Support hearing


#1

My husband bought a new home after he separated from his wife. He had a high income so could easily afford the home. He also paid support (child and spousal) on time to his exwife.

One year later he lost his job and he could not pay the support anymore (He could barely make his own house payments). His former spouse took him to court and the judge found that he lost his job in bad faith and his support payments were not lowered. He still could not make the payments completely, so paid about half of what he was ordered. He found another job which pays much less, but he likes it and wishes to continue.

About a year after that he had a child age out and again when back to court. He had settled his owed support payments by that time with savings he had (they are now gone) . This time the judge did lower his child support obligation according to his present salary but not the spousal support.

Now he is due to go back in June when his son graduates from high school. This time he will owe significant back support money (all spousal support) His lawyer (a new one) feels it be best to agree before it goes to the judge to start paying some on the back owed now that his child support obligation is gone.

I disagree and feel it best to leave in the judge’s hand. It looks by the last ruling that the judge no longer feels he lost his job in bad faith, although it was never presented in that way. His lawyer feels that the fact that he still lives and pays for his big home (with a big mortgage) will be detrimental as it may show to the judge that he has money to pay, just choses not to. And that yes, it may show that he choses to not pay in bad faith. i am just trying to help him avoid paying a high alimony.


#2

If the judge already ruled on the issue and he is still behind in the payments he could be held in contempt and risks jail time. I agree with his attorney that the safest bet is to reach an agreement regarding the back support prior to the court date.


#3

thank you.

That ruling that he lost his job in bad faith happened two years ago.

One year ago the judge lowered child support based on his present (much reduced current salary) and not the income he was previously making. The judge did not change the spousal support which was based on his higher previous income.

Would this be reason to think the judge no longer feels he lost job in bad faith (or is that only true of the child support order, and not the spousal support one

He has no plans to return to the higher paying job. How long can a judge say he acted in bad faith?


#4

If the judge issued a ruling that his income was reduced in bad faith, that issue will not be ruled upon again.


#5

Not a lawyer here, but in my mind if he’s under an order to pay spousal support, he has to pay it regardless of the status of the child support order. He can’t go back and request “back relief” from the higher spousal support payments because then the question becomes ‘Why didn’t you file a motion to lower the spousal support earlier?’

If the judge saw fit not to lower the spousal support, and your husband is not paying it or is behind, he’s going to have to explain to the judge why he’s behind; and I doubt the excuse ‘I was waiting to see if you’d lower it because I disagree with the decision made last year’ is going to get him very far.

Again, not a lawyer, just my take.