Social security/ child support


#1

5 months ago My ex took me to court to lower child support because he was now on diability- his pay went from $6,000 per month to $2,000 so child support was lowered from $659 to $324 per month.
Last week SS called and said My child was entitled to benifits since her dad was disabled- I was glad because it has really been hard to cover her expenses with reduced chls support.
SS said she had back pay of $6,000 and would recieve $500.00 per month until she is 18 ( she is now 17)
They also told me her step brother who lives with her dad would recieve the exact same amount as the benefit would be evenly split.( he is 15)
So in my mind I am thinking wow - we both got the same amount to help with child expenses ( even thought I was surprised a step child would get the same amount as a natural child)
anyway I did not even get out of the SS parking lot when my ex called me to say he is taking me to court to get back all my daughters $6,000 and to stop paying child support since we now get SS.
He said that the SS can replace CS and that since I am getting back pay in SS he wants his CS back that he paid for the last year.
I don’t see how this can be since we both got and will be getting money from SS- he is better off now then before.
I had heard that unless there was an increase or decrease in income of 15% that a child support case could not go back to court before 3 years?
I see no increase or decrease in income since both of out incomes remain the same and both have 1 child recieving the same amount from SS. Will he be able to bring this case to court and could he really not have to pay CS on his income?


#2

In my experience this is what happens.

When ex goes on SS your CS doesn’t stop. If there is any arrears he still have to pay that. Also, if for example he has to pay $500.00 a month in support and you only get from SS $400.00, he has to pay the other $100.00 until the case is taken to court. Once taken to court then what SS gives you is what your support is. Yes he still has to pay the rears but that’s it.

I know it is hard, but when a person is on SS, it is a limited income. There is nothing that can be done. Also if the SS office gives you that money, it is yours to keep. He can’t take it from you or sue you for it. He can’t go back to court and get back what he has paid already. It is a court order CS and it has to be paid. This state might be different but this is what Calif is like.


#3

Thank you
The present disabillity CS is $324.00 per month, the ss award is $500.00- he is saying he will no longer have to pay $324.00. Can we go back to court when we were just there 6 months ago and neither of us had an income change ( Like I said he will also recieve the same amount from SS for child living in his house.)
I thought there needes to be 3 years or 15-30% income change to go back to court?


#4

You are correct, there must be a substantial change in circumstances to modify support, ie; the passage of three years, or a 15% change in income.


#5

Does that mean my ex- can not bring me back to court and that I will be able to keep the CS he has to pay on his disability and the SS benefit for my daughter? and is it true he can not try to take the $6,000 back pay that SS gave her lump for the last year?
What do I do if he serves me with papers as he says he will?


#6

You will not have to return any funds, but that will not prevent him from suing you. Unfortunately folks sue other folks for frivolous actions all the time. If he does you will need to hire an attorney and seek reimbursement for your attorneys fees.


#7

OK- Thanks- he can not touch the $6,000
I am still unclear thought if he can stop his child support due to SS income and if so will the court still consider this case frivolous if he lumps the 2 request together? I like that I could get my legal fees back ( if still considered frivolous) and I would like to hire someone from the Charlotte Rosen office, if my ex- follows through. Do you folks provide full service and go to court or just supply on line answers?


#8

We are a full service family law firm, but we do not work on cases involving strictly child support.


#9

We are a full service family law firm, but we do not work on cases involving strictly child support.


#10

In reference to all the emails I sent on this topic,
I just recieved papers for x- instead of his lawywer saying he wants my Daughter retroactive SS benefit payment he is saying that since she got retro SS that my ex wants back the child support ($324.00 per month) he paid over the last year. additionally he does not want to pay any more child support.
Can he get retro child support? My x and I had agreeded verbarlly that the $6,000 retro ( $500.00 per month from SS) would be used for her College not for cild support , but now he has gotten greedy and wants the money for himself so he is asking for a year worth of CS back
His lawyer is asking
The Defendants CS obligation be terminated

The court orders Plaintiff to return CS since and including NOv. 2008

This court Deviate from NC CS to alleviate an unjust, inapproprate, escessive CS paid to plaintiff

Do they have a case and if so since you can not represent me who do you recommend?


#11

You will have to defend against the action filed. If he can prove he is entitled to a deviation support may change, but in my opinion the judge will not order you to reimburse any support payments. Please contact our client liaison for a list of referrals in your area.


#12

Ok for above case I am going to rep myself. But This case in complicated and I need all the legal advice I can get- I tried to sign up for your$199.99 a month deal- I was hoping to pay for the month of the court case and be able to ask you questions about statues and what my best course of action would be representing myself- for example- should I bring this up or that- does this matter or that?
I see that the $199.99 is for those who want to divorce- I have been divorced for 6 years- Can I sign up for a month and get advice on how to rep myself on this CS Modification issue?
If so if the case is being heard on Jan 20 2010 can I sign up from Dec10-Jan 10? ( I do not have ct.date yet) I want to make sure I will have up to the last minute advice. How far in advance should I register to sign up- I do not want to wait and find out there is no room so could I sign up as soon as I get court date for the month before date?


#13

Yes, the DIY system is available for family law issues, including child support. You may sign up from December 10 to January 10, I do not anticipate that you will have any issues signing up, though you may want to contact our client liaison in the coming days to ensure your application will be accepted at the time (ie: that there are no conflicts of interest).


#14

OK- I want to Thank you and Rosen.com for even taking the time to help all of us who have so many questions.
I am going to wait until I get my court date and sign -up for the $200.00 program and rep myself in court.
I was told it would be good to bring a legal brief on the statute that the other lawyer used because I believe a legal prespective would show statute does not apply in this case. If you did determine during my $200 month that the statute did not apply would a legal breif be included in the price or is that extra- if so how much?
Thanks again I do not know how Rosen can afford to help somany for free but I am sure that God has blessed the Rosen business due to it.


#15

We could not draft a brief as part of the DIY service, as that type of involvement in a case would require traditional representation. We could likely help you avoid the necessity of a brief via the DIY service by recommending alternatives.


#16

I am still waiting for court date but wondering inthe meantime if My ex even has a change of circumstances to justify a modification of child support.
Yes I now receive $560 per month from his SS benefits for my daughter- but he recieves the exact same amount $560 per month for his step son- so money wise we have both had exact increase so I am thinking no change in circumstances money wise-
My other thing is that we were in court about this ( reducion due to disability) about 8 months ago and CS was already adjusted- so 3 years have not gone by and he and his lawyer did have an opportunity at that point to anticipate this ss payment coming - but they did not put any conditions into the reduction at that time as to what would happen when if SS was received.

My question is is the recieving an even amount of SS now by both of us enough to make a CS modification ( since ss can replace CS) or did he miss his opportunity to modify back in April and since 3 years have not passed so there is nothing he can do.
Thanks


#17

I can never predict what any judge will do, but in my opinion the facts in this case do not warrant a modification.


#18

OK then should I just wait till this case goes to court and at that time say why I do not think there is not enough change of circumstances to warrent a CS Modification or should I be filing a complaint, countersuit or some kind of legal doc now?


#19

Your ex has the burden to prove there has been a substantial change, rather than your having to prove the absence of a change. In any event I would recommend you file a responsive pleading in the mean time.


#20

I tried to look up how to file a responsive pleading- if there are forms - but could not find any-
is there a time limit- he filed oct 28 09- is it just a letter I file with the court saying my side of story?