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Thread: Jurisdiction / Tax Deduction

  1. #1
    Johndoe293 is offline Junior Member
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    Jurisdiction / Tax Deduction

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas/Colorado

    I tried this on another site, but after 200+ views still no answer. Hoping I can get some help here.

    My original divorce was filed and finalized in Colorado where at the time my ex wife and our children were living, and I am a legal resident. Since then she and the children have moved to Texas (they actually moved shortly after she filed for the divorce and before the order was finalized). I pay her child support directly, twice a month as per our order. We have never had any issues since the divorce that we haven't just handled ourselves. We've always communicated, and have worked well together to co-parent for the most part. I was blindsided when I recently recieved 3 envelopes from the AG in Texas (the county she lives in). One was a Income Witholding Order for child support and states it's based on the order in Colorado. I have no problem with this, if she prefers to be paid once a month through the court that's fine. The second was a letter I could sign and return if I desired there to be a review. The third was a letter saying the court would start reporting to the credit bureaus based on an arreage of x amount of dollars if not paid in 30 days. I called the child support office and explained I have never missed a payment and can prove this with bank statements. The amount wasn't a round number, was less than the monthly amount so I'm not sure where the figure came from. They told me I had to fill out an affidavit of direct payment (they would mail it) and it would be reviewed and credited. I also asked if they were only enforcing the out of state order or if they now have jurisdiction. The woman told me they have jurisdiction of our complete order, including custody.

    I have no problem with this, I understand the laws and my ex wife and our children have lived in Texas almost 5 years now and since none of us live in Colorado I get why Texas has jurisdiction. My question is how could this have happened without me ever being notified? Hopefully there will be no issues, IWO will go into effect, she'll get paid automatically, and hopefully my affidavit will be accepted and I'll be credited for my payment before the credit agencies are notified. I'm just curious if at any point in the process I should have receieved notification. I tried to contact my ex and she wouldn't answer her phone. (Our kids are visiting my parents so she would probably wonder why I was calling her to begin with). It just seems like there were some steps along the road I wasn't included on and I'm curious as to how. I understand its probably moot, but could it have happened without me ever being notified?

    My second question involves a modificaiton. Our current order allows my ex wife to claim both of our children on taxes every year. Also, that she is responsible for 50% of travel costs. (She moved first, but I'm military and have moved a couple times since the order but have never increased the distance/expense more than her first and second moves (Colorado and ultimately Texas). I would like to request to claim at least one of the children each year on taxes. Also, if she were willing to let me claim them both I would be willing to accept 100% of responsibility for travel costs, as she always states she can't afford it and I usually end up having to come up with the money myself anyway. Is this a request to modify custody? Child support? How do I go about this? I assume also that now the order is in Texas that I would have to request the modification in the county she resides in. Would this be something that would need a hearing? If so could an attorney appear for me?

    Thanks!
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johndoe293 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas/Colorado

    I tried this on another site, but after 200+ views still no answer. Hoping I can get some help here.

    My original divorce was filed and finalized in Colorado where at the time my ex wife and our children were living, and I am a legal resident. Since then she and the children have moved to Texas (they actually moved shortly after she filed for the divorce and before the order was finalized). I pay her child support directly, twice a month as per our order. We have never had any issues since the divorce that we haven't just handled ourselves. We've always communicated, and have worked well together to co-parent for the most part. I was blindsided when I recently recieved 3 envelopes from the AG in Texas (the county she lives in). One was a Income Witholding Order for child support and states it's based on the order in Colorado. I have no problem with this, if she prefers to be paid once a month through the court that's fine. The second was a letter I could sign and return if I desired there to be a review. The third was a letter saying the court would start reporting to the credit bureaus based on an arreage of x amount of dollars if not paid in 30 days. I called the child support office and explained I have never missed a payment and can prove this with bank statements. The amount wasn't a round number, was less than the monthly amount so I'm not sure where the figure came from. They told me I had to fill out an affidavit of direct payment (they would mail it) and it would be reviewed and credited. I also asked if they were only enforcing the out of state order or if they now have jurisdiction. The woman told me they have jurisdiction of our complete order, including custody.

