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Family Court madness continues

strugglingSM's picture

So, today, DH's lawyer sends him a message from BM's attorney demanding we provide financial info within 30 days and threatening action if we don't. 

We still have not received any financial information from BM and DH's lawyer sent her request on May 23rd. And no indication in the lawyer's message about whether that information is forthcoming. 

So, apparently, because BM filed the petition, she doesn't have to provide any information, but we do. Well, BM joke may be on you, because we are literally living paycheck-to-paycheck and on credit right now, so you may be stuck with the full bill. 

Of course, I know BM will somehow manage to eek money from us, money we don't have. 

Meanwhile, SS is currently posting pictures of his deep sea fishing trip to Mexico (a graduation present from BM). Other SS will be going to some fancy golf tournament later in the summer. 


Lillywy00's picture

Time for a better lawyer and/or

Remind your husbands lawyer BMs documents are past due and hold her accountable 

My lawyer always told me "what's good for the goose is good for the gander"  ... I was like WTF is that supposed to mean? ... if they can demand docs and tight deadlines then you all are within rights to do the same so your lawyer needs to get more aggressive the the exact same demands....otherwise your risk your husband getting steamrolled by BM barracuda attorney then complaining men never win in court....when men with crappy lawyers and BMs with more time on their hands are the issue

She could lie and say ss wealth flex on social media came from funds from her family, her sugar daddy, or wherever doesn't mean she paid for it from her income

strugglingSM's picture

Yeah, I'm thinking this lawyer is not worth what she is being paid. 

The real annoying thing is that she requested my pay stubs from 2022 onward. Seriously, f that! I'm not paying because BM didn't plan. She makes more than DH and I combined when we were both working full time and we currently pay more in daycare for 1 kid than she would have to pay for SS to go to "college" (and we have two kids in daycare. 

She could say her parents paid for the trips, but according to SSs her parents also planned to pay for their college, so this is just BM trying to get whatever pennies she can from DH. She always made more than he did, but because he's the dad, he's supposed to pay? F her! I'm so over this. 

Lillywy00's picture

so this is just BM trying to get whatever pennies she can from DH.

As most disgruntled petty BMs do

ESMOD's picture

In your jurisdiction is YOUR personal financial information relevant legally?  If not.. heavilly redact anything you send her.. don't send any individual things of yours unless you have to.

Perhaps you file a counter motion that would require her to comply or lose?  Your lawyer should be able to advise you on how best to compell response from  her.

Harry's picture

Who was there first.  Your decision to make your family bigger because you could afford it.  WELCOME " to S LIFE". Where everything is not fair.  Where the good pay and the evil take .  Best of luck 

strugglingSM's picture

By that argument, older children in families should always get more. Also, going to college is not a right, it's a privilege. I know plenty of people who paid for college themselves or who went to community college because that's what they could afford. 

Also, BM can afford college expenses. Her parents are millionaires and both kids have told us they said they were paying for college. Also, BM makes at least $350k a year (a lot of her income is partnership payout so varies based on profit by year). She was the breadwinner when they were married. This is about forcing DH to pay because BM would fight over a penny. If they were still married, she would not demand he pay from his smaller paycheck, but she can now, so she will. 

CastleJJ's picture

I agree. It seems like courts expect parents in separated families to contribute to college expenses, yet intact families often don't even do that. Most parents don't save for their kids' educational expenses so most college kids have to take out loans regardless if their parents are divorced or not, so ordering parents to pay, simply because parents are divorced, is ridiculous. In our situation, BM and DH both came from intact families and both of them had to take out student loans for college, so if BM came back to DH and demanded college expenses because she felt SS was entitled to it, I would lose my shit. 

ESMOD's picture

That's not exactly the logic behind it.. it's not that the older child gets "more".. but that if you already have a child with existing obligations to support that child.. your decision to have MORE kids should be based on whether you are able to support more kids.. 

In an intact family.. it's simpler.. you can decide to budget differently... decide that public school for three kids vs private for one is a choice or you can have kids share rooms.. or cut other corners accordingly.. every decision is within your own home and whether kids get more or less it's a joint decision by both bio parents.

In step life, when one person decides to have more kids.. the thought is that they shouldn't be impacting the needs of the child in the other home.. because they decided to have more kids.  Courts say.. you KNEW you already had one child with 750/month support.. if you can't afford to feed your new kids because you are paying that.. that is YOUR problem.. that YOU chose to create.  

If your DH truly does not make much.. and it's not by choice to avoid paying more CS (as in you make enough to subsidize him).. and she really makes that much money.. then the likelihood of them increasing his support is probably not high.

What shouldn't be taken into account is her rich parents.. or your income really.. UNLESS you make a ton and he is intentionally not working or underemployed  (like being a SAHD..)  Then they may impute what he would otherwise pay based on his earning potential.. not actual earnings.  

