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Spousal Support and Wage Garnishment. Do I have to file Contempt

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EZ4U posted 8/24/2013 04:03 AM

Perhaps some of you have experience in this. I have asked a few attorneys and they said not worth the trouble for so little an expense.
I receive permanent non modifiable alimony. No child support was requested by me. Ex and I share son's school expenses 50/50.
He claims he has overpaid the school expenses by $405.00 and to reimburse himself has deducted it from this months spousal support payment.
I fret that every time he "perceives" he has overpaid something in the future he will use this tactic to repay himself. Do I have to file Contempt of Court, prove he did not overpay school expenses in order to request the deducted spousal support back?
All I really want to do is request his wages garnished so he can't keep doing this in future. That $405 is small to the lawyers but I pay the mortgage with it so is big deal to me.

crisp posted 8/24/2013 05:15 AM

In most jurisdictions the court clerk will help you get the correct forms set you on track for this type of procedure. Some aspects of domestic relations litigation are not cost effective for lawyer involvement, but still need to be done. I would be surprised if your court is not user friendly for this type of action. The Latin lingo used by the court is "pro se."

LisaP posted 8/24/2013 13:36 PM

Does your divorce agreement address how expenses are to be reimbursed for your son?

In my case, receipts have to be supplied and payment made within 30 days.

My state will not garnish alimony, unless CS is being garnished, and even then, there is a "cap".

Your right, he shouldn't reduce your payment as he pleases and I would get something in place that would prevent that from happening in the future. Did he supply you with receipts??

Skan posted 8/24/2013 16:18 PM

Children's expenses have nothing to do with spousal support. They are two different "pots" of money. He does not get to decide to make them one pot of money.

Go to the court clerk and find out what you need to have his wages garnished. And what you need to file to file for contempt of court. If you let this go, then I guarantee that this will occur multiple times from now on.

Dreamboat posted 8/24/2013 16:19 PM

I think your first step is to write him a firmly worded letter that states that he has not overpaid. Include copies of receipts or other proof that you have and also reference the section of the court order that specifies child expenses and SS. Pretend you are a L when you write the letter. At this point you have seen enough legalease to be able to fake it. Send it certified with a signature receipt request so you are 100% sure he gets it. That way he cannot claim he never got it.

Then he will either pay or he will not. If he does, that means that you showed him you are not a doormat and he cannot under pay just because. If he does not pay then that shows he has no respect for a court order so expect more crap in the future.

I do not think that $400 is enough to be worthy of filing for contempt because it will cost more than that in lawyer fees along. However I would follow crisp's advice and at a minimum call the court clerk to determine how much you would have to pay in court fees if you filed your own contempt order. But if he does not pay then he will do this again. I think once it gets over $1000 would be the time to act.

And from this point forward I think you need to go overboard with documentation and records. make multiple copies of all receipts, and make sure you always get a receipt. And make sure you document all requests for payment of the expenses, either in email with scanned copies of the receipts attached or thru certified letters.


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