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Does Government assistance effect Alimony and Child support ? ? ?

Memphis, TN |

Stay @ home mom of 2 kids , one with severe special needs . Never worked during 10 yrs marriage , looking for a job now . Court decided to temporarily grant me $ 250 / month in alimony & $ 720 in child support . Also ordered husband to pay house bills ( water , Gas , TV etc . ) , Health Ins . & backup child support ( $ 5000 ) Decision based on guidelines : Mother is primary custodial parent , makes $ 2 , 441 ( in reality it's " 0 " ) , Father makes $ 5000 . Husband is trying to put us on Tenn Care , and he is not paying house bills , gave me a $ 970 check to cover alimony / child support . . Until my hearing or until I find a job , I need funds , my bills are piling up . Question : If I get Government assistance , food stamps or suppl . assist . for my special need , would it effect my alimony & child support ? would I look bad in court ?

Husband had a 6 figures income, he lied to court that he got fired from his job (family business) the same month I filed for divorce and he is claiming that he is not making any money. All our accounts been emptied by Husband and sent overseas. When asked why all his funds were sent overseas, He claimed that funds were given to him by his dad (who lives overseas) to invest and he just returned them. I applied to so many jobs online. nowadays even the smallest businesses and/or firms request an online application. I am smart determined fast learner , but have no working experience thus I'm being turned down. My monthly expenses from insurances, co-pays and out of pocket expenses for doctors overseeing my special need child, diapers, behavioral therapy, gasoline, food, water, heat, Electricity, etc. add up to over $4000 a month. With merely $970 a month, I don't know how to survive?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    There are many different issues at play here, and I'm sorry that you are facing such a difficult set of circumstances. It sounds like your income was imputed pursuant to the child support guidelines, but without knowing exactly how or why the court set your income level at $2,441, it is hard to answer your question about whether any form of public assistance would affect your support. You should discuss that with your attorney.

    In terms of a perception problem that you are worried about with the court, don't worry about it. If anything, the perception problem would be your husband's - especially if he is not complying with a court order. He is subject to being held in contempt. You should make sure that your attorney knows everything he/she can know about your situation, especially that your husband is not providing the court ordered alimony and support and that he is not paying the bills as ordered.

    If you need public assistance to help you, you should not be ashamed of that. If you enroll in any form of the benefits that are available, the State will have to become involved in enforcing the support order pursuant to federal law. You will probably hear it referred to as IV-D. Good luck.

    The specific outcome of any legal situation depends on the particular facts and controlling law of that situation. My answer here is for the purpose of general information about how the law works and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship between you and me. If you have any question regarding your legal rights and remedies, contact a lawyer personally.


  2. There are several issues in your question. One, how did the court determine you had income of $2,441? If you weren't working during the marriage or divorce where does that income come from? It is hard to say what the court would do if you were getting assistance but I don't think it would hurt you, again, depending on where that $2,441 comes from. You probably need to either go to the court or to child support enforcement to help you collect the arrearage your ex-husband owes. Also, if he has stopped paying bills as ordered in the divorce then he could be held in contempt of court. You should contact the Legal Aid Society in Memphis for help with this. They should have names of local attorneys who are willing to work pro bono on these issues.


  3. Alimony is based on the need of the person recieving it and the ability to pay for the obligor. You are in great need based upon your situation, your application for government assistance and the disparity in incomes between you and your husband.

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