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Form: FL-397 (Request for Income and Benefit Information from Employer) CHILD SUPPORT

Napa, CA |

I'm going through a child support hearing in Napa County. My former spouse earns $113,000 per year, her husband claimed annual earnings of $85,000 as of May 2012, and despite remaining in the same job with same title, now claims he only makes $65,000.

Our child lives 50% with both parents. Four months ago I became unemployed and filed for immediate child support modification which formerly required me to pay her $720 per month.

She has also stopped working (taking FMLA leave) and claims her paediatrician "recommended" she stay at home with her son until he is 2 years old.

I'm on food stamps and cash aid. She has an attorney, I do not. For discovery purposes, since she now claims to be 100% living off her husbands reduced salary, can I send a FL-397 to husbands employer?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

You can try, but it might be objected to. Try legal aid

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced mainly in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. I am not seeking clients from existing relationships with other attorneys, and give only limited advise over the phone (the phone is primarily used to set appointments), these services do not create an attorney client relationship. I apologize for mispelling< as I am a lousy typist, My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth. Further regarding courts in other states my opinions are largely based on logic and what I think is the modern trend which is to consider the needs of the child.

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Posted

For purposes of calculating child support, the new husband's income will not be considered. The primary purpose of the ex-wife including it on her Income & Expense Declaration is for purposes of showing that there are two people, not one, sharing in payment of househole expenses, and to identify the ex-wife's tax-filing status.

As my colleague stated, your request will invariably be denied because it pertains to your ex-wife's income, not the new husband's income. As the form itself reflects, you would serve such a document on the employer after the ex-wife failed to fill out her Income & Expense Declaration within 30 days.

Even if your ex wife is on leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), doesn't mean she has the legal right to not work for 2 years based on the pediatrician's "recommendations." In such cases, it would be appropriate to ask that the "inpute" income to her, e.g. $113,000/year due to her wilful refusal to return back to work.

The problem here is that she could make an equal argument that you are not making good-faith efforts to seek employment.

Your case is complicated. May I suggest you speak with an attorney willing to provide a free consultation--to, at the very least, put you in the right direction.

Good luck!

PLEASE READ--before emailing, commenting or calling: As a rule, I do not respond to "comments" that are designed as follow-up questions to the originally-posted question. I specifically do this as to avoid creating any confusion to the originating author of the question and to prevent any attorney-client relationship from forming--as this is not the goal or intent of this attorney or the Avvo creators. Further, I am only licensed to practice law in the State of California; therefore, any information provided in this answer is intended for application in California. Second, the information provided in this answer is solely intended to serve as GENERAL INFORMATION, and, at most, to serve as a catalyst for discussion between you and an attorney. Under no circumstance, is this information provided in this "Answer" intended to be construed as legal advice--and is not to be considered legal advice for any purpose. If you wish legal advice, then it is recommended that you contact a licensed attorney in your area to discuss the particulars of your case. Only by engaging in a meaningful discussion with a licensed attorney, can an attorney then provide you with legal advice.

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