Said in your best Joey Tribiani voice, of course.
Today I went to my interstate meeting. As you probably know I’ve gone back and forth over doing this. While Mississippi does indeed let child support go until age 21 naturally the laws of the originating state take precedence, which means I won’t collect child support on Rock Star even though she’s not 21 and is a full time student.
Not knowing what he makes now, and being told the judge presiding over this case probably won’t impute his wages, I went back and forth over whether or not to go ahead with the garnishment. I finally went online and found a child support calculator for Mississippi. When I put the information in, depending upon his salary now, I definitely got more than what it looked like I could have ended up with if we had to garnish in Kentucky. The problem remains I don’t know what he makes, but I fully believe he’s making more than he was.
Last night was a little frustrating. I was trying to pull my taxes together. According to the sheet they mailed me I needed three years of taxes, my last three pay stubs, a log of all his payments, proof of my expenses, and proof of insurance. The pay stubs were a no go. I had one current pay stub, but it was from May or June. I had the insurance information and the payment log, and believed I had all of the tax information. Naturally, I did not. Or rather, I somehow didn’t have a copy of my 2018 taxes. I did eventually find my 2016 and 2017 taxes.
I figured no big deal because I had my password to the tax website. Come to find out I couldn’t get onto it because my accountant hadn’t invited me to look at anything.
Fortunately, my accountant also happens to be a dear friend of mine. I was able to text her and she emailed me a copy this morning.
Here’s the fun part. Mississippi is one of only four states that only takes into consideration the non-custodial parent’s income. Why they need my information is beyond me, but I gave it up willingly.
When I went to the meeting I found out she didn’t need my taxes, and the fact that I didn’t have my recent pay stubs was not a big deal. I didn’t have to list my living expenses; she never even asked if I had them. I was asked if there had been any overnights with him (for the kids) in the last 12 months, and she verified that there were no child care expenses for them. Yes, the joys of divorcing when your kids are teenagers.
I did have the insurance information and the print out of the brief conversations between me and CF from the beginning, showing he absolutely knew he owed more in support but refused to do so until I did the legwork. I also turned over all of my payment logs. He really should thank me for being so honest. I know it’s a pipe dream but seriously…. I could totally throw him under the bus.
Here are some fun tidbits from this meeting.
Apparently the verification of employment came through while she was on vacation. It did specify what he was making. But she can’t tell me how much he makes. Yes, that’s correct. I’m supposed to be getting child support, we’re recalculating due to this modification, but I’m not entitled to know how much he makes or how much I can potentially expect to receive.
A first I thought she said they weren’t going to be garnishing him. They would order him to pay and he would have to pay at the courthouse. I did clarify and they will be garnishing. But this is where it gets fun. Because he will be ordered to pay through the courts he will not get credit for any payments he makes directly to me. So… if whatever he’s ordered to pay is more than 50% or 60-65%, depending on how they rule, that will just be money I don’t receive that month. From the way she described it he would continue to accrue arrears. That sucks. Well, let’s say it could suck. It all depends on what he’s making now. It could result in me getting more than just spousal support for a longer period of time, if 50-65% of his check doesn’t cover support but it could also mean I get less than what I’m already receiving now each month. I’m hoping not. I’ve been running the numbers based on what I think he’s getting paid and I’m pretty sure he can pay whatever the court orders. The problem, of course, will be that he probably won’t be making any dent in his arrears.
I about had a heart attack towards the end. She had an affidavit for me to sign and #4 on that affidavit was something to the effect of, “I do not wish to be paid directly anymore and I will no longer accept direct payments.” Um…. yes, I will! Until you get me a new order and he’s garnished I will take absolutely every penny he gives me. She went on to explain that once this was filed I would have to update their office each time he paid me; otherwise, he would get no credit for it and it would be like he hadn’t paid anything. Once again I say he should thank me for being so honest! In the end though she double checked with someone else who told her she could simply remove that last line, which is what she did.
She included spousal support! I was so thankful. I was going to ask if they could try to include it but she included it from the very beginning.
Now I wait. Sixty to ninety days. In the electronic age.
I have to admit, despite all of my hemming and hawing and getting slightly frustrated with gathering what turned out to be mainly unneeded documents I feel a lot of peace right about now. Whatever happens will happen. I keep holding onto the fact that regardless of whether or not he ends up paying less in child support it will be taken out automatically and he can no longer play games. I don’t have to deal with him any longer. I will never have to wonder if he’s going to pay again. I will never again have to ask him what his “plan” is.
Only one more obstacle to hurdle over. That is the legal fees he owes me. I emailed my attorney Friday before Labor Day and then again last Thursday night, asking where we were in regards to getting a court date. She finally replied back that she was really sorry, she has been swamped for months with trial after trial, and she’s been understaffed for half of the year. She told me she hadn’t yet filed my show cause due to workload and other priorities, and assured me she would get to it as soon as she could.
My immediate thought was I would just find another lawyer; however, that’s easier said than done when you live 600 miles away. Plus, there’s that little matter of a retainer.
If I go with a new attorney I’m going to have to come up with a $3000 retainer. With my current attorney I have no new retainer. I pay as I go.
My plan right now is to let her know that spousal support and child support are supposed to be taken care of through the support enforcement agency. The only thing she will need to argue is the unpaid legal fees. I’m also planning on asking her when she thinks she might be able to get around to this. By the end of the year? Sometime next year? Her answers to those questions will determine what I do next.
I’m going to be so glad once all court proceedings are over!
Now for some good news. I kind of got a promotion. It’s “kind of” because technically it’s a lateral move but my supervisor is doing her damnedest to get me more money. I began training a few weeks ago and actually did part of the job on my own last week. They’re going to make the announcement tomorrow morning.
Finally, my mom and I are heading down for Family Weekend at Rock Star’s college. The mobster wasn’t going to attend but then Rock Star asked him if he was coming so he decided to make the trip. Today was quite the day for him as well; his delivery was extremely late so he’s very behind and now he may not be able to make the trip once again.
Now you’re all caught up and hopefully I’ll be able to focus more on writing blog posts!