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CS Modification

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Weatherly posted 4/24/2013 08:58 AM

I looked at my states requirements for CS modification. I meet all the requirements. It's been over a year, there has been a change in circumstances, and/or the difference would be 20% or more.

He got a new job, that pays more. Not enough to pick up the kids on his weekend and take them to soccer, or to pay child support, or to get them lunch between games on his weekend but, enough to get a new puppy.

He was ordered to provide health insurance for the kids, and pay for it. Our CS order is based on him paying insurance. He's never gotten it for them, and he doesn't pay for any portion of the insurance we have.

And, CS was figured at the highest amount he could have them, because at the time I filed, he was proving he was a good dad, and taking them 2 nights every other weekend, and one night mid week. Now, he has had them SEVEN nights this year. As opposed to the 32 he should have had them, according to the paperwork.

So, my question for everyone is, do I keep waiting, establishing a pattern? Or, will/can that count against me? I mean, I don't want a judge going "well, you are surviving fine, so, we will lower CS, and he has to take the kids more." I don't think they can do that, but, I still worry.

And, final question. When we divorced, we agreed on a lower than the state calculation by about $30/week. Since I agreed to that, am I even allowed to request a modification or am I stuck with that was originally agreed to? Yes, I can/will talk to a lawyer, but with finals coming up things are crazy here and I don't have time to make an appointment for about a month.

ajsmom posted 4/24/2013 09:02 AM

Circumstances have greatly changed, and it's obvious the pattern of his non-support (on all levels) is there.

It's up to you when you want to pull the trigger, but the longer you wait, the longer your children go unsupported by their father.


Weatherly posted 4/24/2013 09:08 AM

longer you wait, the longer your children go unsupported by their father.

Well, you would think it works that way. But, really the longer I wait, the more back support adds up, that's it. So, I can go for enforcement, he will find out, he will start depositing $10/week and the judge will say "well, at least he is trying." We've done this 3 times now.

As long as I file for the change before the end of the year, nothing will change, if I do it by then I get his tax return. (Well, in theory, but, he gets paid under the table, so I don't know that I will. I guess I just let back support build).

Amazonia posted 4/24/2013 09:25 AM

So, my question is whether it's going to matter. Yes it sounds like you certainly could file for a modification, but if he's already in arrears and not paying, what difference will a modification make?

You're going to spend money and time in court dealing with this, even if you file it pro se. Will you realistically see a return on that?

hexed posted 4/24/2013 09:35 AM

If he gets paid under the table how can you prove his income to justify the modification?

Sometimes its not worth the drama. I wouldn't let it go on forever b/c you're kids are still young. They deserve the money. Even if you're getting by just fine w/o his money you could put it in savings for college or what not.

roughroadahead posted 4/24/2013 09:41 AM

In my state, child support is always modifiable. Your decree could say that he owes none at all and you could file for a support order the very next day.

It may be worthwhile to file the modification and get enforcement through the state. Visitation and support are separate, so the judge won't change your visitation because of a CS modification. It is up to you whether to pursue additional support based on his lack of visitation, but that does complicate it, especially if you're pro se. I would gather any documentation you have regarding the insurance. That's actually contempt, but you could leave it alone and pursue additional support instead.

Weatherly posted 4/24/2013 09:46 AM

So, my question is whether it's going to matter

Well, it makes sure he stays behind so that we claim both kids on taxes every year, which is more money than actually getting CS.

And there is some story that goes around here all the time about a woman who never got any money for her ex until her kids were grown and he won the lottery. That would be good.

Hexed, I can't seem to quote again when I use the iPad, but, whether I can prove he gets paid more or not doesn't matter, I meet all the other criteria, at worst they will assume he can make min. wage, like they did in the original calculations. (He wasn't working then either). It should still change the amount.

Kajem posted 4/24/2013 10:17 AM

Separate the (lack of) visitation from the CS. I get that you are angry with him for not seeing his children. If you do this, it needs to be business orientated, not emotionally driven. And I so understand wanting to show the courts how much of an POS father he is.

Does your state calculate visitation time into money. Mine doesn't... and when I divorced a lot of them didn't.

