Guys, stay away from judge chapman!

Guys, if you have an upcoming trial with Judge Chapman do you your absolute best to get a different judge!!! If you have a choice get someone else if at all possible!!! He is no friend to men’s rights!!! How do I know, because my wife and I represented ourselves and were essentially penalized for showing up without an attorney and not knowing the law. Can you imagine??? We had a list of items that we strongly felt were relevant but Judge Chapman dismissed all of them as being irrelevant. I didn’t think anything was irrelevant when requesting modification for the first time in four years. Here are some details about the case:

  1. Found hidden income that my ex had never told me about from 2009 and 2010 - Judge Chapman dismissed it. Yes, after continually trying to bring up that it was even in my Permanent child support order that ex will have to notify me of any significant change in disposable income (the income would have reduced my child support by 200.00 a month - not small change in my book!!!) Judge Chapman still dropped it. Yep, it’s OK to hide income.
  2. Mentioned that I was now being garnished for student loans - the same student loans that provided ex with 913 a month in child support. Plaintiff’s attorney objected and my 15% loss of income was gone never to be brought up again! Yep, student loans don’t mean squat in child support even though they cannot be expelled even in bankruptcy. But, should this debt be considered at all? Naaa. Why, it only benefited the defendant to help the plaintiff get more child support right? Sarcasm obviously.
  3. Tried to poke holes in how an unemployed full-time student with no income could have over 14K in her Premium checking. But, no one cared. Which is why I never mentioned the fact that she had numerous plastic surgeries and received an engagement ring valued at over 40K ALL BEFORE MARRIAGE.
  4. Mentioned that ex was living in a house (since August 2009) which was owned by her now husband (did a tax lookup in 2011) and probably has been living tax free for at least 17 months and attorney objected to the issue gone and next thing you know the issue was gone. No problem not paying rent when you are getting a mans child support for 17 months. It’s irrelevant right? We don’t care that the Plaintiff has been living rent free and probably not paying any utilities even though my child support is supposedly paying for this.
  5. When I received the Plaintiff’s financial packet of information - (TWO DAYS BEFORE TRIAL and trial date was today and Plaintiff had received mine on November 8th) - it showed something I had no idea of. My ex - who constantly told me that she had no income and that she was a poor student - worked in 2009 and 2010 and received income of approximately 12K in each of those years - 24,000 in all!!! I don’t know about you but I didn’t receive a 12K raise in 2009 or 2010. This income would have brought my child support payments down by 200 a month (when added to her imputed income). When I told the judge that I should be compensated for over payment of child support it was objected to by her attorney as being irrelevant and then dismissed by the judge. Irrelevant??? Are you kidding me?? Are we allowing people to disregard the system now? It was purposely stated in my Permanent order for child support that Plaintiff shall inform defendant of any significant change of disposable income! WTF?? And it was dismissed as not being relevant? Guys, we have a serious problem!!! Essentially the court has stated that it is OK for people to disregard the system and the contracts we paid dearly to create! I can’t speak to men but apparently it does not apply to women. I actually told the judge that it was in my Permanent Order for Child Support that Plaintiff needed to inform me of changes of disposable income and he didn’t care!
  6. Requested compensation for the over payment of dependent day care that son has not received since 2009. Denied! It’s OK to overspend on day care and to keep paying it even if your son no longer attends day care (he is 8 years old). But, no one cared.
  7. Got Plaintiff to state that she was graduating with a degree that would give her a higher salary then what was imputed four years ago. The problem? No one cared? The Plaintiffs attorney asked for dismissal and that things should be left as-is even thought Plaintiff is graduating with a degree in a profession that pays more than what she was imputed with four years ago!!
  8. Tried to ask for compensation for having to now drive to Winston-Salem ( a 70 mile commute from Charlotte one way) but forgot to ask. Would it really have made a difference at this point?? It was obvious that Judge Chapman didn’t care about anything that I said or what was going on with the Plaintiff. But, a little insight into why I wanted compensation for this: I actually found that my ex was moving to Winston-Salem when I drove up to pick up my son one weekend in August 2009. There it was on the Plaintiff’s window - “For Rent.” Yep, a “For Rent” sign. I immediately emailed my ex to ask what the meaning of this was and she confirmed that she was moving to Winston-Salem. That was it - no discussion about lost visitation or loss of time with son at school events - nothing. Just deal with it. Little did I even know she was moving into a house owned by her now husband almost two years before marriage and probably never spending a dime on rent, utilities, etc We’ll never know. But, no one cares.
  9. Took my son to see his first movie this year. He is 8 years old now. Can you imagine? A woman that gets almost a thousand dollars a month never taking her child to see a movie? But, yes I did. I cared. We also got on her for never taking him to swimming lessons after my wife and I shamed my ex for not spending money on my son.
  10. The end - Just when my wife and I thought it could get no worse - everything we tried to bring up about the Plaintiffs situation - the Plaintiffs attorney asked for attorney fees to be paid by me!!! Can you even imagine??? I have just told you everything that I have known about the Plaintiff and never stepped foot in a court room in over four years. Never even filed a motion to modify child support before until this year - and there it was by the Plaintiff’s attorney. A request for my wife and I to pay for the attorney fees for the Plaintiff. I could not even imagine the judge would even consider such a thing but before my awe strucken eyes the judge looked at the plaintiff’s attorney and said, “How much is your hourly rate?” WHATTTTTTTTTTTT? Is the judge even considering this? Here is this poor, unemployed women who reports zero income with an attorney and me and my wife with no attorney and almost zero $$ in our checking account and who has the attorney??? The Plaintiffs attorney then said, “350.00 an hour.” My heart stopped. Can you even imagine? How could a poor, unemployed full-time student afford a 350.00 an hour attorney??? Moreover, how could a poor, unemployed, full-time student even afford a 350.00 an hour studen??? Can you say “there is something seriously wrong with our Family court system???” When I recovered I thought to myself, "There could be no way that the judge could even consider this could there? After all, I have never once asked for a modification before. Never. I though that you had to wait three years before asking and never even knew of the “significant change” rule. Moreover, how could I be asked to pay for Plaintiff’s attorney fees when I have never asked for modification before and all of the circumstances above applied??? It wasn’t like I had requested modification every single month, six months, or year - I had never requested mollification since my permanent order for child support!!! But, guess what? The judge started asking the Plaintiff’s attorney under what clause would he be seeking the attorney fees under? They both got out there law books and started reading. At this point I was thinking that this has got to be the worst day of my life!! All I wanted was justice and now I am being raped??? In the end Judge Chapman told the Plaintiff’s attorney that he should right up a stern warning in that if I ever try to file a frivolous request again I will be severely punished. Frivolous? With more than six different things I was seeking in this modification and this was frivolous??? Finally, Judge Chapman stated that I would only have me pay 1K of the 5K in attorney fees that Plaintiff had incurred and went on about how fortunate I should feel. At this point my wife and I felt like we had been raped.