As far as college.. different jurisdictions have different ideas.. if it was stipulated in the original custody order.. the chances are the courts will uphold it.. he will need to figure out how to pay.  If it wasn't stipulated.. but your state is one that leans heavily on this being a parent's obligation.. again... he may be told to pay some of it.    Your lawyer should be advising on all these issues though.

strugglingSM's picture

We could afford to have kids when we had them, but now DH has been unemployed on and off (due to his industry which is very sensitive to economic downturns and interest rates, other members of his union have been out of work since 2022 waiting for jobs to pop up, but he's taken travel jobs and lower paying jobs to keep some money coming in) and I recently lost my job, because my company was having financial difficulties. That is our problem. We did not have kids we couldn't afford, we've been dealt a sh$tty economic hand that will now be worse because BM thinks DH "should" pay. When DH and BM were married, his work was similarly spotty (after the 2008 financial crisis he didn't work much for almost two years), so it's not new. During that time, he was the primary caregiver for SSs, so BM could "build her business", which allows her to make so much money now. When they divorced, she told him he wasn't entitled to any proceeds or payment for the business, because she was a "solo practitioner". She had a lawyer and he didn't, so he didn't get any payout for the "joint property" of the business and didn't get alimony. He was paying her nearly half his take-home pay in child support when I first met him. Also, in our state, CS is supposed to end once a child is 18 and/or graduated from high school, unless that child is disabled.

Even when he was unemployed, we always paid his CS. My salary and our savings were used to pay it. Should we have gone back and asked for an adjustment? Maybe, but we don't trust the system and know the games she plays. 

If we had money, I would have DH to offer a small amount (tuition is $8000, so this is not an expensive college), even if it was my salary or our joint money, just to get her out of our hair, but we don't. We are literally on the way to losing our home and this is just coming at a time that makes me feel even more helpless. DH also told BM that he was willing to contribute when he could, but he just can't right now and her response was to demand he continue to pay, not only for college, but continue CS as well.

My young children deserve to have their basic needs met, over covering college costs for SS. 

In our state, the statute is weird, a parent can be ordered to pay for college, but it's still just "advisory" and I'm not sure what that means. Also, my income can be "considered" as part of the process. I don't have any now, but I'm worried they will try to impute income to me based on past pay stubs. DH's lawyer has not been helpful. We're using a lawyer MIL found because she's paying (she agreed to pay because DH told her that my mother offered to pay fo the lawyer). Also, our state assumes the student is paying 1/3rd of the costs themselves.

And I've tried to stay out of it, because all of this is triggering for me. Every time DH tried to mediate with BM, we a) never get any information from BM, so uses the info DH provides to build her argument, but never shares complete information; and b) everything is always decided in her favor. Her job is working in the family court system (she provides business and asset valuation used in divorce cases), so she knows how everything works and we don't. Also, even though she has a business is now a partner in a naitonal accounting firm and has always been the breadwinner, she is still the "mom", so she is seen as the poor victum and DH the villain. 

I honestly just need things to end with BM and in many ways, wish I had never married my husband because it's been so miserable. And now my own children are impacted and I feel terrible about that. 


Lillywy00's picture

but now DH has been unemployed on and off

Scatter some classifieds across the kitchen table and demand he apply for 10 jobs a day ..... 


Unless you're independently wealthy and don't mind supporting a man and his kids 

Theyre probably going to factor in your income because your husband looks like he's intentionally dodging his child support obligations


Thats probably why the BM is going in so aggressively 


strugglingSM's picture

He's working now, but for non-union wages, which are 60% of union wages. He applied for many jobs, but because he had been union, non-union shops didn't want him. He was 723 on the "book" when he took this non union job, he had maybe moved 50 places in 6 months. The person with the lowest number who bids on the job gets it. He has gotten jobs when his number was in the 200s before, but in the 700s that means unless a couple big jobs come along, it's at least a year before you get anything. Now that he's working non-union, his number is "frozen", so he'll stay in the 700s. 

During the last CS "modification", union jobs were plentiful, so it was calculated based on union wages. Also, BM "didn't have" documentation of her partnership income, so she only provided her base salary, which was around $160k, because that's the cap for SS contributions. That's typically how partner base salaries are set. I worked on the operations side for a firm of a similar size with similar revenue, so I know what partners make in their equity payout. Also, SSs have bragged about "how much money mom makes."

Also, SSs are now 18 and have graduated from high school, so CS is supposed to end, unless they are "dependent", which has typically been interpreted as being disabled and unable to ever care for themselves.

ESMOD's picture

This sounds frustrating and I was in similar situations with my DH over the years as he was self employed.. and sometimes it was tough and I had to make up the difference and pay his CS etc..  We did not have kids of our own.. so it was just us eating the beans and

CS may end in your state.. but did his original CO state he would pay CS later.. or agree to paying college?  

