to meeting your obligations to your first child, then you shouldn't have more children.

I never understand people who want their first spouse/first kids to help them "fund" their new lifestyle. Your HUSBAND should be the one funding your desire to be a stay-at-home mom, NOT for your former spouse/former child...via taking a reduction in CS.
Posted by: Gecko

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 06:21 PM

She's NOT disputting CS, just that the CS she pays was based on more than she does, has, or ever has made.

---> Actually...she is. She WAS paying $80.00 a week and the lost her job and support was [tempporaily] lowered to $39.00 UNTIL she could go back to work. She has NOW decided NOT to return to work and wants to permanantly reduce her support amount.

---> Now I'm just guessing here (wouldn't want Susan to accuse me of "assuming") because of the amount of child support...that the $20k she is claiming as income is based on LESS than full-time and so her friend IS correct to say that the courts would imput her income at $38k...if that is what she would earn if she worked full-time.

ANY NCP who came on here saying they've always made $20K but their CS got based on $38K would usually be told to seek a modification.

---> It would depend on whether they are working part-time or full-time.

---> In fact...this is what I am going through right now (hearing's in March). Ex wants my wages imputed at XX/hour, even though I haven't made that wage in five years. Frankly, I don't know how the Judge is going to rule on it. Sure...if I lived in the "big city" I could earn that amount, but I don't live there, I live here.

But her CS should be based on what she typically earns regardless.

---> Correct...if she COULD earn $38k by working full-time, she that is what her CS should be based on.
Posted by: Susanf31

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 06:24 PM

I think she has clarified twice now that her $80 wk CS was based on her making $12 an hour, 40 hrs a week. Not $38k.

++++
Actually my CS was based on $12.00 per hr which I was making at the time, but now I have two children at home instead of 1 and they did not adjust for that, not that it would have made much of a difference. but I am talking to a friend about babysitting her two children after school and in the summer so that will help...........
++++++++
Posted by: Gecko

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 06:42 PM

I think she has clarified twice now that her $80 wk CS was based on her making $12 an hour, 40 hrs a week. Not $38k.

---> No she hasn't.

---> The first time she mentions it, she said "I believe that is the guideline for a female in TN if you cannot show proof of past income." The second time, she said "Actually my CS was based on $12.00 per hr which I was making at the time".

---> I would also like to point out where she said "I have never made over $20,000 a year when I have worked." Now...if she WERE making $12.00/hour, that would be $24,960/year...so the ONLY way she could earn less would be to NOT work full-time.

---> And then you throw in the $38k...which is kind of an "odd" figure to just toss in without any reason. So the possibility exists that she is capable of earning $38k IF she worked full-time, instead of part-time.
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 07:03 PM

---> Actually...she is. She WAS paying $80.00 a week and the lost her job and support was [tempporaily] lowered to $39.00 UNTIL she could go back to work. She has NOW decided NOT to return to work and wants to permanantly reduce her support amount.

Well, she's since clarified that she DID make $12/hr. but at the time I responded here, NO that is NOT what she said. Yes, she lost her job and didn't want to go back to work, but that is not what she was wanting to base a permanent reduction on. She was wanting to base it on what she said she had proof of that she's always made before and on having an additional child. Not going back to work would make it tough, ESPECIALLY if one were paying more than guideline support anyway. And if they HAD based it on a salary she'd never before earned or was capable of earning, that's more than guideline.

---> It would depend on whether they are working part-time or full-time.

I was going on the basis of full-time regardless. That is what her support was apparently set at...$38K. Sounds like a full-time position.

---> Correct...if she COULD earn $38k by working full-time, she that is what her CS should be based on.

Exactly. However, at first, she'd said she was only capable of earning $20K and never claimed to have ever earned $38K. Now it appears she actually did earn more than that. Yet I'm still trying to figure it out, because she says it was based on $38K AND based on $12/hr. Yet $12/hr. does not equal $38K/yr.
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 07:04 PM

>>>>>I think she has clarified twice now that her $80 wk CS was based on her making $12 an hour, 40 hrs a week. Not $38k.

