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Contempt

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Paperconcepts

Guest
What is the name of your state? Georgia

I am the second wife to a man with a daughter and ex living in Georgia (we live in Texas). The original decree and child support modification are based out of Geogria.
Hubby has paid child support for 13 years and has 10 months left until his financial obligations end. Due to my illness, we did fall behind to the tune of $5500. I sold some stock and started to send checks in to get caught up. Ex wife has now filed a contempt charge stating hubby is in arrears but failed to provide any documentation that made sense showing what she claims the arrears are. She also claimed hubby failed to maintain health insurance on the 17 y.o daughter which is in original decree but ex and hubby made agreement, in writing, back in 1995 that ex would have insurance and hubby would pay additional $50 per month which was done.. We contacted the ex via letter stating monies were ready to be sent and if contempt charge remained, the monies would have to go for retainer of attorney rather than paying her. She did not respond. We hired an attorney in Geogia who asked us what the attachment that came with the summons showed the arrears to be. There was no attachment showing what the ex claims the arrears to be. Our attorney made offer to pay arrears in full but we never received a response from ex.
Our attorney contacted the Prosecuting attorney in GA and prosecuting attorney said the paper ex provided re: arrears made no sense, but sent the contempt order anyway minus amount of arrears. Both attorney's met and still cannot make sense of what ex is claiming arrears to be. We made third attempt of settlement and included check. Ex still will not respond. Now prosecuting attorney is mandating tax forms (jointly filed) for the last 5 years. We have finally figured out that ex doesn't have a figure for arrears and is using the Prosecuting Attorney to get free discovery of info.
Question: How far back can an ex wife claim contempt? There has not been any communication from ex and she has never questioned any increases given to her (she gets $744 per month for one child). Doesn't ex have to have some financial figure of the arrears before contempt can even be filed?
Question: Since ex wife falsely filed contempt stating hubby failed to maintain health insurance when she agreed in writing to maintain the health insurance, is ex guilty of perjury? Or at least telling a major lie to the court? Can ex be fined or placed in jail for knowingly and intentionally lying?
Question: If we prove that she intentionally provided misleading and confusing information about amount of arrearages to use the courts as a means for free discovery, can ex have charges filed against her.
Question: Ex has refused visitation by father since 1994 - how far back can hubby claim contempt for ex failing to allow visitation and parental alienation?

Thanks every body. Appreciate any input you can provide.
 
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Grace_Adler

Senior Member
I'm not really sure about the arrears thing. Is he being ordered through the court to pay support and if so is it through CSE or is he just sending her checks? If it's checks, you guys need to get the cancelled ones together. She's going to look stupid in court if she doesn't have an amount.

So there is no order for him to maintain insurance? If it was just something they made up, that won't hold up in court.

The only way she can go to jail, I think, is if she's goes to court and lies on the stand, as that is perjury but she may not even go to jail for that. I'm not sure what the sentencing is for that.

Is there a visitaition order in place? If there is and she's denying him I'd file a contempt order against her. If not, he needs to file for visitation now.

Is there a custody arrangement? If so what is it?
 
P

Paperconcepts

Guest
The child support is ordered by the court, but we send the checks directly to her. 13 years no major problem til now.
THe health insurance - decree says he maintains it - but in 1995 at the ex's request, she wanted the daughter on her plan (our plan, at that time 1995, was an HMO in KY and all services had to be administered in KY - she's in GA) - so it would be easier to do the health care - it did make sense - she asked that hubby pay the $50 it would cost to have the daughter added. THe two wrote up an agreement which she signed back in 1995. We've paid the additional premium every month. And I do believe the original decree gives them both freedom to enter into agreements between themselves.
Visitation is ordered within the decree. We paid the air fare for her to fly but after 4 years, the ex started putting obstacles up. It became, in our minds, putting the child as a pawn. I guess I'm the one who saw it first - and we backed off. We debated for months about going to court on the child visitation - but we knew it would put more stress and pressure on the child - and with ex's history of dragging things out (their last modification was dragged out for 9 months) and with ex's hostory of not showing good faith efforts to resolve conflict, hubby backed off. We maintained communication via phone and letter, but then the child refused to talk to her dad. We figure she will make her own determination when she wants to see and talk with us.
Sad really - the child has a 11 year old half brother (our son) that she really doesn't know. My son wants to know his sister and often asks why "L" won't let "J" come to see us.
Sad thing is - we admit to the recent arrearage and refinanced our house soley for the purpose of getting caught up - as I said, 13 years with no major problem, then this. Oh, and since I wrote the initial letter here - hubby's position at employer was dissolved. Now he doesn't have a steady income. Agh! But since child support ends May 2003, modification process will take longer than that, so no point wasting the money trying to lower the child support.
I don't like the fact we have not gotten an amount - but we have to produce all tax and financials. The attorney has noted my objection to release of my financials, but apparently Georgia DHR has the power over me to force me to release any joint financials.
We are ready to settle. But it is a two way street, isn't it?
 