    I have no problem with this, I understand the laws and my ex wife and our children have lived in Texas almost 5 years now and since none of us live in Colorado I get why Texas has jurisdiction. My question is how could this have happened without me ever being notified? Hopefully there will be no issues, IWO will go into effect, she'll get paid automatically, and hopefully my affidavit will be accepted and I'll be credited for my payment before the credit agencies are notified. I'm just curious if at any point in the process I should have receieved notification. I tried to contact my ex and she wouldn't answer her phone. (Our kids are visiting my parents so she would probably wonder why I was calling her to begin with). It just seems like there were some steps along the road I wasn't included on and I'm curious as to how. I understand its probably moot, but could it have happened without me ever being notified?

    My second question involves a modificaiton. Our current order allows my ex wife to claim both of our children on taxes every year. Also, that she is responsible for 50% of travel costs. (She moved first, but I'm military and have moved a couple times since the order but have never increased the distance/expense more than her first and second moves (Colorado and ultimately Texas). I would like to request to claim at least one of the children each year on taxes. Also, if she were willing to let me claim them both I would be willing to accept 100% of responsibility for travel costs, as she always states she can't afford it and I usually end up having to come up with the money myself anyway. Is this a request to modify custody? Child support? How do I go about this? I assume also that now the order is in Texas that I would have to request the modification in the county she resides in. Would this be something that would need a hearing? If so could an attorney appear for me?

    Thanks!
    Anything you cannot agree to on your own would require a hearing. Yes, an attorney could probably appear for you. However, you could easily eat up the value of a year or two's tax exemptions on legal fees.
  3. #3
    Johndoe293 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Anything you cannot agree to on your own would require a hearing. Yes, an attorney could probably appear for you. However, you could easily eat up the value of a year or two's tax exemptions on legal fees.
    Thanks. A year or two of exemptions might be worth it if I were to succeed, even if I was to claim the older of our two, there are at least 9 years left before he is 18.

    Would it be a modification to the custody order or support?
  4. #4
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johndoe293 View Post
    Thanks. A year or two of exemptions might be worth it if I were to succeed, even if I was to claim the older of our two, there are at least 9 years left before he is 18.

    Would it be a modification to the custody order or support?
    Under which case was the tax exemption awarded to mom?
  5. #5
    Johndoe293 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Under which case was the tax exemption awarded to mom?
    It was all in the original divorce order from Colorado. Nothing has been changed that I'm aware of except the new jurisdiction and income withholding.

    Also, should I keep paying mom directly until the garnishing starts? Or should I send the payments to the ocs? I would hate to have to fill out multiple affidavits trying to get credit for my payments, but I'm really uninformed about Texas now having jurisdiction. Our Colorado order said I paid mom directly the 1st and 15th.
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    MedusasRevenge is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johndoe293 View Post

    Also, should I keep paying mom directly until the garnishing starts? Or should I send the payments to the ocs? I would hate to have to fill out multiple affidavits trying to get credit for my payments, but I'm really uninformed about Texas now having jurisdiction. Our Colorado order said I paid mom directly the 1st and 15th.
    You should follow the current order until you have a new one/withholding order. Actually, until they actually start withholding. It is your responsibility to make sure the support gets paid. I'm sure you know the latter, but figured it bears mentioning.
  7. #7
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    So mom had the order domesticated locally in Texas. That is no big deal. The issue appears to be she attended a hearing for which you were not notified and had amendments made. You need to contact the court, find out what the amendments were and file for reconsideration if you do not like the changes. She likely had you served at your old and knowingly bad address.
  8. #8
    Johndoe293 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MedusasRevenge View Post
    You should follow the current order until you have a new one/withholding order. Actually, until they actually start withholding. It is your responsibility to make sure the support gets paid. I'm sure you know the latter, but figured it bears mentioning.
    I definitely have no intention of not paying. But, wouldn't sending payments to OCS be me taking the responsibility to make sure support gets paid? I don't mean to sound sarcastic or argumentative, and I appreciate any and all advice coming my way... I'm just a bit paranoid now that all this has happened in what feels like a very backhanded way. Having already been put in the position to have to fill out an affidavit of direct payment and hope it gets accepted and credited before my credit is marred, I'd like to prevent from having to do that multiple times. Prior to me receiving this new information from Texas, I would have trusted mom would help me clear the "arrears" with no problem because we've had a good working relationship. But I also would have trusted her to inform me that she was going the route of having the order domesticated in Texas, which ultimately is resulting in, at the least, income witholding. I have the witholding order, but the child support office said it could take as long as 6 weeks to start. That's 3 payments I have to make that I may/may not get credit for if sent directly to mom.

