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Georgia Child Support Nightmare

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  • Georgia Child Support Nightmare

    I am posting on behalf of my brother who is currently incarcerated for contempt. He lost his business a year ago, sold his home & made a few foolish choices in regard to his remaining cash, but did pay the ex wife several thousand to cover his court ordered support. Two months later, as he had paid no weekly support for that period, the ex went to CSR & made a claim that he owed a substantial sum in back support, he failed to appear at that hearing, because all his records were in storage from his move, he was afraid to go to jail, so according to his attorney he lost his opportunity to be heard. He did eventually go to jail & we paid the CSR amount of several thousand which they said was half the amount owed. I have seen his records & this amount is wrong, but he had paid the ex instead of the court, thus his "proof" presumably isn't valid.
    He was unemployed for a year, living with me at no expense to him...finally got a job with much reduced income, had another hearing...ex had her say & he was ordered to pay an amount he couldn't afford to pay, nor could I pay for him. Next court date arrives, he has part of the amount he was supposed to pay, but is found in contempt because his employer was garnishing only 175 of the 250 he was previously ordered to pay weekly. So, now he is in jail, earning nothing, accruing the same debt weekly & the judge won't release him to work without a substantial payment of back amount---which he doesn't have. His employer sent someone to try to arrange work release & they have refused. What can be done here? If he stays in jail until the first of the year & then files for modification, will the arrearage change with the new law? And why won't the court actually consider what a person is earning when setting amounts to be paid? I have the cash he was supposed to pay at the last hearing, since he was found in contempt he didn't pay it--it is substantially less than what the judge ordered however. I am trying to figure how best to help...he made alot of bad decisions, but was never a dead-beat dad, but the story worked for the ex & he is regarded as such within the system. How do I, as a family member who cares, but isn't willing to get a second mortgage help? I would appreciate any advice. sorry to be so long-winded.

  • #2
    Originally posted by sibylla59 View Post
    I am posting on behalf of my brother who is currently incarcerated for contempt. He lost his business a year ago, sold his home & made a few foolish choices in regard to his remaining cash, but did pay the ex wife several thousand to cover his court ordered support. Two months later, as he had paid no weekly support for that period, the ex went to CSR & made a claim that he owed a substantial sum in back support, he failed to appear at that hearing, because all his records were in storage from his move, he was afraid to go to jail, so according to his attorney he lost his opportunity to be heard. He did eventually go to jail & we paid the CSR amount of several thousand which they said was half the amount owed. I have seen his records & this amount is wrong, but he had paid the ex instead of the court, thus his "proof" presumably isn't valid.
    He was unemployed for a year, living with me at no expense to him...finally got a job with much reduced income, had another hearing...ex had her say & he was ordered to pay an amount he couldn't afford to pay, nor could I pay for him. Next court date arrives, he has part of the amount he was supposed to pay, but is found in contempt because his employer was garnishing only 175 of the 250 he was previously ordered to pay weekly. So, now he is in jail, earning nothing, accruing the same debt weekly & the judge won't release him to work without a substantial payment of back amount---which he doesn't have. His employer sent someone to try to arrange work release & they have refused. What can be done here? If he stays in jail until the first of the year & then files for modification, will the arrearage change with the new law? And why won't the court actually consider what a person is earning when setting amounts to be paid? I have the cash he was supposed to pay at the last hearing, since he was found in contempt he didn't pay it--it is substantially less than what the judge ordered however. I am trying to figure how best to help...he made alot of bad decisions, but was never a dead-beat dad, but the story worked for the ex & he is regarded as such within the system. How do I, as a family member who cares, but isn't willing to get a second mortgage help? I would appreciate any advice. sorry to be so long-winded.
    Unfortunately your brother made several HUGE mistakes that are now coming back to haunt him. He should NEVER make ANY payment directly to ex, he HAS TO pay thru the state/court otherwise he doesn't get credit for the payments. Unfortunately there isn't anything that can be about that mistake now, except to pay the arrears and always pay thru the state from now on.

    His other mistakes were not appearing in court and not filing to modify as soon as his financial circumstances changed. I fully understand that he was afraid of going to jail and he may not have known that he could file to modify, but unfortunately the court doesn't care about all of that. (It's one of the ridiculous things about the CS system, parents are supposed to automatically know what there rights are but the court never tells them in the first place).

    Combine his mistakes with an obviosly biased Judge and an assinine CRS worker (I'd bet that I can guess the worker's name if it's out of the Douglasville office) and your brother is really in a mess. Once arrears have accrued they cannot be modified later, however, he should file to modify ASAP. Does he still have an attorney? If so his attorney needs to file a motion to get this into court ASAP with proof that the NCP is trying to make arrangements to pay but the CSR is prohibiting it. Thier reaction doesn't do anyone any good, it doesn't do a dam thing to collect CS, but GA is very bad about doing that.

    The best thing for you to do is to help any way that you financially can, but remember you still have to take care of yourself. If he and his lawyer will allow it you can be a go-between for them. You can relay messages back and forth that way it won't cost as much. Other than that there's not much you or he can do except get it back into court and force a Judge to listen to legal reason. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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