A judge recently ordered that I pay additional child and spousal support after taking visitation time away from me for no discernable reason. I had actually asked for modifications in the form of increased time for me, but the judgment indicated less time! So frustrating, but that's a separate issue. The amount I'm ordered to pay leaves me with "spendable income" far below my montly expenses. This will essentially bankrupt me in 2-3 months time and I will lose my rental property where my kids live with me. I'm literally check to check and paying more in support will leave me struggling to even pay for gas to get to work as a commuter. I'd eventually lose my job. Nearly $3,000 a month in combined spousal and child support seems excessive, but that's how the judge calculated the dissomaster.
Your support obligations come first. A court order is an order, not a suggestion. Yes, you do have to pay the ordered support for so long as that order stands.
If you have bills or living expenses that put you in the red each month, then the time to start dealing with that is now and not in 2 - 3 months when everything is a complete financial disaster.
You mention that your rental property is where you and the children live. That is a little confusing because normally a rental property is property you rent to someone else. Maybe you will have to move into an apartment and rent that property out in order to preserve that asset.
Perhaps you can do a bill consolidation to reduce your expenses or sell some assets. Note that, if this is a temporary order, then you can't deal with the bills or sell anything without informing the other party first because that would violate the Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders on the back of the Summons. If is it post-judgment, then you can deal with the bills and assets awarded to you anyway you wish.
The point is that now is the time to make some plans to readjust your living expenses to accommodate the support payments so that you don't end up in the red each month.
As a last option, if all else fails to get your finances under control, consult a bankruptcy attorney regarding your rights.
The only recourse would be to find that the judge made a mistake; make an appointment with a family law attorney familiar with child support and take all of the documents used by the court, including the DissoMaster printout showing the calculations. It's worth the money to find out if the order is accurate; if so, there is no recourse other than what Atty Phillips suggested which is to re-examine your monthly expenses and cut your standard of living (because you obviously cannot support two households in the same manner as you supported one household). You should also have sought a 'seek work' order if your spouse isn't working, although if she can only secure minimum-wage employment, it may not make sense depending on costs of childcare and ages of children. Bankruptcy only makes sense if you have a lot of outstanding credit card debt, or other debt that significantly contributes to your monthly expenses.
Yes. Your attorney can review dissomaster used by court for possible errors.
If any errors in court findings, your attorney may petition to have CS orders changed.
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