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Can I do an audit on ex?

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by CanadianMama, Oct 8, 2005.

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  1. CanadianMama

    CanadianMama Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My son's father (we were never married) has sporadic visitation with his son, and has, for the last 7 years. (son is now 10). When we split, we had a legal agreement drawn up (that was many years ago) and the legal agreement was to be in place for one year. After that, we never had anything else done. All of our agreements concerning child support were verbal. The support I've recieved for the last 7 years has never changed. He does not pay for any extra's, just the support.

    My ex and his wife would now like to reduce the child support (cut it in 1/2) stating that they just cannot afford the amount they've been paying (they have 3 children). What I find really interesting, is that he owns his own business, and has for quite some time. The business is successful, they have some nice 'toys' at home, as well as a 5th wheel holiday trailer, brand new truck, snowmobiles etc. I imagine that he's burying alot of this money, but I just can't quite figure out how he might be doing it. Is there a way that he can actually hide money from the courts, in order to lower his child support?
    Appreciate any and all answers!! Thanks!!
     
  2. carney

    carney New Member

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    I assume you are going back to court to settle this. The courts base child support on the father and mother's income. It's a complicated system and usually they wont tell you how they figure it out. He has to have proof of his income and that it has been lowered to be able to change his child support payment. And yes you can tell the judge that he owns his own business and all the other assets he owns. Drive by his house and try to take pictures of his assets. (without him knowing of course) They can also ask to see income tax records. That will usually prove how much he is making in a year. If you have a lawyer he can put in a request to see his past income tax records and if your ex doesn't bring them he can be found in contempt of court.
     
  3. CanadianMama

    CanadianMama Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I kind of assumed this (regarding past income tax records). There are child support tables in place, provincially in Canada, and that is what the amount is based on. They are the ones that are requesting this action take place, so I suppose my game plan is to just 'see' what comes my way and then deal with it, with the assistance of a lawyer? What they want to do is write down 'their' terms, and than have me go over it, and come back with terms of my own. More like a mediation.
    But in my mind, we're not going to get anywhere doing that, so it probably will end up going to court, in which case (if I win) I'm also going to have them pay for my legal fees. (Which I believe I can do).
    Thanks for the input!
     
  4. Duranie

    Duranie Moderator

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    Him being self employed is the problem. Is is near impossible to know exactly hoe much he makes especially if he puts assetts in his wife's name.

    You would basically have to hire a forensic accountant I believe.
     
  5. CanadianMama

    CanadianMama Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Never have I heard of anything like a forensic accountant?
    Couldn't my lawyer just ask for all of his business records? Yikes, this sounds kind of complicated!

    I was wondering to myself, if he's paying his stay at home wife a 'wage' out of the business....which she could claim on income tax, to lower taxes for the business. The trick is getting to the records of the business, employee salaries and names...that sort of thing.....
    I don't imagine courts like NCP's that purposely 'hide' money, to lower CS.
     
  6. Duranie

    Duranie Moderator

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    Somebody will have to go through the books.

    Of course the courts don't like it when money is hidden but self employed have a way of filing taxes, they claim losses, etc.. This is very common unfortunately.
     
  7. CanadianMama

    CanadianMama Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Isn't there a method to have 'all' of the business' transactions exposed? all income declared, including employee wages, deductions, etc. etc? I thought that something like that would be mandatory for those that are self employed?

    Thanks!
     
  8. gearhart7

    gearhart7 New Member

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    self employed

    Do you realize usually when someone is filing self employed they are not always tring to hide money? My husband is self-employed. Yes, we file differently then most people. Our accountant won't let us do anything illegal. My husband makes more money working for himself. But the ex has to realize that there are good years and bad years and very bad years.

    My husband's one night stand (resulting in a child) had her child support raised on a good year. But now that he is having a very bad year. She doesn't want to have it lowered. How is that fair? Maybe she shouldn't get used to the higher amount. They tell you not to bank on child support as income.

    I will tell you this. Depending on who is handling your case, is how hard they want to go after their taxes. In Indiana, the Prosecuting Attorney handles child support cases. One of my friend's self employed tax return shows them only making $18,000 a year in income. But I am fairly sure he makes about $100,000. The Prosecutor's didn't want to audit his taxes so they agreed on a higher support amount.

    Good Luck.
     
  9. CanadianMama

    CanadianMama Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. I do realize that when one is self employed, some years are better than others......however I know that this year was a good year (as was last year) because he was never home. (At least he 'professed' to be working?)
    Anyhow, I know that he was making quite alot while we were together. As far as I know that's never changed.
    The amount he stated he made last year doesn't make sense to me at all. Especially with the new toys they've recently purchased.

    No, not everyone that is self employed tries to hide money. My parents run a very legitimate business, and are the most straight laced people in the world! But not everyone that's self employed 'doesn't hide money either!

    My lawyer has asked for a full income disclosure, including any business financial records for the last 3 years, hopefully that will help a bit.

    (Just FYI, this wasn't my idea, I haven't asked for a support change for 7 years......nor anything extra.....this was all their idea. ....so I'm just trying to do what's fair.)

    Thanks for your response!
     

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