Some conclusions:

  • Guys, the system is broken beyond belief!!!
  • Don’t get Judge Chapman if at all possible!!!
  • If you don’t have an attorney - you’re fcked!! Judge Chapman pretty much told me that I didn’t know the law and should invest in an attorney next time. So, if you want to save money you’re fcked!!! You can’t! You need to pay thousands of dollars to get an attorney to get lower child support so that you can then pay thousands of dollars in attorney fees!!
  • Rewarding bad behavior pays - or at least not wanting to work does.

I sincerely hope I have helped at least one man in his quest for justice. Read, get involved, and be proactive.

Write to me with your stories or comments (especially about Judge Chapman) at

I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but everything you posted about being reimbursed…Look at the NC laws, they can’t order reimbursement, they can only modify from the requested time. There’s no do overs. I have over paid for a 15 year old for years and it’s just the way things are unfortunately, it’s not the judge. The also can’t predict the future of if your ex’s degree will be capable of being used, the only thing that can be predicted is imputed income if she purposely drops her income.

Thank you momagain. It’s nice to know that even some women have the same issue. I think we can all agree then that the system is terribly broken and we need to take an active part in changing it.

Thanks for sharing your experience. There is often very little information on the judges themselves available to people.

I have heard similar stories where if you choose to represent yourself the judges will often look down upon and punish you for that. It’s a very sad reality given it’s everyone’s protected right to be able to represent yourself.

You’re welcome endoftheline. It was a way for me to vent and found that the more I wrote the more therapeutic it became. You were exactly right in that I could swear that Chapman was looking down upon me during the whole proceeding. At one point he actually asked me if consulted an attorney or had legal advice. I said, “No, I did not.” So, yes, I definitely thought that Chapman allowing my ex’s attorney fees was essentially punishing me for trying to keep a woman honest that does not want to work and is doing her best to skirt the law (not reporting income, hiding it, moving without notice or compensation, suppressing income, etc). I thought we frowned upon welfare not encouraged it? I have decided I want to do my best to change the law. I found a good support group called “Dad’s Divorce” at which also has a Facebook page. But, my post was meant for men in my frustration but it sounds like the same problems happen to women. Maybe what is needed is a site for men AND woman to get together to correct the problems with Family law.

But, yes, on the last note how are you supposed to get ahead when you have to pay for a lawyer? If it costs 5K to go to court to get a modification than say a 100 reduction might cost you 200.00 a month for the next two years. I don’t know about you but I am trying to get ahead but it’s not easy when I have the akin to a mortgage payment to pay each month to a woman that has no expenses (even years before marriage but it’s OK by the courts). Who wouldn’t want to do it on there own? That’s the other problem. I think they should get ride of family court. Some people refuse to want to work with you, i.e., negotiate when they know they can run to Family court all of the time or have the money when you don’t. I also believe that Family law judges should be there to help people that represent themselves and not punish them for doing so.

Wow, that is a horror story and a half. You mean to say that Chapman didn’t even care about the fact that your ex had graduated with a new degree? How can that be? I am going to do whatever I can to stay away from that guy. Man, you must feel like an indentured servant. I think this says a lot about the woman as well. Instead of working with you with everything you knew about her she wants to fight. She has got some b*lls. Unfortunately, some women are just gold diggers. So glad that my spouse is not a gold digger and was very compromising in coming to an agreement on just about everything.

Keep your chin up. The guy she married will realize she is a gold digger as well I’m sure. Never pays to marry for money.

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Sorry to hear the horror of what you went through. Here’s the issue — Father’s need rights too. The law sucks.

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