Payment of Attorney Fees/Modification of CS


#1

I am in a desperate situation. I have been paying child support for my children since 2004. My case shows arrears because a judge incorporated a alimony judgment that I agreed on for 20K. I now have 9K left on it but it shows as arrears and I pay 300 per month on it through the state. So, I pay a total of 1350 per month. (1050 is CS) I know that there has never been a worksheet done when I was orderd to pay this amount and her attorney (her brother) used my income that I made in 2002 which was 2 years before we separated. So, now that my income has been reduced over the last few years from 100-120K to a mere 50K I filed to have my CS modified. The child support enforcement worker and her brother working as her lawyer did a worksheet behind closed doors and wouldn’t let me see or participate (even though I was representing myself) after talk between those 3 and the judge, the judge dismissed my case stating there wasn’t evidence to reduce. I then am brought into court by her and her brother on a contempt order because I havent’ paid attorney fees to him for them retalliating against me and wanting me to pay for half of unpaid medical bills. In the 1st place, my order states that I will reimburse her after she provides me with proof that she has paid them and she never did. As a matter of fact, she and her brother request I pay the full amount. The judges in this case keep awarding her the full amount not half. They all keep ordering me to pay the so called reasonable attorney fees which are ridiculously high and I keep telling the judge that after CS and taxes, all I bring home every month is 2000. I have a child that lives with me and I don’t even have a car. Last month when I went to court they made me pay $500 and I only had a check for 178 after the childsupport was dedcuted. I had to borrow the rest and had nothing to live off of. My question is, why will the judge not look at my income and decide if I can really afford to pay these attorney fees and why will no one help me in getting justice? I support my 2 children with childsupport and it has been paid on time for the last 3 years without incident. I also pay for the insurance on the children and am not givien any credit through CS for this. I pay 432 a month for insurance. I added up my pay out for CS and insurance last year and it was $21,955.82 not including all of these attorney fees they have ordered paid (6K) and I brought home $21,860.27. I just would like some answers and advice. I have tried to hire attorney’s but can’t afford to spend 3K in retainer fees. If there are attorney’s out there they will help people like me who have been taken advantage of and can’t get anywhere in the court system please let me know. I feel like I have been taken advantage of and can’t get my child support corrected. Her brother is constantly trying to have me arrested for not paying the attorney fees and honestly, I have nothing available to pay. PLEASE HELP ME!!!


#2

You must file for a modification, and bring proof of your income to the hearing. I am sorry to hear you have having such a difficult time, I have heard so many horror stories about folks navigating the system without a lawyer. I would strongly suggest you look into getting some help from legal aid, or DSS.


#3

Thanks for your response. I did take my income and my taxes into the court. They looked at it and did a worksheet but wouldn’t allow me to see it and then denied my request. Legal aid told me they don’t help with family law and dss told me the same thing. Any other suggestions?


#4

The fact that you were not allowed to see the worksheet is fishy. You may want to consider an appeal, and I strongly suggest you hire a lawyer to help you. I understand how difficult it is to find the funds to pay a lawyer, but it may very well be worth the investment if you can find a way to borrow the money. I sincerely wish you the best.


#5

this does sound fishy - since her brother is her attorney and this is a financial matter - couldn’t that be a conflict of interest - i would think that you should be able to see the worksheet, althought i am the one who is going through the child support state agency i always see the worksheet. I would try to file for a hearing and in the meantime go on this website and figure out the support owed and take that to the court and demand that you see the worksheet and advise them this is what you have come up with, etc. good luck sorry to hear about this


#6

That is the problem, every time I take her to court to try to correct the issues, her and her brother end up taking me for something unrelated and the whole court date is about them and when I show evidence proving what they are saying is not true, the judges never listen. I am convinced it has something to do with her dad being a judge and her brother. He is not even a family law attorney but yet the attorney fees they keep ordering me to pay for him representing her is higher than any attoreny I have ever talked to. I can’t get anything corrected and I am the one who don’t make enough money to sustain myself or my daughter who lives with me. Luckily I have a girlfriend (mother of my child) who pays most of the bills. I just wished a lawyer would help me to have my childsupport lowered to the correct amount so that I could then afford to pay an attorney for help.