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Letter to exH regarding CS modification

amber3902's picture

I want to have child support recalculated for two reasons. Both of our incomes have gone up and it’s been three years since it was first calculated.

Also, according to our divorce agreement, my exH was supposed to set up CS payments with payroll deduction which he has never done. I didn’t press the issue at first but lately he’s been late a lot with payments, two weeks, sometimes a month late at a time. His lateness causes confusion because then he loses tracks of how much he owes, etc.

I’m in South Carolina and I checked out the state’s Child Support Services website. On that website they have videos explaining how to file for CS. Even in their videos, they say the process will go faster if you use a private attorney instead of using their services. Also, they say if you go through the state DSS for CS, they send a request to both parties for their financial information and wait for both parties to send in their information. They don't mention what they will do to force someone to respond if they take a long time. This is a big concern. My exH will do everything he can to delay the process for as long as possible.

So I had a consultation with an attorney. She told me that going through her the process would take about 4-8 months and would cost about $1,500. However, after looking at my divorce agreement, she pointed out to me that it says before going to court we have to attempt to works things out between the two of us first.

She said if my exH and I can agree to a new number for CS, she can file all the paperwork in court for us for $400 flat rate.

Obviously I want to try and get my exH to agree to something without having to take him to court. The attorney suggested I send exH a letter to him first to see if we could agree to something without me having to take him to court.

The letter has to walk a balance between avoiding language that will put him on the defensive with containing enough "teeth" so that he'll respond. I have to threaten taking him to court or otherwise he probably won’t respond at all.

Here is what I have composed. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

Dear exH

Since it has been three years since our divorce and child support being calculated, it's time to re-calculate it. Our divorce agreement says we should exchange financial information and make any modification in the amount of child support if that is necessary.

If you could provide me with a copy of your 2013 tax return and recent paystubs, and I'll provide mine to you at the same time. We can use South Carolina’s online child support calculator to figure out what the new child support amount should be.

Also, per our divorce agreement, you were supposed to set up payroll deduction for child support payments. This is an issue that has caused problems in the past, when a payment for child support is late, you and I disagree about whether it was paid at all. So if you would please go ahead and get the payroll deduction started, I'd appreciate it.

Please provide me with the requested documents within ten days of receipt of this letter.

I would prefer not having to pursue this matter further by going to court, so if we can agree on a new number for child support, I have an attorney who can file the necessary paperwork in court for us.




Teas83's picture

Agreed! And CS rules are unfair to second families. My husband and I now have a BD who is 15 months old. But she doesn't get factored into the equation. My husband keep paying the same amount, regardless of how many more kids we have. In a normal family, parents can choose to divide their financial resources between their children, but not in this messed up situation.

Luckily, I make a lot more money than his ex, so I can take care of my own children financially without needing anything from my husband.

Teas83's picture

I agree with you, tog. My husband's ex seems to think that SHE (not her daughter) is entitled to a certain amount of what my husband makes. She works part time making minimum wage but drives a new fancy Denali truck. Hmm.....I wonder where the $1500/month is going.....

Teas83's picture

Good point about your income going up too. I agree that it cancels it out. I've always thought CS should be paid on the difference between each person's income, not on what the higher earner makes.

DeeDeeTX's picture

I don't have a problem with the CS being recalculated. Also, I think the letter is fine.

zerostepdrama's picture

I have no problem with child support being recaculated every 3 years. Things change. The cost of raising a child changes. I most def. would have it payroll deducted instead of relying on him to pay, especially since you said he has been late lately and there is confusion on exactly what is owed. This is one situation where I am all for going through the courts.

amber3902's picture

"Payroll deduct is fine if it can be set up to go to you directly-you can ask him to set up as 'bill pay' on his account maybe?"

How do we do that?

amber3902's picture

Thanks for all the replies. Yes, both of our incomes have gone up, however, I'm not sure
if it would all even out in the end. About two years ago he was going through some tough times and asked if I would agree to accept less than the court ordered CS amount. He was supposed to be paying $238 bi-weekly and I agreed to accept $150 bi-weekly instead.

Our girls are 16 and 8 now, and my expenses for them have gone up as well.

Please note I have never asked for extras, such as school expenses, extracurricular, medical and dental expenses, even though in our court order he is supposed to pay half. Both girls also had a tutor for a while, and I never asked for his help with paying for that.

UPDATE: After posting this I decided to talk to him first about this. I called him and asked him if he would be willing to exchange W2s and recent paystubs and he agreed. We agreed to sit down this Saturday and put our information into the online CS calculator. I told him I have an attorney who would file everything for us for $400. He said he didn't have $200 to pay his half. I told him I would pay the entire amount and he could just pay me his half back later.

Thanks again for all your replies, I didn't think asking to have CS reviewed after three years was being unreasonable.

zerostepdrama's picture


Sports Fan's picture

Tog-I'm with you. In my state, NY, they don't even look at the CP. They just take a percentage of what DH makes. Since DH made good money at the time of the divorce, it is $2500 per month for two kids. No one needs that much. BM doesn't work and just lives off the child support. She doesn't provide one cent for her own kids. DH pays at a very high tax rate because of his income and then pays CS and is left to live at quite a lower standard. She's living at a higher standard than he is. Totally not fair. CP should be required to provide a minimum amount and if they choose to not work, it counts against them. He's providing a high standard of living for BM and they aren't even married anymore. He doesn't get to make normal life decisions because he has to continue to pay for her to live at a higher standard.

The money is suppose to be for the kids, not so BM doesn't have to work.