Wrting a letter to the judge in a child support case

Asked over 3 years ago - Edwardsburg, MI

Is it a bad idea to write a letter to the judge for consideration in setting the child support amount I will have to pay? My ex-wife has ordered a child support wage review & I wondered if it would be a good idea to write a letter to the judge to plead my case? Or would it just irritate the judge as I'm sure they hear a lot of men complain. I had custody of my daughter for the last 5 1/2 years and foolishly agreed to opt out of the friend of the court services so my ex would not have to pay support. Shas talked my daughter into moving with her and is pursuing the max support from me even though I didn't ask for for a dime.The worst is since we opted of the courts, the old court order from '99 has been reinstated without me even getting a choice in the matter.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Christine Marie Heckler

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . First, "opting out" of FOC services does not relieve a parent of the obligation to pay child support, it just means that the FOC does not facilitate the payments or provide immediate enforcement assistance upon nonpayment.

    Second, even though child support payments are made payable to a parent, they are for the benefit of the child. Therefore, the fact that you failed to enforce any child support payments for the last 5 1/2 years does not relieve you of the obligation to pay support for the child now that she is living with the other parent. The right to child support is the right of the child.

    Finally, you cannot just send a letter to the judge. The judge is not allowed to have any ex parte communications with either party (except in very limited circumstances that do not apply to your situation). All communication to the judge must be in the presence of the other party or in the form of a pleading filed with the court and served on the other party.

    As you can see, not having a lawyer the first time around has caused you a lot of problems. I highly recommend you consult a local attorney.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of... more
  2. Starla D. Zehr

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Your Judge will not read or review an ex parte communication (a communication from one party without a record). You will need to file a proper motion to reinstate FOC services as is your right and for an appropriate review of child support since much may have changed since 1999.

    This is a general response to an inquiry and is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship in any manner.

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