Child support strikes to Drach household

Mrs. Drachillix (aka Cyn) just got a letter from the DA’s office informing her that after 6 years of divorce her ex is filing for support since she just got a much better job. She already buys most of their clothing and shool supplies and provides medical insurance for them.

Her daughter is trying to encourage her to discuss this in person with him. She hates talking to him. I am telling her, get an attorney since AFAIK he has already set the system in motion and hesitation on her part will most likely hurt her. If she gets counsel he can also talk to her ex and she never has to deal with him. We currently have one of her two children living with us and another lives with her ex.

questions: (trying to avoid “advice” type things when possible)
Generally speaking wouldn’t split custody like this invalidate any claim to support like this (barring very unusual circumstances, special care, etc)?

How much of a mess is his mostly cash lawn mowing self employment going to make and if so how does one minimize the impact of his on the surface minimal income.

Is it really better to try and resove this in person once the DA’s office is involved? One of my coworkers got totally torn apart financially by dragging things out and then not being prepared for the hearing like he should have been. I don’t want that to happen to us.

My tuppence:

Once an attorney is involved on the other side, the best course of action is to retain one yourself. Especially if you suspect that the other party may be trying to play fast&loose–such tend to gravitate to attorneys with similar tendencies.

As for split custody, one might think that it would negate support unless one party’s income is outlandishly larger. But laws differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction–another reason to retain an attorney.

(And no, I’m not a shill for the lawyer biz.)

(Preface: I’m known on this board as The Guy Who Has Child Support Issues. Anyway…)

You don’t mention which state you’re in, but there are several sites that can give you most of the specifics regarding CS wherever you are.

Here’s about a million links for ya.

I also very strongly advise getting a lawyer. A good one.

Good luck.

What the other guys said. Best to make sure this is all done on the up-and-up, in a way that’s fair to everyone involved. My mom tried to be nonconfrontational, and everyone got screwed in the end except Dad, who was the one who could best afford to get screwed. Doing things properly now will avoid the need to do them over and over down the road, which will lead to less pain for all involved.

Take this from someone whose mom waived alimony because she “didn’t need his money,” after having put Dad through his MBA, which led to us being pretty darn broke when I was a kid. Sometimes avoiding a little pain upfront can lead to much more suffering down the road.

It was even more fun years later when Mom tried to get a more equal declaration on who should pay for college (i.e. one that led to the parent who earned 80% of the income paying more than half of the expenses) and finally hired a decent lawyer…Dad’s lawyer had me subpoenaed, to this day I believe so that he could have me excluded from the courtroom for the rest of the testimony. Boy, was that fun.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes with lawyers, you get what you pay for, so a few more $$ per hour for someone who is competent can actually save money in the long run, especially if you think the other party is trying to pull a fast one with the finances.

But no, I have no baggage about child support…good luck to all, and just try and keep the kids out of it to the greatest possible extent. Sorry if this is too much advice for you, but sometimes I just can’t help myself with these issues…