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Motion to Enforce Support Payments

Discussion in 'Alimony & Spousal Support' started by willthomasnyc, Dec 6, 2011.

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  1. willthomasnyc

    willthomasnyc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have been happily divorced for about 6 years after an 11 year marriage. My initial divorce settlement included $3500/month spousal support and $2500/month child support for a total of $6k/month. This was paid without use of probate every month for 3+ years. (I sent her a check every month without incident)

    I am in high tech sales and have been for 18 years (since college)

    During the course of the marriage I averaged about $220-$240k/year in earnings with a high of $370 and a low of $55k (year one right out of school). I had been making about $240k per year for the 2-3 years leading up to the divorce.

    Soon after the divorce, the after effects of the bubble bursting hit me and I have averaged about $160k/yr since. I have gone back to court twice seeking a reduction on the $6k due to the fact that my income dropped by 33%. The first time I went to court was about 4 years ago. I didn't have the $6k to send each month and had to send only what I could afford which was closer to $4k/month. After the initial hearing, it was deemed that my 33% drop in earnings wasn't 'significant' and they put me into probate for collections. After taking 50% of my after tax earnings and giving to my ex, it equated to about $4k/month.

    I returned to court about 2 years ago as I had remarried and had a baby. I still make about $150-$160k/year and I thought this 'change in circumstances', both the fact that even taking the maximum allowed by the Federal government from my pay (50% under normal circumstances) and the new child, might justify a modification in the terms. Instead the judge continued the $6k/month and added $500/month to start gathering the 'arrears' that had been accumulated.

    Obviously this never kicks in because I still make about $150k (I'm at $132k thru 11-30-2011) and have paid almost $43k in support thru this same time period. The order calls for $66k (not including arrears) thru this same time-frame.

    Here is my question...I was told be my ex that there is a motion hearing of some sort scheduled for 12-20-2011 in Somerset County NJ Courthouse to focus on 'collecting' the arrears which I assume are around $60k since I've been paying through probate for about 3 years. I haven't received anything from the courts via certified mail, so I don't know if she is making this up or not. She did say that it had nothing to do with her asking for the motion, but rather the court, or the probation office was acting on their own. I have been a FT employee the entire time, I have paid every month through probate for over 3 years (the time the arrears began) so I don't understand what the purpose of the 'hearing' would be?

    Please let me know if there is some pro-active action I can take. What are the repercussions if I choose to ignore this and there really is a hearing? I haven't been notified in any way (no mail, no service, no call)

    My docket # is FM-18-000872-06
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The court could be trying to seize some of your assets to satisfy the arrears.

    The worse case is if the court (or maybe your "ex"), might be trying to incarcerate you.

    If you're smart (I think you are), I suggest you retain an attorney. Things might be heating up about the money you are alleged to owe. You need a lawyer.
     
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  3. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Active Member

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    What did your lawyer state when you went back to court? I would think they would have adjusted the supports when income lowered. Lawyer up quickly as Army Judge stated... this isn't something you want to dick around with.
     
    willthomasnyc likes this.
  4. willthomasnyc

    willthomasnyc Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm curious if NJ law protects me as long as I'm paying the maximum allowable out of each of my checks?
    I have no assets at all, I rent a furnished apartment, don't own a car, liquidated my 401k to pay bills etc, Im more than happy to share my debts with her ;)

    I wish NJ courts posted things online like NYC does, so I could see if this is real or fictitious. I haven't been served or received any certified mail about it. I suspect they use my old address from a few years ago which I'm sure doesn't forward to my current anymore....I don't have the resources to hire an attorney for this 'potential' hearing. The last attorney basically spent my retainer to get a continuance on my motion to modify support which I could have done myself, so my experience with both pro se and attorneys has been less than satisfactory.

    I will update with what happens. I am a single parent of a 3 year old girl, so 'incarceration' isn't feasible, nor justifiable (imho)
     

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