    I appreciate your response, I'm just confused because it's apparent at the very least the process of paying child support was changed with the order was domesticated and this is the first I'm hearing of anything, it just makes it worse that upon my notification of it all being said and done, the court things I'm behind in support and I have never missed a single payment, most of the time paying early at mom's request.
  9. #9
    Johndoe293 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHRoadwarrior View Post
    So mom had the order domesticated locally in Texas. That is no big deal. The issue appears to be she attended a hearing for which you were not notified and had amendments made. You need to contact the court, find out what the amendments were and file for reconsideration if you do not like the changes. She likely had you served at your old and knowingly bad address.
    I agree the domestication is no big deal at all. Like I said in my OP it makes complete sense because none of us live in Colorado any longer. I agree with the issue being that I am finding all this out after what appears to be a lack of service/notification at some point in the process. The fact that anything was changed makes me worry. Until this happened I wouldn't have expected mom to not be forthcoming with any and all information, like I said we have a decent relationship.

    Now that my paranoid hat is on, I'm starting to think that the timing is pretty significant. As I stated in my OP we have a 50/50 split for transportation costs, and it was coming time for mom to pony up for her half of plane tickets for the summer, and had told me that she couldn't afford it. Now I'm wondering if that was changed in the order, too, and I'm just not aware. I wouldn't have a problem with a change requiring me to provide for all costs for transportation (I have 90% of the time anyway), but would like to be able to claim one of the kids on taxes to offset my added expense. I've always just paid the difference if she refuses because I want to see my kids.

    I'm a bit upset that what I thought was a great open co-parenting relationship isn't that. I feel pretty betrayed that she did this behind my back, I never would have objected to the domestication, it's not a big deal... just not sure why she wasn't upfront. And she's always had my address so there is no reason for her not to have served me properly.
  10. #10
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johndoe293 View Post
    I definitely have no intention of not paying. But, wouldn't sending payments to OCS be me taking the responsibility to make sure support gets paid? I don't mean to sound sarcastic or argumentative, and I appreciate any and all advice coming my way... I'm just a bit paranoid now that all this has happened in what feels like a very backhanded way. Having already been put in the position to have to fill out an affidavit of direct payment and hope it gets accepted and credited before my credit is marred, I'd like to prevent from having to do that multiple times. Prior to me receiving this new information from Texas, I would have trusted mom would help me clear the "arrears" with no problem because we've had a good working relationship. But I also would have trusted her to inform me that she was going the route of having the order domesticated in Texas, which ultimately is resulting in, at the least, income witholding. I have the witholding order, but the child support office said it could take as long as 6 weeks to start. That's 3 payments I have to make that I may/may not get credit for if sent directly to mom.

    I appreciate your response, I'm just confused because it's apparent at the very least the process of paying child support was changed with the order was domesticated and this is the first I'm hearing of anything, it just makes it worse that upon my notification of it all being said and done, the court things I'm behind in support and I have never missed a single payment, most of the time paying early at mom's request.
    It may be that mom has applied for state assistance of some kind due to a financial reversal. If so, that could explain why the state has taken over and wants to garnish your child support. Generally that is exactly what they will do. Sometimes they will even keep some or most of the child support to reimburse the state for the aid received.

    Have you talked to your ex about this?
  11. #11
    Johndoe293 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    It may be that mom has applied for state assistance of some kind due to a financial reversal. If so, that could explain why the state has taken over and wants to garnish your child support. Generally that is exactly what they will do. Sometimes they will even keep some or most of the child support to reimburse the state for the aid received.

    Have you talked to your ex about this?
    I've tried to get a hold of her starting the day I received the paperwork in the mail, but she won't answer phone calls, reply to texts. This is unsual and just makes me more paranoid. The kiddos are with my parents currently, and are flying to visit for the summer this weekend. I mention this only because she's not obligated to answer my calls at the moment.

    I guess she could have applied for aid, counting our two kiddos and her husband's they have 5 total. But I believe her husband is the NCP and pays support for his 3. They both work full time, and none of the kiddos are in child care, and they are definitely above poverty level. I provide the kiddos with medical insurance, so I'm not sure if she would qualify for aid or what type of aid she would qualify for. Their household income is well over poverty levels even without considering my child support. But you never know.

    If this were the case wouldn't be even more imporant for me to send the payments to the court? Otherwise who would be on the hook to repay the state? Her or I? This just makes it more confusing. I was just under the impression that she transferred jurisdiction and that Texas possibly just defaults all support orders to go through the court, I know of other states that do this, so I didn't think that was alarming.
  12. #12
    Doreen is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johndoe293 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas/Colorado
    ..I also asked if they were only enforcing the out of state order or if they now have jurisdiction. The woman told me they have jurisdiction of our complete order, including custody.

