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Judge forcing to pay child support as if he is making $27 an hr when he is only making $12 an hr?

My cousin has visitation with his son a few times a week. He honestly is a screw up and has done alot of stupid things in his lifetime- and most times I am really annoyed by him. HOwever, when it comes to being a dad, he is amazing. He really loves his son an cherishes every second they have together.
When he first started paying court ordered child support he was a union worker making $27 an hour. He is no longer working that job and was not working for a period of time, however continued to pay what support he could. Now, He is back working, not the union job, but the judge told him that he would have to continue to pay his union wages of $27/hr when he is making $12/hr. The judge Told him if he didn't like it to get an attorney.

How is this possible or even LEGAL? My cousin is an idiot but I do not think this is fair at all.

Answer Question
 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 7:44 PM on Mar. 9, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • CS is usually based on earning potential, not what they actually make, so if he made $27 at some point they assume he could be making the same if he wanted and base payment off of that.

    skittles1108

    Answer by skittles1108 at 7:47 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I would go back to the court for a review, and with a lawyer willing to take payments if need be. Courts shouldn't be assuming anything. Not their job to assume. I'm sure every state is different. That is a big difference in pay. No, I don't think that is right at all.
    Christine0813

    Answer by Christine0813 at 7:52 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I think the judge was right. If you need to request a change, regardless of the reason, go to court.
    Krysta622

    Answer by Krysta622 at 7:59 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I would get a lawyer if its really so much and he cant really pay that.

    I think that thought is pretty stupid "so if he made $27 at some point they assume he could be making the same if he wanted" (quote end)
    Not saying that to your personally!
    But In the Economy that we are living now there are a lot of people happy working at minimum wage. And olny because there was a time when you made more money cant necessarily mean that if you wanted to you still could make that same money.
    LittleBirdFly

    Answer by LittleBirdFly at 8:02 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • It's legal.. and they can do that. Just as skittles said it's earning potential. Otherwise ppl would get crappy jobs all the time so they didn't have to pay what they owe. Look it up on your states child support site... It's clearly written on the state I live in.
    genagina

    Answer by genagina at 8:13 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • "It's legal.. and they can do that. Just as skittles said it's earning potential. Otherwise ppl would get crappy jobs all the time so they didn't have to pay what they owe. Look it up on your states child support site... It's clearly written on the state I live in."

    That doesnt make sense to me because for example, in the state of IL child support is determined by 20% of your income. No matter what, you are paying 20%.... So sure, the person GETTING the support would get less money but it would still be an equal amount of support out of the payers paycheck regardless of their income. So it doesnt really matter much to the payer at all UNTIL they pull one of these "earning potential" baloney plays out of their pocket.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 8:46 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • The reason they often base it on earning potential is because of the deadbeats out there who would deliberately go out and get a lower wage job to be able to pay less in child support - my ex is one of them. It sucks for guys like your cousin who end up getting screwed over.

    He can, and probably should, get a lawyer and get the order modified. Jobs aren't paying like they used to, and aren't nearly as plentiful. They should see he's doing the best he can and work with him.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:01 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • He would love to get a lawyer and is looking around desperately but now he wont have the money for one, and will barely be able to pay his own bills and eat. He already was forced to give his dog up because he is giving almost all of his money to his sons mom. Its so sad because he is on his own paying his own bills and having to give up a phone, his dog that he really really loved and had for 7 years, his car he could no longer afford the payments on and move out of the house he owned in to a rental with lower monthly payments... While SHE is living with her parents and does not have to pay rent or bills at all except her own, she was able to go out and purchase a brand new car off the lot, and he's stuck taking the bus. He's deffinately being dragged through the mud.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:51 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Have him check around for legal aid in the area. Sometimes they can help. If not, he can check into the laws of your state and see if he *has* to have a lawyer or if he can do it on his own. The paperwork for it in my state i, simple enough that someone with no legal experience or knowledge can figure out how to fill it out and file it, and so I never needed a lawyer for anything with my divorce and child support orders. If it's that simple in your state, and he doesn't need to have a lawyer, he might have to pay for the paperwork, but that wouldn't be more than maybe $10-20, possibly a filing fee, but all of it would be cheaper than a lawyer, and if he gets the modification, would be well worth it in the end.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 6:52 AM on Mar. 10, 2011

  • my husband had a judge tell him it was based on what he can earn because he was paying 90 a week , but he could no longer drive a truck and noone would hire him. between the union and cs we could not afford our rent of 400 a month plus utilities. the judge ended up killing himself and the other judge took a look and lowered it. he can ask for modification
    WildCat73

    Answer by WildCat73 at 6:19 PM on Mar. 10, 2011

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