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It was nice while it lasted . . .


waffle

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Bye bye Child Support and Spousal Support, I will miss you.

 

Found out earlier this week that xH lost his job. I'm not clear on when but it's been sometime within the last couple of weeks.

 

The good news? Unlike all the times he was unemployed during our marriage (around 5 or 6, I lost count), this time I just need to worry about me and the kids but I don't have to support him. He's no longer my problem. He never received unemployment any of those times, but this time I think he might. So as soon as I miss a support payment I need to contact the child support agency and see if his unemployment (assuming he gets it) can be garnished, because he still owes the money unless and until he petitions for a change in circumstances.

 

Otherwise, I don't quite know how this works. My situation isn't dire because I have a decent job and some savings so I'll be OK short-term. If he's unemployed for a year or more, that may start to get a little dicey. I won't be applying for welfare (and that's not a criticism of those who do) but I heard--and I don't know if this is true--that the only way the state will pursue non-paying dads is if you DO go on assistance.

 

What do other women do in this situation? Just curious, because I know this is fairly common.

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Unemployment insurance is subject to income withholding. I double checked for MI, too. There are very few income sources that aren't attachable(example would be SSI[not SSDI], as it's needs-based and considered welfare). I don't have any idea about spousal support, though.

 

but I heard--and I don't know if this is true--that the only way the state will pursue non-paying dads is if you DO go on assistance.

 

It's not true, but I'm sure priority goes to those cases. How it works, is that in order to receive GA benefits, there has to be an open CS case. The custodial parent will not receive full payment from any CS payments made, but a small pass-through and the rest goes to paying back the state.

 

I've only ever gotten one CS payment, so I've never relied on it. Someone told me early on to never count on it, and if I do receive, just consider it a bonus! So I never, ever take it into account(and it's a good thing, lol).

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Unemployment does not relieve him of his obligation to pay child support. He could petition the court to have it temporarily lowered, but even if he does, the balance will still be accumulating in the background for him to have to eventually pay you and it is on the books that he owes you.

 

My suggestion is that you try to cooperate by telling him he can defer some of the payment until he gets another job (if you think he has genuinely lost a job thru no fault of his own). But if you think this is a scam where he is trying to get out of child support, i'd talk to your local agencies to find out what you can do about it.

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I am currently going through all of this with my sons fathers. I don't know how the US does their garnishments but anything government here (so EI, Welfare, Disability, etc) cannot be garnished. They are all "need-based" so they government wont allow someone to live under there needs - however, if and when your ex files for his taxes - if you have an active claim going with whoever it is that does the garnishments in the US, and your ex gets a money back, those funds will be sent directly to you instead of him for any back payment he owes.

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. . . in order to receive GA benefits, there has to be an open CS case. The custodial parent will not receive full payment from any CS payments made, but a small pass-through and the rest goes to paying back the state.

 

This is consistent with what I've read online. It doesn't make sense. Why would anyone apply for assistance in order to get essentially nothing, and the state takes most of it in order to get "paid back." Paid back for what, exactly?

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This is consistent with what I've read online. It doesn't make sense. Why would anyone apply for assistance in order to get essentially nothing, and the state takes most of it in order to get "paid back." Paid back for what, exactly?

 

Most of the people applying for assistance usually do not have regular CS payments coming in, or any. Or they are pitifully low orders(like...$50 a month).

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This is consistent with what I've read online. It doesn't make sense. Why would anyone apply for assistance in order to get essentially nothing, and the state takes most of it in order to get "paid back." Paid back for what, exactly?

 

Well they do get something. They get state assistance funds in lieu of the child support. Then "if" child support comes in the state will take that to pay themselves back for the assistance they've had to provide. But the person applying has to qualify for assistance. If they already have a job and can support themselves then they would not receive assistance.

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I don't understand though. Why is it that he ends up unemployed consistently?

Many reasons. For example, one time it was his internet porn addiction--he literally couldn't tear himself away to go to bed on time and get up on time and after a couple months of consistently being late/not showing up at all, he got fired (this was my fault for not making sure he was getting up on time The last couple times it has been economic conditions, as it was this time. I live in an area that was hit hardest by the recent economic downturn, and has not recovered. xH is currently unemployed because his company closed. Happens pretty much daily around here.

 

Well they do get something. They get state assistance funds in lieu of the child support. Then "if" child support comes in the state will take that to pay themselves back for the assistance they've had to provide. But the person applying has to qualify for assistance. If they already have a job and can support themselves then they would not receive assistance.

So if you don't qualify for assistance, then . . . ? xH gets to skip out on his child support obligation? I know I need to call my local child support agency but . . . I am SOOOO dreading this.

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So if you don't qualify for assistance, then . . . ? xH gets to skip out on his child support obligation?
'

 

No. But if someone is determined to, they will, and it can be a long time before it catches up with them.

 

There are administrative enforcement actions a child support agency can take for people in X amount of arrears. Like they can put an interception on refunds, seize bank accounts, suspend passports, drivers licenses, blah blah. From my understanding they are all automatically generated actions.

 

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Is the child support agency already enforcing your order?

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So if you don't qualify for assistance, then . . . ? xH gets to skip out on his child support obligation? I know I need to call my local child support agency but . . . I am SOOOO dreading this.

 

No. The child support agency would initiate enforcement and collection from the person responsible. So they don't get to just skip out. There are a variety of collection actions they can take from garnishing wages, suspending their drivers license, etc. But unfortunately there are just as many methods people use to try to get around having to pay. I won't list those out so as to avoid giving people ideas how to do it.

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The key is to be proactive on your part - to plan. CS and SS were awarded you thru court judgements. To get out of either one has to petition the court. Most courts will not back date a change in CS or SS beyond the date of filed petition so keep track of what payments he has made and hasn't made. Keep your records up to date! Should he become employed again you can go back and have the CS adjusted again and he would then be making current CS plus a portion of the arrears to you. I would expect this to be the same for SS.

 

In the meantime don't let your kids carry this adult burden. Should they ask about daddy's job or lack there of only speak of what you know to be truthful and be supportive. I don't know of your current situation and how much your ex is involved with your kids but don't let this affect that.

 

Good Luck!

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LOL the kids were the ones that told ME. Right or wrong, they are privy to far more than I am being that xH and I are not on speaking terms. If they hadn't told me, I wouldn't have known until the payment didn't come and I would've been waiting for money that wasn't ever going to show up. He pays it via wage garnishment (we had to do it that way because he was very clear that he wasn't going to ever voluntarily give me a dime of HIS money), but if he has no wages to garnish . . . this is NOT going to be fun but quite frankly he's more screwed than I am.

 

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Is the child support agency already enforcing your order?

Yup. I'll repeat my comment . . . from what I'm reading here, he's more screwed than I am.

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