PSS non payment


#1

Two years ago the judge gave me a PSS award of spousal support, child support and orderd my XH to pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance on the home. The child support was above guidelines as he was a high wage earner. I work and make the same salary I did back then. I live in the marital home with 3 children and one in college. He does not pay for any college expenses but I do not ask for it as I know legally he does not have to contribute.

We have not had property division settled yet.

Six months after the award he left his job and took one at a much reduced salary. He then stopped paying PSS saying he did not have any extra after paying his bills. He remarried and said he had a committment to his new family.

We took him back to court for contempt. The judge adjusted his child support according to his new income following the NC guidelines but did not change his obligation to pay for the house and spousal support. The judge felt he lowered his salary in bad faith. He now pays the child support and the house but does not pay the spousal support. This has been going on since june.

What can I do? Do I file another contempt? He told me that he has nothing to pay. He has no more assets (he wasted all of them). He bought a high priced new home when he left as then he was making a high salary but has continued to live there and pay his mortgage despite his now much lower income.

I think my attorney feels hesitant to file another contempt as the XH has nothing to pay it with and he says you can’t make someone get a better job or move out of their home.


#2

Your recourse is to file another motion for contempt, the judge may order that he be incarcerated until he brings his obligations up to date.


#3

thank you for the response.

I live in a small town and my attorney is very good, but very busy. I am paid up in all my attorney fees. I have emailed him about filing another contempt and also called and left voice mails. He does not have an assistant, just a secretary who will hear what I have to say but then just tells me to leave all the info in a voice mail to the attorney. I finally just scheduled an appt to see him last week but when I got there he asked it he could rechedule seeing me as he was tied up with other cases and had not had a chance to review my case. ( I had sent to him all the info before hand about exactly what XH owes) I appreciated his honesty but he never called to reschedule.

I will wait for this attorney as he represented me well in court but I am worried if I wait too long it will seem to the court that I can live without the spousal support which is not true as I have been having to borrow from my retirement for living expenses. I have a separate parent college loan to help our college child with expenses and do not use PSS money to pay for college.

Just wondering if waiting will hurt my case. I hate to take money frjm retierment as it costs me a penalty and taxes but I just did a few months ago so I can live on that for a few more months.


#4

Waiting will not prejudice your case, as it does not change the facts.


#5

Ex spouse is court ordered to pay child support and spousal support according to the PSS order and pays through the state collection agency.

He only pays the amount the judge has divided as child support and pays zero on his spousal support obligation.

Your advice was to file a contempt. Thank you. My question is what evidence does my atty have to show to be successful in winning a contempt. Ex simply says he does not pay as he does not have the money. Do we have to ask for his checking account and credit card statements to see how his money is spent? Do we need to show that he does have some to pay, just choses not to? We will ask for his income which hasn’t changed since we went to court last.

The problem is he was found to have suppressed his income in bad faith and has not attempted to get a better paying job. He most likely does have difficulty paying the full amount of spousal support with his current (suppressed income) He is premarried with a working spouse. Does that mean his household expenses should be divided in two?

Just wondering the tactics to use to be successful in a contempt case. I have heard you say before the “burden is on him” . How exactly is that translated. Thank you


#6

Oh, sorry, meant to say remarried.

Also, I am the dependent spouse and he admitted to the court he was having an affair before separation. They also started to live together within weeks of his leaving.

Is any of that pertinent now. I also read that a spouse who commits marital fault as in adultery HAS to pay some spousal support unless the other spouse did also which I have not. Am I interpreting that correctly.


#7

You will need to show that your ex is in willful violation of the court order on spousal support. The burden will be on your ex to show he cannot pay, and he will have to provide the evidence.
His remarriage and the subsequent reduction in his living expenses can be accounted for by the judge.

The affair is not relevant at this point as support as already been determined.