I live in Washington state.
My ex has been a pill ever since our separation. Our divorce was finalized over a year and a half ago, in early 2007. She recently took me back to court because she felt that she was entitled to 50% of our income tax rebate check from 2007 (for tax year 2006). We had been separated for all of 2006, during our divorce proceedings. I worked, she did not. When I filed, I filed as married filing jointly and offered her a couple hundred dollars. She agreed to file jointly, but refused to accept less than 50%. She'd already received a proportionally higher amount of our assets in the divorce!
So, a full 18 months after our decree, we were back in court, with her asking to vacate/amend our decree granting her 50% of that tax check. Our hearing was in early August. The commissioner stated that he would need to take the matter into consideration, and that we'd receive a letter with his decision. In Late October, nearly three months later, I received a letter from the commissioner stating that I would have to pay my ex 50% of the 2007 tax check; a judgement with an added 12% annum. I have been making payments of $30-$50/month since then.
I have a few questions on this; Is there a time limit on vacating and amending a decree when it comes to assets? Are there time constraints on decisions by family law commissioners? It seems to me that dealing with this, now, two years down the road is unfair, especially since the money was received after the divorce was finalized. Also, having to wait for three months on pins and needles for a decision from the commissioner seemed a bit wrong, too.
As long as I make a payment to my ex each month, is there any reason to worry about her attempting to garnish my wages? My last questions is; With a huge amount of debt allocated to me from my divorce, I was considering filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to get a fresh start away from the financial hell that my unemployed ex drug me through. Can this judgement be included in my bankruptcy, or is it exempt?
Thanks for your time.