Support Info You Need to Know
Child support laws in this state are cold and calculating (pun intended). But what most people do not realize is that the due date for child support is a due date, not a mail by date. Thus, for example, if your support payment is due on the 1st of the month and you mail it and it is not received until the 2nd of the month, it is technically a payment for the following month and that month is now in arrears. This is especially true if you pay through SCU and you mail it to them rather than being garnished by an employer. Thus, always mail your payment five (5) days or more before the due date. This applies to spousal support as well.
Nothing is more important at law than payment of your child support. The Court does not want to hear that your car broke down, or you were stuck with huge credit card debt in the divorce, or your parents were sick and you had to help them out. The law says child support gets paid first before anything else. So be nice to your ex and maybe your ex will cut you some slack if you ever need it. And if he or she does cut you some slack, make good on it as soon as you can.
Child support arrears are arrears and you cannot change that unless you file for relief from the Court prior to going deep into arrears. If your petition is dismissed because your change is too soon, at least you can refer back too it in a subsequent action against you. But keep perfect records of all of your attempts to maintain and/or replace and/or supplement your income or the Courts will not grant you any relief.
A Court will not permit you to seek contempt and enforcement against your ex-spouse for nonpayment of the mortgage as set forth in your settlement agreement if you are behind in support payments of any kind. Your being behind in support payments are your ex-spouse’s excuse for not being up to date on the mortgage.
If you pay by check, you have not paid until the check clears your bank account. So, track your checks for clearing regularly. If the check does not clear, email your ex-spouse and ask if he or she received the check. If your ex says yes, keep a print out of that email to prove you mailed it and she got it but just did not deposit it. If she did not get it, put a stop payment on it and send her a replacement check. The check stop fee? Eat it, do NOT deduct it or you will be behind by that amount. Keep all of your canceled checks for child support in one safe place for 20 years after each check cleared.
The Courts are more apt to punish you for being behind in support payments than your ex if your ex were to stab you (assuming the ex-spouse behind in child support is the man and the ex-spouse who stabs is the woman stabbing the man). Not only can you be jailed for arrears but you can be garnished up to 65% of your net pay after mandatory deductions only. I would not be surprised if the government spends more in tax payer dollars to collect child support than the support needing to be collected.
The true satire of it all is that there are so many healthy prosperous amazing children of poor people, and so many emotionally screwed up children of rich people. Money is NOT the most important thing if we truly believe in the best interests of our children, but try to tell the law that…