My Child Support - The New Numbers are Announced (Part 11)
My Child Support Modification trial was a triumph.
But, this is a perfect place to reiterate that knowing the personality of the other parent is key.
Mr. Ex's ego will fight to the death.
He will resist merely because he thinks he can.
To this day, even with a court ordered payment amount on record and mounting interest and late fees, Mr. Ex drags his fee with his payments.
I also need to say something here, a side note, about Marty, Mr. Ex's divorce lawyer.
Months after the trial had concluded, a friend and I were online.
He entered "Marty's full name + attorney" into Google and came up with a case in which Marty was formally accused of conspiring to "create and construct fraudulent pleadings" against a woman in her divorce proceedings.
This case stated that as the legal counsel for the ex husband, Marty did things in order to gain a legal and economical advantage in the divorce litigation. This woman also alleged that Marty set forth falsehoods so that he could have a legal basis to petition the divorce court to reopen proofs on various issues that Marty failed to previously present as a result of his negligence. Further, the woman alleged that in return for his assistance in the divorce proceedings, Marty agreed to work for this dude FREE OF CHARGE.
Yikes. Yikes. And YIKES.
Hold on now, I understand why Mr. Ex would be so driven to fight.
But Marty does not have a prior relationship with me and yet, he embraced the aggressive bilious hunt as if HE had a vendetta.
That filing confirmed that I had not imagined Marty's insanely awful behavior which included lying, not responding to my requests, forcing us to go back and back to court...
Note: If you come across an attorney like this, run. If your ex has an attorney like this, look that attorney up in various iterations, to make sure that they haven't got any filings or accusations like this against them. While you can't necessarily have them taken off your case, you can, at the least let the Judge know about their actions, past and present. But if you go down that path, make sure you have proof of all your communications.
Marty's M.O.: He would ignore filing deadlines then try to reopen them outside the bounds of the legal timeframes. He would lie about receiving documents, sending documents, and pretty much anything else to gain an upper hand.
I have also wondered if Marty was working for Mr. Ex pro-bono.
It's crazy because even after the trial when Mr. Ex owed thousands of dollars in back support, plus legal fees, he would still continue to have me send receipts and such to Marty, versus directly to him.
About a week before our July 2015 status on compliance and support number court date, I received an email from Karl with "of course he did" in the subject line.
Even before I opened it, I knew it wasn't good.
Marty had filed a motion for a rehearing, which reads to my non-legal mind like an op-ed piece.
It had no new evidence. It simply rehashed and contested the Judge's ruling. It was more bullshit, Marty style.
Note: Read everything your attorney prepares. If they try to pull off things that don't make sense, like this Motion for a Rehearing, get a second opinion on it. Don't transfer money from your own pocket into a shady lawyer's pockets.
On the day of our court appearance, Marty rolled in an hour and a half late.
He didn't call, text, or email ANYONE and was supposedly "stuck in a pretrial meeting since 8:45 am." (I had to pay Karl for sitting there and waiting. That definitely got added to our petition fees).
In front of the Judge, Karl pointed out that what Marty had filed was unclear.
"Was it a motion, a petition... What? Also, what part of the law did it fall under?"
Karl leaned on the Judge to review it.
The gist of Karl's push was that the Judge had the authority to review the Motion for a Rehearing and determine whether it had any legal basis.
Marty was pushing to get us to respond (another 28 days), just to draw out the process even more.
Karl pointed out that once an attorney puts a motion or a petition forward, she/he is forced to follow the criteria of that document as set forth by the law.
For example: When I filed my petition, I had to show 'change in circumstances' from when the original judgment was entered. If a legal basis is determined, due process enables that petition to appear before a Judge and be heard.
While I realized that, I pushed Karl to shut down Marty's petition - at this point we were nearly 2 years out from my original motion.
And he did.
I understood the dynamic of the courtroom between our Judge and the attorneys.
And I knew that Marty (even though he missed the 28-day filing for rehearing by 10 days) could still shove something through.
I knew the Judge was not a stickler for timing and tended to be somewhat lenient, which worked in my favor in the early days of my petition. On the flipside, it also lengthened our entire proceedings and, in my opinion, cost me more money than it would have otherwise.
Karl insisted that Marty's filing was really foot stomping over his loss.
The Judge took fifteen minutes to review the motion and then agreed with Karl.
