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I've been served!!! California

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  • I've been served!!! California

    My ex and I have a 2 yr. old son. We split up when he was 6 months...it was horrible, but probably for the better. I am very lucky in the fact that we get along well when it comes to money, etc. I have voluntarily paid her child support since day one, an amount we both agreed on, and I have to say it has gone well. There has been no need for any ridiculous custody battles, we live close to each other, and I have my son almost 50% of the time. Well, she recently lost her job, and went and signed up for good old welfare. So now, California has decided that they need to treat me like a deadbeat, and served me with a lawsuit for child support. My ex told them how much I pay and when, she even wrote receipts. They are FORCING this issue.... and the amount of money they want is ridiculous, its over 50% of my gross pay, and I dont make a whole lot as it is. Now, I've read alot of these threads, and I see ALOT of people saying one thing, but really just wanting to get out of paying CS, or wanting to pay less. I find this disgusting. But what I also find disgusting is the state asking for an amount that will literally make it impossible for me to live. I have no problem paying more if I make more, I mean, it's my son, c'mon..... But this is truly unfair. What are my options??

  • #2
    Have you considered filing for custody? If not, and you are going to be the non-custodial parent, you have no options...you will pay what the State of California, through their formulae, have determined is fair for you to pay. Brutal truth, I know, but it's best you hear it and accept it now rather than later. Your alternative is to refuse to pay what the court orders, eventually be held in contempt, and face possible jail time and ridiculous interest rates on arrears.

    What you received was most likely a temporary order of support (the amount, just like in my case I'm sure, is much higher than what the two of you agreed to when you moved out). Eventually a court will hear your case and assign a final amount in a child support order enforced until your child turns 18 or so. If your case is like mine, the monthly amount ordered may go up again from the temporary order you just received, but that is by no means a certainty.

    With any luck, the court will at least impute a minimum income for her, but I certainly wouldn't count on it, especially if she involuntarily lost her job. You can go to a free child support calculator at http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/Ch...rt/california/ and play with the income numbers there to give yourself an idea of what to expect.

    The state can legally garnish as much as 60% of your disposable income (that is, your pay after taxes)...65% if you get more than 12 weeks behind in your payments. What they ask for can't possibly be over 50% of your gross (before taxes) pay, unless you get paid "under the table" and don't pay taxes at all...did you mean to say they are asking for over 50% of your net (after taxes) pay?

    I pay around 50% of my disposable earnings here in Oklahoma...I have had to make many lifestyle changes, but I have done it. Please don't come on here and complain about how the amount of CS makes it "literally impossible for me to live"...that's not the case and you should face reality...your lifestyle will change for a long time because of this.

    I will be happy to share more details of my case, which is very similar to yours, if you wish. Be aware that the folks who work in the child support office will ask your ex again and again if she wants back support to the point you split up (or at least to the point she filed) - my ex told them again and again she didn't, but they kept asking anyway. I think perhaps they are paid on commission!
    Last edited by boobatuba; 04-16-2008, 07:24 PM.

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    • #3
      Booba's response was dead on target.

      Now, I'm going to inject a little bit of common sense into your situation.

      If your ex qualifies for state aid, then she is obviously living below the poverty level. The amount of CS you have been paying her (with her agreement) isn't enough to enable her to support the child. She asked for help from the taxpayers. Before the taxpayers have to shell out money to support your child, the state is going to do their best to ensure that the parents (well, you, because obviously, she can't) are doing their level best to support their child first.
      HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
      How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
      (unique up on him)
      How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
      (same way)

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      • #4
        How about this idea....

        Encourage..... or even HELP your ex find a job, so she will no longer be living off state aid..... THEN, when she is working and no longer receiving support from the state, enter into a legal agreement (court order) for the amount of child support the two of you agree on.... Will that work legal gurus???

