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  1. #1
    difficult3 is offline Member
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    Angry Pro Se Pennsylvania

    What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

    My husband filed for a modification of support on July 22nd with Bucks County domestic relations. The court records clearly show a docket entry for that date that he filed for a modification pro se. They told him it would then be 7 to 14 days to get a court date. We STILL don't have one. Every time she filed something...there was a court date set up within two weeks.

    Are we missing something here? Does he need to file something else or are they jerking him around because they think he's another father trying to get out of child support?
  2. #2
    SingleMom67 is offline Member
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    No, he doesn't have to file anything else. He should, however, call every day until someone assigns a hearing date. That's nuts. It does sound like they're jerking his chain. It really doesn't take a lot of work to look at a court calendar and assign a hearing date, but that's what happens sometimes. Tell him to call and call and keep calling until someone gets him a date!!!!!

    (Edit) Just making sure..... He paid the required filing fee?
  3. #3
    difficult3 is offline Member
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    We never heard anything about filing fees. Nothing was on the paperwork. (They sent him a packet to fill out) There's no place to find that info.He just filed through the mail. Bucks County is so backwards. Logic would dictate filing fees...but would they put it on the docket if he still needed to pay one?
  4. #4
    annefan is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by difficult3
    What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

    My husband filed for a modification of support on July 22nd with Bucks County domestic relations. The court records clearly show a docket entry for that date that he filed for a modification pro se. They told him it would then be 7 to 14 days to get a court date. We STILL don't have one. Every time she filed something...there was a court date set up within two weeks.

    Are we missing something here? Does he need to file something else or are they jerking him around because they think he's another father trying to get out of child support?
    Sit tight. The modification (if any) once granted, will go retroactive to the date of filing.
  5. #5
    SingleMom67 is offline Member
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    Not necessarily. In your own words, "Bucks County is so backwards." They won't do any work for you. Even something as simple as telling you what a filing fee is. Have him call DR and ask (1) why hasn't a hearing date been set yet; (2) is the hold up due to his need to submit a filing fee; and (3) obviously, what's the fee!! As an FYI, the filing fee is small for a modification hearing (usually $10-25). Some counties in PA also just add the amount to the supporting parent's obligation. I'm not sure what Bucks County does. In Chester County they've just changed it to so that filing fees are paid up front (it used to be tacked on to paying parent's obligation). Anyway, make sure he clarifies this though. You don't want the hold up to be over something as silly as $10!!!!! Good Luck!!!
    Last edited by SingleMom67; 08-25-2005 at 10:32 AM.
  6. #6
    annefan is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleMom67
    Not necessarily. In your own words, "Bucks County is so backwards." They won't do any work for you. Have him call DR and ask (1) why hasn't a hearing date been set yet; (2) is the hold up due to his need to submit a filing fee; and (3) obviously, what's the fee!! GL!!!
    There is no filing fee for petitions to modify.
  7. #7
    SingleMom67 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by annefan
    There is no filing fee for petitions to modify.
    In Bucks County you mean?
  8. #8
    difficult3 is offline Member
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    He's called a few times already and they keep saying "these things take time." I'll have him look into the fees but I checked the court website and they didnt' show anything.

    Since he's paying support...how does a retroactive support order work? His arrears are almost paid so how would they apply the reduction.

    BTW--it's because she's taking daycare money and the kids aren't in daycare anymore. Already checked the calculators...we will come out ahead.
  9. #9
    annefan is offline Member
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    Yes, in Bucks County I mean.
  10. #10
    annefan is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by difficult3
    He's called a few times already and they keep saying "these things take time." I'll have him look into the fees but I checked the court website and they didnt' show anything.

    Since he's paying support...how does a retroactive support order work? His arrears are almost paid so how would they apply the reduction.

    BTW--it's because she's taking daycare money and the kids aren't in daycare anymore. Already checked the calculators...we will come out ahead.

    Example:
    Date of Filing: 7/1/05
    Date of Hearing: 9/1/05

    If the payor is in arrears, whatever the modification is granted on the date of hearing, the payor will be credited for 'overpayment' going back to the date of filing. But this 'overpayment' is only the difference between the old amount ordered and the new amount ordered. Pretending the difference is $50/month, the payor will be credited $100 according to the dates above. If the modification is not significant enough to cover the arrearages, the payor will still be in arrears, just reduced a little. DR will more than likely NOT modify the amount the payor is currently paying towards arrears.
  11. #11
    difficult3 is offline Member
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    How is the overpayment applied if he would have no arrears? Where would he see this "credit"?
  12. #12
    annefan is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by difficult3
    How is the overpayment applied if he would have no arrears? Where would he see this "credit"?
    If there are no arrears at the time of the modification hearing, the 'overpayment' for all those weeks going back to the date of filing for modification would be credited, but essentially nobody receives any 'refund'. The overpayment sits there (basically the opposite of arrears). The payor can contact DR and establish how much in 'overage' he's paid when the time of emancipation nears. It is suggested that, for example, if the support obligation is $500/month, and the payor has $1,000 in surplus already paid, the payor should file a petition for emancipation a couple of months ahead of the date that he or she would normally file (taking the DR backlog into consideration...in Bucks Co, this can run anywhere from 3-5 months ahead of emancipation date).
  13. #13
    difficult3 is offline Member
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    Just out of curiosity...what happens to an overpayment at the time of emancipation? If you don't file in time...is the money lost?

    Thank you BTW! You are soooo helpful!
  14. #14
    annefan is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by difficult3
    Just out of curiosity...what happens to an overpayment at the time of emancipation? If you don't file in time...is the money lost?

    Thank you BTW! You are soooo helpful!
    Overages would stay in the system and allocated toward amount due for any subsequent children who remain to be supported. It is always safer to get real familiar with the account status when emancipation comes near...not sure where the overage would go to in that case...check with Domestic Relations.
    On a side note though, any number of scenarios could quickly turn overages into arrearages in the months or years between now and emancipation...such as change of employment.

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