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#515796 - 05/18/09 03:05 AM Re: If either of you file [Re: finz]
joey69 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 5
Wow...they're are a lot of self righteous people here! I thought this was a forum to discuss problems and try to lend some advice without all the judgement?
Let me say that there is no way I can fit the entire situation in a paragraph or two...I am a loving and involved father with my daughter and always have been. There were lies and accusations made by my ex after she found out I was seeing someone else (2 years after our separation). This is what began the acrimony (not alimony). Despite what some here may think, I've been trying to keep up with the heavy burden imposed upon me for my child's sake. Florida guidelines include both incomes and take a percentage from that. In my case, the $2500 was 51% of the support obligation, leaving me paying $712 monthly including $50 monthly towards arrears. I know that the percentage has shifted since she has a better job than me now and has for some time. I'm just worried that opening this can of worms may backfire and I may be found in contempt of court for falling behind as much as I have. I have to do something before the arrearage hits 25 or 30 grand!
Advice or questions would be appreciated...the rest of you can spare me the holier than thou crap...

Thanks

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#515797 - 05/18/09 02:59 PM If your state considers [Re: joey69]
Melody Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 10102
Loc: California
the income of both parties, then you should probably be able to obtain a support reduction if her income is higher than it was or higher than yours is now. However, the arrears will not go away. If you've already incurred an arrearage, and it sounds like part of your support payment includes something going towards arrears, if i remember correctly, then that arrears payment will still be on top of whatever the guideline support calculation will be. If you have additional arrears, which it sounds like you do...this will be added to the other arrears. In other words, you may end up with a lower monthly support payment, but you'll still have arrears payments added to this. The new total may be less than or greater than what you're paying now. There's no way of knowing without having more financial details. You can go to www.alllaw.com/calculators and select your state. I've found it to be fairly accurate as far as comparison with my state's formula.

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#515798 - 05/18/09 03:09 PM Re: If either of you file [Re: joey69]
Yes_Dad Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 7406
[quote] Wow...they're are a lot of self righteous people here! I thought this was a forum to discuss problems and try to lend some advice without all the judgement?
Let me say that there is no way I can fit the entire situation in a paragraph or two...I am a loving and involved father with my daughter and always have been. There were lies and accusations made by my ex after she found out I was seeing someone else (2 years after our separation). This is what began the acrimony (not alimony). Despite what some here may think, I've been trying to keep up with the heavy burden imposed upon me for my child's sake. Florida guidelines include both incomes and take a percentage from that. In my case, the $2500 was 51% of the support obligation, leaving me paying $712 monthly including $50 monthly towards arrears. I know that the percentage has shifted since she has a better job than me now and has for some time. I'm just worried that opening this can of worms may backfire and I may be found in contempt of court for falling behind as much as I have. I have to do something before the arrearage hits 25 or 30 grand!
Advice or questions would be appreciated...the rest of you can spare me the holier than thou crap...

Thanks [/quote]

I wasn't trying to be self righteous. Just saying Chicago is way more expensive. I spent 4 years in Florida and wished I never moved back although the city has a lot to offer. The Cubs for sure. But you are going to hate the winter. And the taxes. Chicago has the highest sales tax in the country and right now, the highest gas prices but it's a pretty dynamic place to live and a lot to do.

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#515799 - 05/18/09 03:31 PM Re: If either of you file [Re: Yes_Dad]
joey69 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 5
Thank you for the advice...I realize that arrearage will not go away. Personally, if this is money for my daughter, I don't want it to go away. This is my main concern...I've been unemployed for sometime now, because I haven't found a job to pay me as much as I was getting from unemployment (as pathetic as that may sound). Unemployment insurance is going to run out very soon so I don't know what I'll have to settle for in the meantime. I am continuing school and hope to be better prepared for the future after this experience.
My questions primarily are; Will the judge understand that I haven't worked because of the economy? I don't want to be held in contempt of court. I just want to stop the bleeding, so to speak...Am I allowed to request her financial statements for purposes of support, or is that the domain of a lawyer? If I had the money, I would ask a lawyer, but unfortunately I do not. Also, my daughter will be staying with us for the summer in a few weeks and I always incur an airfare related bill. I understand (and it's our agreement) I have to pay for the flights but she won't let my daughter fly unescorted (only by airline personnel) until she's 12. I'd like to let her when she feels she's ready (she's 9 now)...Any thoughts? And do you think a judge would allow it earlier? I'm paying for 3 round trip tickets every time I see her (anywhere from $400-$700).

Again, thanks

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#515800 - 05/18/09 10:18 PM It's possible [Re: joey69]
Melody Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 10102
Loc: California
that the current economy will be considered. However, you will have to prove through documentation that you have exhausted all possibilities to find work. Just saying so won't be enough.

If you cannot prove that you have gone over and above all reasonable efforts to find work, the assumption will be that you are NOT trying hard enough and you won't likely get the reduction. If the judge doesn't believe you, then you may be held in contempt. You may request financial documents from the other party. If you are representing yourself, then you need to see these documents to be sure that her proper salary is declared.

As for the airline flights, get a statement from the airlines as to what the youngest age they will take unaccompanied minors. Usually it's 5 or 7. Yes, a judge would definitely allow it earlier unless there are documented behavior problems exhibited by the child that would make her a less than attractive traveler.

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#515801 - 05/19/09 12:07 PM Re: I'm new here.... [Re: joey69]
almostheaven Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 10468
Loc: West Virginia
She can file for contempt anytime because you're in arrears. However, not much would be done as long as you are paying SOMETHING. It shows that you ARE making an effort and not just dodging the support. However, since '04, unemployed now at least twice...that won't look well on you seeking a modification. It will appear as if you can't hold down a job and may be looked at as "voluntary" unemployment.

Yet, you should be able to seek a modification based on the imputation of income. It doesn't appear as if you have ever been in the $2500/mo. income category. What did the court base this on? Fact is though, you'll likely need a lawyer in order to win on that issue, which only makes it harder to pay the support you owe. You may be able to locate a pro bono father's rights attorney though, or an attorney willing to work with you on payments.
_________________________
Char Fox

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#515802 - 05/19/09 12:09 PM Re: If either of you file [Re: joey69]
almostheaven Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 10468
Loc: West Virginia
Sometimes you can fair better getting a loan to pay off arrears, at a lower interest than the state may charge.
_________________________
Char Fox

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#515803 - 05/19/09 12:20 PM Re: If either of you file [Re: joey69]
almostheaven Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 10468
Loc: West Virginia
Usually children younger than 12 can fly unescorted and the court will likely rule in your favor on this. As for paying for the flights, it sounds as if you moved out of FL first, therefore, you will likely always have to pay the costs of travel since you initially created the need for travel.
_________________________
Char Fox

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#515804 - 05/19/09 12:21 PM Re: It's possible [Re: Melody]
almostheaven Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 10468
Loc: West Virginia
I was thinking 7, but didn't want to say so without knowing.
_________________________
Char Fox

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#515805 - 05/19/09 12:24 PM Re: I'm new here.... [Re: JennyLynn]
almostheaven Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 10468
Loc: West Virginia
That is a good question of course. Perhaps the OP may feel like its an attack, but it is really a valid question. Why does ANYONE have more kids if they're having a hard time paying their current bills? People do make mistakes, but this is one area where people really need to start thinking, stop bringing more kids into an overcrowded, welfare run society, especially when you're under or unemployed and claiming a hardship, or for any women who are on welfare...who never listen to that reasoning either. Its just a feel good society. If it feels good do it. We'll worry about birth control later. ::sigh::
_________________________
Char Fox

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