        God Bless!
        Amy

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 2point2 View Post
          My ex and I have a 2 yr. old son. We split up when he was 6 months...it was horrible, but probably for the better. I am very lucky in the fact that we get along well when it comes to money, etc. I have voluntarily paid her child support since day one, an amount we both agreed on, and I have to say it has gone well. There has been no need for any ridiculous custody battles, we live close to each other, and I have my son almost 50% of the time. Well, she recently lost her job, and went and signed up for good old welfare. So now, California has decided that they need to treat me like a deadbeat, and served me with a lawsuit for child support. My ex told them how much I pay and when, she even wrote receipts. They are FORCING this issue.... and the amount of money they want is ridiculous, its over 50% of my gross pay, and I dont make a whole lot as it is. Now, I've read alot of these threads, and I see ALOT of people saying one thing, but really just wanting to get out of paying CS, or wanting to pay less. I find this disgusting. But what I also find disgusting is the state asking for an amount that will literally make it impossible for me to live. I have no problem paying more if I make more, I mean, it's my son, c'mon..... But this is truly unfair. What are my options??
          Legally, a court cannot order/garnish more that 50% of your NET (after tax) pay. The amount will be set using the CA guidelines, alot of times a CSE agency will try to scare a NCP into paying more. But when it gets into court, it will be lowered to the guideline amount.

          Filing for custody is a great idea because then you will get credit for your parenting time, and have a court order backing it up in case there is ever any problems.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for all the info.... and after looking further, the amount they want is less than 50%, and it's pretty much up to them, so I'm not going to worry about it. Botom line is, it's for my son, so what can I really say??

            My ex isn't going to be unemployed long, and actually Amy, I do encourage her all the time. I know this may be hard for some of you to grasp, but her and I get along quite well, we're still good friends, we just put our son and whats right for him first. I don't want to file for custody, I already have him 50% of the time, (and more) and at the age he's at, I think being with his Mom, Bro and Sis is the best place for him. IMO, too many parents pull that custody stuff for their own selfish reasons. We'll let HIM decide when he's old enough who he wants to live with.

            I was more asking for LEGAL advice. I would be happy to discuss parenting in another forum. Again, I am not looking for a way out, etc. It's just the methods California uses, serving you a lawsuit without ever contacting you, contacting my employer in a fashion that makes me look like a deadbeat.... thats the part I was so surprised at. I uderstand that it's probably neccesary, but there's also such a thing as good single fathers.

            Thanks for all the advice and your opinions, I've found this site quite helpful.
            Last edited by 2point2; 04-17-2008, 11:19 PM.

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            • #7
              2point2

              I did not mean to imply that you were not already helping her ... Sorry if it came across that way... was not my intention.

              I was thinking more along the lines that once she is back to work & established, that you could put your agreement in writing, legally, so that child support is already set at a better amount (in the future) and was hoping the legal gurus here could tell you if that might help in the FUTURE...

              God Bless!
              Amy

              Comment


              • #8
                I wanted to make this very clear to you.

                I (and I don't think anyone else here) thinks you are a 'deadbeat'. Your and your ex's attitude and committment to parenting your child together is a breath of fresh air. It's just what I stated in my 1st post. The system is there to help out when that help is needed. The state just has to make sure the parents are doing their best to support their child before they use the taxpayers' money.

                I'm sure it was a shock and unexpected to suddenly recieve all of these legal statements.

                I hope and pray that she finds a job soon, not just because she is accepting financial aid, but for the happiness and security of the child. Good luck to all of you.
                HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                (unique up on him)
                How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                (same way)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ShakinThingzUp View Post
                  2point2

                  I did not mean to imply that you were not already helping her ... Sorry if it came across that way... was not my intention.

                  I was thinking more along the lines that once she is back to work & established, that you could put your agreement in writing, legally, so that child support is already set at a better amount (in the future) and was hoping the legal gurus here could tell you if that might help in the FUTURE...

                  God Bless!
                  Amy
                  Honestly, I don't know. As support order is being issued through the state (one that meets state guidelines), I don't know how feasible it will be to set up their own agreement in the future since it has already been shown that she was having a difficult time before the state had to issue aid.
                  HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                  How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                  (unique up on him)
                  How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                  (same way)

                  Comment

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