I don't know that it was a clarification. It's still clear as mud to me.
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 07:06 PM

Not at $12/hr. it's not. I've worked full-time...OVERtime, at $12/hr. and NEVER made $38K. It almost sounds like she's throwing out numbers because she gave a mythical figure and got caught up in it. I dunno. Maybe she'll come back and straighten it all out. But for now, she's just confused everything.
Posted by: Gecko

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 07:15 PM

Yet I'm still trying to figure it out, because she says it was based on $38K AND based on $12/hr. Yet $12/hr. does not equal $38K/yr.

---> $12.00/hour is $24,960/year, but the poster claims to earn LESS than $20,000. So I'm guessing that the poster was only working part-time...probably used W-2's instead of paystubs to get CS set. That if they had been working FT, then they could earn that $38,000 her friend said.
Posted by: Geneva

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 09:51 PM

I did not mean to confuse anyone.. When CS was originally set I was making $12.00 per hour but I never got over 30-35 hours per week. When I was laid off I agreed to have the support lowered to 39.00 per week.Then go back up to $80.00 I did decide not to go back to work because after daycare I would about break even.

A friend told me about the figure of 38k ( I think this is the correct amount)that if I attempted to go back and have it lowered that they could impute my income to that amount unless I had proof that I never made that.

I shouldn't have posted this I was just wondering out loud about it. I am not going back for the modification hopefully the babysitting will work out and that will help with the payment
Posted by: Gecko

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 10:01 PM

When CS was originally set I was making $12.00 per hour but I never got over 30-35 hours per week.

---> Then your support will be imputed at $12.00/hour, full-time or $2,080/month since you are capable of full-time employment.

I did decide not to go back to work because after daycare I would about break even.

---> And that is your choice, but you will STILL have to pay child support based on that wage because your ex is NOT responsible for your choice to stay home because you have additional children.

The figure of 38k I brought up is regarding TN Code stating that income may be imputed for women to this amount if they cannot show proof of past income.

---> I don't know if such a statute really exists, but it's not a bad idea...kind of "either put up or shut up".
Posted by: almostheaven

?? - 02/26/07 11:04 PM

I still don't understand that. You said "$12.00/hour is $24,960/year". But then said "if they had been working FT, then they could earn that $38,000". I still can't figure out how anyone gets $38K/yr. on $12/hr...fulltime or otherwise.
Posted by: Avaya

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 11:04 PM

Why does the 38k matter. You CAN prove that you never made that much, right? You have prior year tax returns and W-2's don't you?
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 11:08 PM

How does your friend know what they based it on? Do the calculations. My guess is they based it on $12/hr., either at the 30-35 hours/week you got or based on full-time 40 hour weeks and nowhere NEAR $38K. In which case, you're very unlikely to get it lowered. But go to http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/ and plug in the numbers and see where you get $80/wk. then you'll KNOW what figure it was based on and won't have to guess.
Posted by: Dee78

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/26/07 11:38 PM

What it comes down to is that her friend didn't know what she was talking about. The $38K (or something like it) is when you don't have proof of any income...she does so she doesn't have to worry about that.
Posted by: Gecko

Re: ?? - 02/27/07 04:16 AM

It's ok Char...at the time, I wasn't sure what was going on and was speculating as to various scenarios.
Posted by: Gecko

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/27/07 04:18 AM

The $38k was supposedly part of some statute in which if the Obligor is unable (unwilling?) to subtantiate their income, then there is some dollar amount they pull out of their ass.
Posted by: almostheaven

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/27/07 03:58 PM

The more I think about it, the more likely it seems, regardless of the state, that $80/wk is based on a $12/hour job, either part- or full-time though I dunno. But it would seem anything based on $38K would be much higher than $80/wk.
Posted by: Gecko

Re: I think the point being missed here... - 02/27/07 08:01 PM

But it would seem anything based on $38K would be much higher than $80/wk.

---> Depends on how much Dad makes.