Be diligent in your calculations... can you get an income deduction order in place with his new employer? That may be the only way to get around the "well at least he's trying to pay". Be aware that in some states, He can come back and say.. "I can't pay, I've been trying to pay" and the court gets sympathetic and reduced or eliminates the debt. Or he can countersue to have the debt reduced... afterall he's been trying to pay and you are a biatch for trying to raise CS.

Just some different perspectives to consider. Talk with your attorney... as this is complicated.



Weatherly posted 4/24/2013 10:25 AM

Actually, I'm not angry with him for not seeing the kids. CS is based on the number of overnights the other parent has. So, he claimed 150 for the year. Now, he is on track for 21. That is a significant difference, CS is tired to visitation. If he isn't paying he still gets to see them, but how much he pays is tied to how often he has them.

He can counter sue, but, I have a long list of jobs he has had that paid well that he quit because he didn't like his schedule. So, I don't see him winning that one. He quit his last job so he could "spend more time with the kids" and has had them even less than before.

Again, I am not angry about this, I'd be thrilled if he just disappeared. The only thing that ticks me off is that he tells the kids he can't feed them because I take all his money.

Dreamboat posted 4/24/2013 12:45 PM

Have you contacted your state CS enforcement agency? I think in my state they will assist with the CS modification.

Also, run the numbers. Find a CS calculator for your state and take into account the visitation time and the insurance. I don't think that the fact that you agreed to less in the D will impact anything this time around, so assume the amount from the calculator is the amount that your kids deserve. And determine if that amount is worth pursuing.

Good luck

devistatedmom posted 4/24/2013 15:01 PM

Yeah, you have 2 different issues here. File with the state and/or file for contempt...THAT is how you will show he hasn't been paying and is in arrears for that day he wins the lottery. Def contempt that he hasn't gotten the insurance.

You file for CS Modification to raise the amount.

You should def file with the state/contempt to get money somewhere down the road. The modification is up to you whether it's worth it at this point or not.

Weatherly posted 4/24/2013 15:12 PM

Ok, i know there are 2 different issues. The one issue though is that we are both required to have health insurance for the kids. When the decree went through, I didn't, so, he did not have to pay a portion. Now, I do, so, he has to pay a portion. Which changes the CS amount.

I know him not having insurance at all is contempt, but, I don't really care about that right now.

I used the calculator and did not even worry about changing his income, since I don't know what it is. i left it at min. wage. It raises his CS by $300/month. So, I did the calculation based on how many overnight he actually had the kids, and added in the amount I now pay for insurance.

I think I am not explaining this well, either that or Indiana is different than every other state in the country. Number of overnights and insurance are both CS considerations. There is a formula. I plugged in the numbers for real life and not his imaginary one. I can pursue a contempt charge as well, but, it won't do anybody any good. He still won't get insurance for them, because he will have an excuse, and he will get told to do a better job next time. The slap on the wrist once a year is worth it to him not to have to pay a couple thousand dollars in insurance, and he doesn't care what medical bills add up to, he just doesn't pay those either.

I guess this has established a pattern, and I can get this changed. He will be pissed off, but, I really don't care anymore. And, I suppose he can try to see the kids more, but, his new job requires a lot of travel, so, I don't see more visitation working for long anyway. I just wanted to know basically if this was enough of a pattern in other people's opinion. And, if it was even modifiable since i agreed to the lower amount.

Mandilwen posted 4/24/2013 16:23 PM

Yeah, this income based model is a little weird. I'm in indy, so I'm going to run some numbers by you so you can compare. These numbers are all public info anyways, so I have no concerns there.

I made roughly $30,000/year at time of divorce. I pay health insurance premiums of $125 biweekly for me and the boys. It would be $45 biweekly for just me. I had daycare taken out of child support and put in the divorce separately since it is an income shares model. So we just have our incomes, health insurance for the kids, and overnights configured for child support. Sounds like what you got going. My XH did not have a job, so he was put at minimum wage. We used the one night a week, every other weekend, I think it was the 98-150 overnight bracket. It equated to him only paying $35 per week for child support on two young boys, basically covering his half of their health insurance premiums. If your numbers roughly match mine, I'd be cautious modifying right now. I would set up a case with the enforcement agency, then request through them to modify in a little while. It's only $25 to start a case, unless you have a social services case, then it's free.

I was going to modify since my ex does have a job now, but we've decided to equal parenting time so child support can stay the same.

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