Instead of putting it on us to respond, he gave Marty fourteen days to amend whatever it was he was trying to put forth.
Status date set for August 20, 2015.
We still did not resolve the final support number.
We also continued with our petition for fees.
At the point of the filing I owed Karl somewhere north of $16,000 and it was slowly climbing.
While the Judge's order delivered everything we asked for in our petition, Mr. Ex and Marty were now forcing us back in and out of court AND dragging their feet on COMPLIANCE.
We wondered what the final monthly support number would look like, given that they had dwindled the $68,000 annual gross income from ABC Gear down to a handful of thousands in net income (for both 2013 and 2014 they claimed $3,500 in net income).
Looking at ABC Gear's income tax returns was an auditor's dream.
There were deductions for everything from the full rent of the house they share to $24,000 in 'rental payments,' representing, I would imagine, the large wads of cash handed to the 'equipment owners' with a head nod and handshake (sarcasm).
Remember that in the subpoena we issued, they were ordered to show ALL BUSINESS RECORDS, including accounts payable.
They showed nothing but bank statements and their generated invoices.
There were no contracts, no invoices for rentals issued to them, and most importantly, NO CHECKS WRITTEN TO ANYONE but G'friend, the landlord, and cash. Hello?!?!?
How I Tripled My Child Support Payments, Including All My Divorce Papers and Court Documents.
We asked that child support payment be factored against gross receipts.
In regard to splitting the cost of expenses on things like school and such, Mr. Ex and Marty made us jump through hoops in an effort to spin us in circles and then not pay.
I sent invoices for tuition and such to Mr. Ex.
Then I would get an email from my attorney forwarding an email from Marty requesting proof of payment.
I sent proof of payment.
Then they would claim to have not received any of the invoices.
It was mindboggling how much money Mr. Ex had available to waste on legal fees.
Eventually, Karl filed a Petition for Rule, forcing Mr. Ex to either pay or be found in contempt of court.
Of course Mr. Ex eventually paid, but first he had to throw some attorney's fees in.
The Hearing on the Motion for a Rehearing
Marty filed his amended Motion for a Rehearing, which again looked a lot like the first one.
This time, though, the Judge gave us time to respond and set a hearing date on it.
The saga continued.
September 21, 2015 (two years from my first court appearance), the Judge scheduled a hearing on the Motion for Rehearing.
Oy. Marty rolled in fifteen minutes late on our scheduled half hour court time and blathered the usual apologies. "I just got back from golfing in Palm Springs last night and I haven't had a chance to review their response, Your Honor."
Regardless, Marty dove into what amounted to a "feeling that the Memorandum Order was unjustly venomous" but again without any new evidence or anything to support his arguments beyond his "feeling."
He and the Judge went back and forth rehashing the trial when Karl finally interrupted.
"Your Honor, it seems like we're rehearing the case here. The real issue is that the motion that Marty filed does not have any legal merit or legs. Additionally, I am concerned that we are falling victim to a pattern here."
Karl then read from the case that I had found online where Marty was accused of conspiring "to create and construct fraudulent pleadings against XXXX in her divorce proceedings."
Upon hearing this, Marty transitioned from red to purple to blue as he back-peddled to recover from this surprising shot off the bow.
He screamed, "This federal case has nothing to do with me."
The Judge interceded at this point and turned to Marty.
"Let's talk about this in non-legal terms for a moment, Marty. Your client is a liar. He is not credible, nor is his girlfriend."
The Judge then continued that he had read the motion, reviewed the evidence that was submitted, had considered and finally denied the motion.
Karl pushed for sanctions against Marty, which the Judge didn't agree to.
But all of this set Marty off and again his face returned to purple.
I think I heard him mutter "fuck" under his breath.
Child Support Modification Documents Mentioned in this Part
This is the Judge's written ruling after our trial. He really went to town, in my opinion, with his assessment of Mr. Ex and G'friend.
Unbelievably, Mr. Ex filed for a rehearing.
And yes, another Motion for Rehearing. At the end of our case, Mr. Ex was also required to pay some of my legal fees that resulted from his lies and obstructionist tactics. Tens of Thousands of Dollars.
Yes, more legal fees responding. In the end, Mr. Ex owed his attorney some crazy amount of money, he owed back support, he owed my attorney $10,000, AND G'friend's attorney somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000.