I know hindsight is 20/20.. but his decision to represent himself in the divorce did not put things in his favor at all.  If he agreed to pay  college expenses.. he may well be considered to be on the hook.  If he said he would pay CS until 21.. he may have to stand to that agreement.. it sucks.. and it's awful that this is happening at a time when he is not financially able to easily deal with it.

But.. if he can not only show his income.. but his attempts to apply for more and better paying jobs.. then they may not decide to continue to impute.  

I get not wanting to go to court because it's a wild card whether things will get reduced.. because they will be inclined to think...if he only tried a little harder.. he could earn what he was earning... and they are used to people intentionally holding back to keep their CS from going up.

But.. if they are deciding this issue "fresh".. as in he never agreed to do this in the past.. and your state is not one that generally holds parents accountable like NY does I think.. then the fact is that his income should be able to somewhat speak for itself.. 

What does his lawyer say here?  Does he think that the court will order him to pay college costs?  Does the lawyer say that parental obligation from the court is based on earning ability.. or is it usually just split 50/50?  

Again... I did not mean to say that you specifically had kids you could not afford.. but that in regards to child support.. the courts perspective is that when a parent knows their obligation.. they think before they create more obligations.. and factored into that is the undertainty of income stream I suppose..   but the courts do offer opportunity to reassess CS obligations for major changes in earnings.. though I understand the reluctance to go through that process.

I would think that his Exes tax returns would tell the tale.. but she may have ways of accounting for earnings so they don't hit her personal returns.


strugglingSM's picture

No, his CO says that CS ends upon HS graduation. It includes stock language saying that BM reserves the "right to request post secondary support." 

At the last mediation so only provided one tax return, from two years prior. It was when she was still married to her second husband and before she was a partner in her firm, so it indicated her income was around $180k. She also has a history of tax fraud. She owed almost $60k in taxes on her business when they divorced and DH had to get an innocent spouse ruling because money was being garnished from his pay to cover the taxes (which he didn't know about, also BM was responsible for the tax debt in their divorce decree, but she was "self-employed" so the IRS couldn't garnish her wages). She also underreported her income while self employed. DH said she used to take payments in cash (like an envelope of money), so she's not the most honest person when it comes to money. 

ESMOD's picture

My SO's divorce decree said that both of them reserved the right to go back for spousal support.. guess what she wanted to do when the youngest turned 18 ... never mind that they had been divorced well over 10 years.. and she had been cohabitating since that marriage with two different guys.. one very long term.  yep.. said she was going to file for retroactive spousal support.. haha.

turns out you can't go THAT far back.. and the fact that she lived with her BF for about 10 years.. yep.. no.. that won't

So, she can ask... and hopefully you have a good lawyer.. who should be explaining how the process works.. and whether you really need to provide "your" income.. or if it is just  your SO.. and how they will factor in what SHE earns into the equation.

If it is ordered.. your lawyer should insist on full access to academic progress.. and have the right to withhold support for school if he doesn't maintain a certain grade point.. and doesn't attend full time.

Lillywy00's picture

My SO's divorce decree said that both of them reserved the right to go back for spousal support.. guess what she wanted to do when the youngest turned 18 ... never mind that they had been divorced well over 10 years.. and she had been cohabitating since that marriage with two different guys.. one very long term.  yep.. said she was going to file for retroactive spousal support.. haha.

turns out you can't go THAT far back.. and the fact that she lived with her BF for about 10 years.. yep.. no.. that won't

Tell me BM's BF is not a provider ..... without telling me her bf is not a provider 

CastleJJ's picture

When it comes to any type of financial support, all DH is  legally obligated to provide is a month's worth of paystubs and his most recent 1099 or W2. That's it. Don't give BM more than what she is legally entitled to. Have DH submit that and if BM feels that is insufficient, her attorney can demand exactly what they are looking for. 

strugglingSM's picture

BM's lawyer replied - nearly two months after DH's lawyer sent her request and demanded we share among other things, two years of paystubs for both of us. She said we had to reply in 30 days or we would take court action. We have received no financial info from BM, not even info on how much college will actually cost. Under the statute, she is supposed to provide her financial info and her modification order says it was provided, but that's a lie. I even called the court to make sure I wasn't missing anything and they confirmed that no supporting documentation was supplied.

advice.only2's picture

When Meth Mouth filed for a CS modification against DH, she did not have to disclose any of her financial information.  Since she also had two children with two different men and Spawn was the first-born child DH had to pay 200.00 more a month in CS, despite the second ex making more money. 

thinkthrice's picture

The Girhippo tried her darndest to find out my income information.   Yeah, no.  We weren't even married and she married a sugar daddy.

This sounds like what JustMakingTheBest went through.