    I have no problem with this, I understand the laws and my ex wife and our children have lived in Texas almost 5 years now and since none of us live in Colorado I get why Texas has jurisdiction.

    My question is how could this have happened without me ever being notified?...
    The answer is it could not, or rather should not, have happened.

    And it likely did not, at least not to the extent implied here. You either misunderstood the person you were speaking with from the Texas AG child support office, or "the woman" on the phone was wrong. Nor do you fully understand the laws as it applies to interstate jurisdictional issues over custody matters.

    Domesticating a Colorado custody order in Texas does NOT in and of itself give Texas any jurisdiction or authority to make any "custody determinations" over the children, or modify the terms of your divorce decree relating to the children.

    There are procedural hoops mandated by UCCJEA in which the original Colorado court must first confer with the Texas court and agree to cede jurisdiction to the Texas court. And that will NOT happen without a modification suit first being filed in Texas. And such a suit requires you be duly served process.

    The quickest way to determine if any actions have been taken in either state's courts is to do an online search of your Colorado case file to see if anything has been recently docketed, and an online search of the Texas court where she currently resides to see if your name pops up on a civil records search of pending cases.

    Either way an attorney should review your last court order and the information sent to you by the State of Texas.
    Last edited by Doreen; 06-24-2013 at 07:49 AM.
  13. #13
    Johndoe293 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doreen View Post
    The answer is it could not, or rather should not, have happened.

    And it likely did not, at least not to the extent implied here. You either misunderstood the person you were speaking with from the Texas AG child support office, or "the woman" on the phone was wrong. Nor do you fully understand the laws as it applies to interstate jurisdictional issues over custody matters.

    Domesticating a Colorado custody order in Texas does NOT in and of itself give Texas any jurisdiction or authority to make any "custody determinations" over the children, or modify the terms of your divorce decree relating to the children.

    There are procedural hoops mandated by UCCJEA in which the original Colorado court must first confer with the Texas court and agree to cede jurisdiction to the Texas court. And that will NOT happen without a modification suit first being filed in Texas. And such a suit requires you be duly served process.

    The quickest way to determine if any actions have been taken in either state's courts is to do an online search of your Colorado case file to see if anything has been recently docketed, and an online search of the Texas court where she currently resides to see if your name pops up on a civil records search of pending cases.

    Either way an attorney should review your last court order and the information sent to you by the State of Texas.
    I specifically asked they person I spoke to which state has jurisdiction of my case, specifically child support as well as custody. I asked which state's court I would go through to modify either order. I was told Texas for both, and I even asked if Texas just held the right to enforce the Colorado order and if Colorado would handle and modifications or reviews. She said no, it would all be done in Texas. One of the forms I received was to request a review through the state of Texas.

    I'll start searching for court info.

    Question now, where do I need a lawyer?
  14. #14
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johndoe293 View Post
    I specifically asked they person I spoke to which state has jurisdiction of my case, specifically child support as well as custody. I asked which state's court I would go through to modify either order. I was told Texas for both, and I even asked if Texas just held the right to enforce the Colorado order and if Colorado would handle and modifications or reviews. She said no, it would all be done in Texas. One of the forms I received was to request a review through the state of Texas.

    I'll start searching for court info.

    Question now, where do I need a lawyer?
    Here's the thing, though. A child support case worker with the OAG in TX shouldn't be answering questions about your custody order. At all. Ever.

    Before you start assuming that your ex - whom you've previously communicated with pretty well, according to you - is behaving in a shady manner, find out what is actually happening.
  15. #15
    Johndoe293 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJane View Post
    Here's the thing, though. A child support case worker with the OAG in TX shouldn't be answering questions about your custody order. At all. Ever.

    Before you start assuming that your ex - whom you've previously communicated with pretty well, according to you - is behaving in a shady manner, find out what is actually happening.
    I completely understand that me thinking she's being shady was a jump to conclusions... But I was basing that on the information I had, and her not answering my calls as of late. I want aware of the requirements for transferring the jurisdiction, nor that the office I called shouldn't be answering such questions. I know now that I have a lot off homework to do figuring out what exactly is going on. I'll keep trying to get answers from mom, as well as contact Colorado and Texas courts.

    I don't wish to fight a transfer of jurisdiction, if that's what has our will happen, but need to know where to go to file or request modifications.

    I appreciate everyone's help.

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