Post separation support


#1

In 2008, I was ordered by the court to pay a certain amount of child support and post separation support. The order also read that I was to pay the home mortgage, home owner’s insurance and property tax of the marital home which was titled to the ex wife. The original order read that I was to pay the mortgage, insurance and taxes as ADDITIONAL child support and post separation support.

I have always paid the CS and the mortgage, insurance and taxes but over the past 5 years have not paid completely paid the PSS as ordered. This was due to the fact my job changed and my salary was cut in half. I did go back to court in 2009 but was denied a reduction in PSS as it was determined I lowered my salary in bad faith. The CS was reduced though

Twice we went to court for contempt for failure to pay PSS and money was taken from my savings. That account is now zero

ED and alimony have never been determined yet. We filed interrogatories and discovery but not called for a court date yet. That was one year ago. Ex refuses to come to any settlement. I really have nothing more to given her.

My last child graduated from high school last spring and this November turns 18 so my CS obligation will end.

Questions

  1. Am I still expected to pay the mortgage, insurance on the home and taxes now that CS has ended.

  2. When we ever do settle ED, will the amount I have paid so far in the mortgage reduction given to me as a credit for ED

  3. When we ever do get to the alimony determination, will it go against me that I am now remarried and the ex is not. I know it depends on my ability to pay and her needs. Will me having a wife who is working affect my ability to pay as her salary, as little as it is, does go to pay some of our house bills.

4)Looking at my ex wife’s reported needs she listed some expenses for our two college sons, such as covering their health insurance, car insurance and cell phone. Will that be disallowed as they are over 18 and considered adults. The ex says no as the children are dependents and their college loans and scholarships are not enough to cover those charges. Would that be something the judge may allow if he wished if we go to court.

Thank you for your time


#2
  1. Without reading the order, I can’t advise whether you need to keep paying the mortgage. It sounds like this provision is vague so I would find a way to seek the advisement of the court or a clarifying order. It is not normal for PSS orders to be in effect for 5 years, so I doubt the court considered you would be paying the mortgage for that long. You should find a way to push the alimony claim along.

  2. That’s up to the discretion of the court, but I think you have a strong argument that you should get credit for paying the mortgage.

  3. Your remarriage shouldn’t go against you, but the court will consider your standard of living and whether that is reasonable.

  4. Expenses for college-aged children should not be included when considering dependent spouse’s needs for alimony purposes.


#3

Thank you so much.

I just got served with a contempt to failure to pay alimony for the past 5 years. She was also asked by the judge “to try to refinance” the house but she says she could not because of the fact that I did not pay alimony as ordered. The loan on the house is in my name alone so I have continued to pay to not wreck my credit.

Questions

  1. isn’t 5 years a long time to wait to file a contempt for failure to pay alimony? She has managed to survive without the alimony but she says she did so only by incurring debt and can prove this

  2. Does she have a reasonable argument to say that she did not refinance because I failed to pay alimony? (BTW the amount per month I am to pay in alimony about equals house payment)

  3. Could I ask the judge to count the money I paid towards the home as past alimony payment instead of going towards ED credit?

  4. can this comtempt case/ED/permanent alimony all be heard at the same time. I am running out of money for legal fees. Also, could she ask for me to pay any of her legal fees for these cases. (I have been asked to pay in the past)

thanks


#4
  1. It really depends on what the payment schedule was. sometimes, it’s hard to justify the expense of an attorney and court for only a few missed payments. That will be up to the judge to decide. You should include a defense of laches in your response.

  2. Yes, she may have needed consistent alimony payments to show that she has income to qualify for a loan.

  3. I’m confused because your first post indicated that we were talking about PSS and now you are talking about alimony. If you are ordered to pay the mortgage, you won’t get credit for the payment. Previously, I was referring to the decrease in the mortgage balance, and how the court would address that decrease due to your payments, not the payments themselves.

  4. Yes, if you can get the court to calendar them all at the same time, you can be heard on all of them at the same time. Yes, she can ask for attorney’s fees as a part of her relief for her contempt motion.


#5

Sorry for confusion. I mean PSS, not alimony

I was screwed when I went to court 5 years ago ( I also think I was not represented well and she had the best atty in the county). I was to pay child support, PPS, and the mortgage, insurance on the home and property tax on the home. I was the supporting spouse by a long shot and committed marital fault which her side brought out in the hearing. My income is no longer that high

Over those 5 years I paid everything but the PSS (well made a few payments but maybe only 10% of the total ) I just did not have the money. I remarried so my new wife’s job helps out with bills.

I believe ex is now going after past due PSS because child support ends this month. CS is 1100/month. Ex maintained her standard of living in the past 5 years by incurring debt she says.

One final question

  1. Is there a chance that I will be ordered to pay past due PSS now that my CS obligation has ended? Will the court think that since I had the money to pay CS I have the ability? . Can i show the court that I currently have zero retirement and savings and over past 5 years lived pay check to pay check. OR, will not paying well on the PSS make me look bad to the court and I will be screwed once again.

Thanks for your time for these past few questions.


#6

Yes, the court can order that you pay past due PSS. You should present evidence about your inability to pay, but as long as you have an obligation to pay PSS, the court will expect you to pay it and can hold you in contempt for nonpayment.