kat1963

Senior Member
Yeah, sure, give it to them just black out your information. You aren't a party to the lawsuit. Also, sounds like biomom knows her paycheck is about to run out and is making a last ditch effort for either longer support (to make up arrears) or a lump sum payment. She's tooooo lazy and has no clue how much is owed so she's just leaving it up to the DA to get what he can from dear old wallet Dad. Do yourself a favor, do an internet search for Parental Alienation Syndrome. You'll probably find your situation is classic textbook...at the very least you'll know you aren't alone.
Good Luck!
KAT
 
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Paperconcepts

Guest
THanks Kat
Appreciate your response - I went and got all bank statements for the last 5 years (have been advised that all records from 1997 on are being looked at - and found out why - Georgia, till 1997, had a 5 year statute of limitations on child support payments- when the law changed July 1, 1997, it eliminated the statute and there are no limitations any longer). Looks like a check I wrote in April 2001 never was cashed and the same in December 2001. Whether ex never received them or held onto them, I don't know. My check register shows them being written plus I developed a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of everything - and those checks are on there.
Hubby balances books and does so irratically -even so, I'd think Ex would have called to say check not received considering for 13 years we've been pretty faithful (maybe wrote a check 30 days late, but always sent a check). I guess that, combined with when we did get into arrears that we openly admitted to, she didn't call - just went to the courts. I have no problem with getting everything up to date and getting this settled - I resent the intrusion of my financials.
Kat, I agree that she is looking for a windfall - it has been typical of her nature (big reason hubby left her was her "spending sprees") - I'd think most custodial moms would be thankful to get their $745 every month.(And FYI - we've kept up with increases too - 13 years ago she got $450/mo and our combined incomes actually dropped - when we moved from KY to TX in 1997 there was no compensation for the loss of my $40,000 per year job - but the opportunity for hubby was good and seemed promising and financially it was a lateral move for him- it didn't work out (his last day was friday - division eliminated). Anyway, I just want a good faith intent to settle. I've tried to put myself in her shoes and just can't understand her thinking. But then again, I'm one who does not like conflict. Agghhhh!
 

kat1963

Senior Member
Oh hey Beth I hear you. You should have seen our biotrolls face in February (when we gave her custody) and the judge was setting support. DH requested to have voluntary garnishment, her face got red, she started yelling "WHAT? WHY???? NOOO" Like, HADAH, after dealing with you (never a dime in support paid by HER, for 7 years) we knew better. She was so inflamed the judge asked her what her problem was. Yeah, she would have loved us to have to send her a check. She'd be pulling the same crapola your bio is doing and I will have none of it and none of that woman ever again. As it is, I know for a fact she's sitting on unpaid medical bills. I've sent 2 certified requests (some are over a year old now) to her with no response. She has now moved out of state in direct violation of a less then 6 month old court order mind you.....so I really don't expect to get any bills soon...she doesn't want us to know where she lives, so how can we send her a check eh? hahahaha I'm sure she's thinking she'll be holding on to those bills & future ones for the next 35 months when c/s ends, then file a contempt charge for non paymet and hope to real in a big amount of cash. Tough, we will fight it in court claiming defense of latches w/proof that the bills were requested.

Anyway, what is your $$ amount looking like? Sounds like you have all the paperwork Hon, what is she (& the DA) going to have in court?? NOTHING. They are going to look like idiots.

Sorry you guys are going thru a bad financial time. Hope things get better for you soon! Lots of jobs here in VA!*S*

Let us know how it goes.

KAT
 
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Paperconcepts

Guest
Hi Kat
Hey, you guys are preparing your self for the worst and that really is the best. Be on guard. I think I let my guard down after 13 years of relative calm. Ex was ugly at first, especially when she found out hubby had remarried - she demanded double child support from him - her reason being now that "he" had two incomes, her support should double. Hubby told her where to stick it. She's such a nasty person - if she were semi-approachable, we would have called her to tell her we were in financial "do-do"and we were in the process of trying to get funds - but her past responses to anything have been "not my problem", "I don't care" or "I don't want to talk about it". You know the routine. We would have wound up in court sooner than now. That's why we kept our mouths shut - course, we didn't think the refinance on the house, starting in March, would take til July to complete (the finance company kept messing up the paper work).
If we could settle today, including this months payment, we owe $7000 - not really much more than the $5900 we thought we were behind - of course, that doesn't include the two "?" lost checks - that will add another $1500 (But we just gave her a $1200 check last week on the advice of the attorney as a gesture of good faith) - that's ok - we owe and are willing to get the money to her asap. Now, if she truly has not kept the insurance up on the daughter as per the agreement, then we have a $4850 credit coming. I have started researching health insurance (neither hubby nor I have it now with his job gone and we need it for our disabled son) and found that Georgia has a kids health insurance program. The premium will only be $7.50 per month. I'm getting the Texas version for my son. Texas' version is a little more liberal than Georgia - but folks that have kids should check out the CHIPS (Children's Health Insurance Programs) - most states have them now.
Keep your fingers crossed and thanks for the support
 

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