PSS questions - STBX claiming "self employment" income

Husband is working a full time job with the state and is paying adequate child support.

Wife is wanting spousal support/alimony of a LARGE amount. In additional to working his full-time state job, she claims he is working a side business, one in which he doesn’t even have a business license for nor has he ever shown any income from. She did their taxes for 25 yrs and never showed any side income of this “supposed” business.

She lied in court so many times about different things (including admitting to filing a fraudulent tax return the year she decided to divorce him…she forged her husband’s signature on the return & forged his name on the refund check…and kept the entire refund). She lied so many times and contradicted herself repeatedly in court; she (in my opinion) would be deemed a non-credible person.

She is only working a part-time job (12/hrs week) by her choice. She has worked more DURING the marriage, but cut back to part time several years before they separated. She admitted in court that she COULD work more ID she wanted to and that she was capable of doing so.

Is it likely that a judge would base his decision for her alimony claim on a business that is questionable ? There is no evidence showing any income reported in 25 yrs. There was no testimony proving any additional income. She did have his bank statements showing more deposits than his state income (but he testified that was inheritance money that his mom has been giving him all long cause she wants him to get his inheritance while she is still alive). He is already working a 40hr week job and with his monthly expenses (and the child support), he is unable financially to pay any additional support to her.

If he has no business license nor a place to work his “supposed” business (he used to own a garage in his back yard where he tinkered with cars)….and there is no IRS proof of income….is it likely that a judge can order support based on her “claims” of a side business? And should he base his decision on this side business, can the husband appeal this decision? I can’t fathom a judge making a person work two jobs to support a person who is capable of helping herself to begin with – but she just chooses not to do so. And in this case, with no business license nor a place to work a side business (IF HE WANTED TO), I’m not sure how an award could be determined based on something so questionable.

Again, IF a judge in fact orders support based on this “supposed” side business, can it be appealed? He had witnesses to testify that he no longer has access to this garage…and his mom was there to testify about the inheritance that she has been giving him. (But they ran out of time in court, so instead of allowing all the witnesses to testify, the attorneys decided to cut it short – which was hardly fair on the husband’s part – that he wasn’t given adequate time or resources to prove his entire case). Now his future is being held in a judge’s hands who doesn’t have all the facts. If nothing else, can this be brought to the state bar’s attention if he is awarded to pay alimony based on a business that doesn’t exist?

Due to the time restraints, the judge did not making a ruling on the case, but said he would look over everything and make a decision in the next few days…and would let the attorney’s know his decision.

Your thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated.

There needs to be evidence of this self-employment. This can be shown by many things, including oral testimony, bank statements, any W-2s or tax returns, etc. It sounds like her main evidence of this besides her own testimony/allegations is the bank statements. If you put on evidence that this is from something completely different, inheritance from your living mother, then it will be up to the judge about whom he believes. When it comes to alimony/PSS a judge will look to not only is one spouse a dependent, but is the supporting spouse able to pay. Ability to pay is very important. The judge will also look to the standard of living that the parties enjoyed in the more recent years of the marriage, a time in which your wife was only working part-time so it’s not likely that a judge will hold this against her now. However, your ability to pay when looking at your income and expenses is still relevant in deciding how much if any support your wife will receive. Yes, you can always appeal a judgment.

3 weeks, YES THREE weeks after the trial, the husband got a letter in the mail showing the “verdict” the judge decided upon. Husband has been ordered to pay $600/mth post separation support for 10 months or until permanent alimony and property issues are handled. He is already paying over $800/mth child support. He has proof that he pays $600/mth rent…not counting utilites, food, gas, etc. His state check is only $2,400/mth.

$600 PSS + $800 CS + $600 rent = 2,000/mth This leaves him with $400 month to spend towards other bills, food, gas, power, phone, etc. He literally cannot AFFORD to pay this to his STBX. If he does, then he will have to go on food stamps & get welfare help. How crazy is this???

Judge said he based his decision on the fact that he didn’t have proof that husband was paying $600/mth rent (he was never ASKED to show proof)…and because of the large amounts of deposits into his bank account over the years (his mom’s inheritance money). HIs mom didn’t have a chance to testify…they ran out of time and judge decided to make a decision from what he’d heard thus far…and then it took him THREE weeks to make a decision!

Can this be appealed?? He can bring proof of his $600/mth rent and his mom can testify and show proof of the money she gave her son. This should be considered “separate property” since it was a gift from his mother.

What are the steps of filing an appeal? And would there be a different judge to make a ruling on the appeal…since obviously the judge who made the ruling is already “biased”.

And should he NOT pay the PSS while waiting on an appeal (due to not being able to afford it), what legally can they do? If they tried to garnish his paycheck, there would not be enough money there for them to garnish. As the old saying goes “you can’t get blood from a turnip”. So what happens??

His recourse is to file a motion to modify.

Husband was told today that PSS trials can NOT be appealed (since it’s a temporary award). Said alimony cases would be different. Is this correct??

Also when husband told attorney that he couldn’t afford to pay her, the attorney told him to quit paying his rent (to his son) and pay the $600 instead to his STBX.

Totally disgusted and confused with the justice system. I thought ANY court case could be appealed.

Also husband received the “letter” in the mail with the verdict (after 3 weeks). Here is the kicker:

The letter was handwritten on a legal pad addressed to the wife’s attorney…saying “Dear Mary (attorney’s name), Please prepare a proposed order with your proposed findings and conclusions supporting the award. Please send to the oppossing attorney for review. I would like to see the following items included”.

Then he lists some things he wants in the letter (ncluding that he wants husband to pay $600/mth). It was not signed by the judge nor stamped by the court. Is this legal?? The judge is asking the wife’s attorney to propose an order.

Why would they send the husband a letter that the judge wrote to the wife’s attorney? It’s obvious it was meant for her eyes only cause it’s not dated nor signed…and handwritten on legal pad paper.

OH and towards the end of this handwritten letter he says “Neither party is able to substain his or her pre-separation standard of living and the award contained herein will not allow the defendant (husband) to meet his reasonable needs”. So this is saying that the judge is AWARE that the husband will not be able to meet his needs AFTER paying her the PSS and CS. But then he goes on to say that “the defendent has the ability to pay $600 post separation support.” Is this not a major contradiction???

I still think this can be appealed!! Especially since it looks as if the judge is BIASED in asking the wife’s attorney to propose an order. But husband’s attorey says it CANNOT be appealed cause this is a “temporary” order…not Alimony which is a permanent order.

Can you please shed some light on this case PLEASE?? The husband is going to have to apply for food stamps and welfare if he has to pay her that much money. And if he has to pay the PSS amount, how likely will Alimony also be awarded? The attorney said most likely he wouldn’t have to pay alimony since PSS was awarded. I’m thinking that if pss IS awarded, then she is highly likely to get Alimony too.

Totally confused!!!

It is common practice for the prevailing attorney to draft a proposed order. Your friend should consult with an attorney to represent his interests.