Four years ago I took out a case to increase my visitation with my 2 children from 2 weeks in the summer to every other week. I originally had 4 weeks throughout the year… 2 in summer, one in fall, and one in spring because the children were in year round school. With a move to a more traditional school, i lost the weeks in the spring and fall and the summer went from 6 weeks vacation to the more typical 12. So I felt a change was very reasonable.
My ex counter sued for an increase in child support although we had an agreement in place from an agreement her attorney had drawn up since 2005 that was not standard NC guidelines. From that agreement to this month I have never missed or been late on a payment.
Our case had its first court date in Oct of 2008 which was continued several times over the years and finally heard in Mar of 2011. Unbelievably we still did not get a final ruling until last week.
I pretty much lost the entire case. I got 4 weeks in the summer… So in essence only getting back the 2 I had lost during the school year. However disappointing, that is not what prompts my visit here today.
For the court records I submitted bank statements as well as tax returns from 07 - 2010. These tax records show my total income range from 72k to a high of 117k. This is an average monthly gross of around 8818. Her monthly gross is 550 as she chooses to work part time even though she has a college degree and our kids are 10 and 13. The court ruling states my monthly income at 12150 which is grossly incorrect. This places my court ordered rate at 1839 which in my estimation is 400 to 500 too high. To add insult to injury, the ruling further states that I am to pay back difference to 10.2008 for a total of 35k.
First that stated monthly average is incorrect and i can prove that. Second, I do not understand why I would have to pay back difference when I paid the amount agreed to in our original separation agreement and the judge stated at every continuation that we remain under that agreement until trial. AND furhermore, even if I am to pay a back difference, it should be based on a recomputed average every year, not from the current average.
So my questions… Now what? I am in “contempt” if I dont pay in 30 days however I feel this is full of errors. Is this grounds to have the entire ruling thrown out and the case reheard? Should her gross pay not be based on her ability to work at minimum 40 hours a week at min wage? (my current wife had to use that figure in her childsupport calc) Should I have to pay the back difference even though I was following our attorney drawn up separation agreement?
Thanks for any insight. At this point i have lost all faith in the justice system for fathers or in attorneys as mine certainly did not care about me or the outcome as evidenced one last time by the ruling being emailed to me by the secretary and no word at all from my attorney.