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Court Order

 
 
Montana
 
Reply Thu 1 May, 2003 10:03 pm
I have a situation that I need advice about. I receieve child support from my ex which is court ordered and in the court order I had it set up that his work is to make the payments. The secretary at his work offered to deposit my support in my account in the US when I moved to Canada because there are times when I need US funds and she was at the bank 3 times a week anyway. Since I've been in Canada my support payments are constantly late. I called my ex to talk to him about it and he told me that the secretary at his work often gives my support payments to my ex's wife to deposit. Keep in mind that my ex's wife hates me and has been harrassing me for the past 10 years making sure to keep me and my ex at odds. I am furious with the secretary for giving my ex's wife my support checks along with my account #. I need to know if it was legal for the secretary to do this.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,329 • Replies: 18
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 05:32 am
Montana--

Your whole setup sounds a little peculiar to me. In my experience, court-ordered support means that the money comes out of your husbands paycheck, goes to the official agency (the name varies by state) and then is mailed to the financial institution of your choice.

Or the personnel department would send the check to your financial institution.

Having the money handed to a secretary who hands it to anyone else--ex wife included--seems very peculiar. This is a court ordered financial transaction and should be done by the rules.

Is your husband completely trustworthy in money matters? Is it possible for you to call the secretary--or better yet, the personnel department where he works--and find out what is going on?

Good luck.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 05:32 am
Montana- It is your ex's responsibility to make the payments, not the secreatry's and not your ex husband's wife. If I were you, I would speak to you ex husband about this.

When I was receiving support from my ex husband for my son, I set it up so he had to send the money to the COURT, and they forwarded it to me.
They were a couple of weeks behind at first, but once the ball started rolling, I got the check like clockwork.

The advantage to this is that I did not have to deal with my ex at all, and if he did not pay for X number of weeks, the court would automatically go after him. I know this might not be easy to do from Canada, but you ought to look into it.

All you want is the money for support of your son. The way you have it arranged now, you need to deal with people that you should not have to!
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 05:41 am
Montana - if it's court-ordered and late - it's time to get back in touch with court and have those arrangements corrected. Here, if they are court-ordered, they are automatically taken from his pay cheque by the province and deposited to your account. (a former colleague of mine had the precedent-setting case in Ontario on this - after too many late payments)
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 05:58 am
In recent years the States have stepped in and started acting as the middle-man but in a lot of older divorces they never were involved and in some states the state only gets invilved in the actual payments if the mother is getting State Aid or if the payments aren't getting there at all.

But, the business has the Court Order to make the deposits. Assuming she is the acting agent for the business, She has the responsibility to make sure that the deposits are made on time. She can have anyone make them but the business is liable if it isn't there when it's supposed to be.

You could call and talk to the Secretary or whomever runs finances for this company about it and restate that you expect teh deposits to be there on time. If they aren't there and you end up bouncing a check or two you should send them the bill for any returned check fees.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 10:11 am
Noddy
My lawyer set up the court order this way because my ex has always refused to willingly pay child support and since I knew I was moving to Canada at the time I knew that going back to court if there were problems whouldn't be an easy task.

Phoenix
Since it is court ordered that my ex's work is to take the money from his checks and deposit them, it's their responsability to make sure they deal with it. My payments are constantly late and this has been going on for years. I just found out last night about my ex's work giving my checks to my ex and his wife to deposit. This woman knows why I have my support set up this way and had no right doing what she did.

Beth
That's the kind of set up I'm also interested in and I'll look into that. My ex also owes me 3 weeks of back child support from last june when he was out of work for 3 weeks and has refused to pay.

Fishin
I'm very surprised to hear that his work is able to give the payments to anyone to deposit since I feel that it violates my privacy by them handing someone else my bank account #.



Thank you all for your input.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 10:22 am
I'll only get into this since I've handled it from the company side of these orders to withhold. Once the company has been served, it is their responsibility to withhold wages and forward the withholding as ordered. The company is actually responsible for this, and can be held liable for any missed payments, even if they failed to make the payroll deduction. This is specified on every notice to withhold that I have received. Now, these have all been from New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, but is probably universal within the US. Since the employer is in the US, and it looks like the judgement was entered in the US, it would seem that the system applies in this case.

All but two of these orders were issued by the respective child support enforcement bureaus, which seems to be the standard way of doing things now days.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 10:24 am
Montana wrote:
Fishin
I'm very surprised to hear that his work is able to give the payments to anyone to deposit since I feel that it violates my privacy by them handing someone else my bank account #.


It is possible that privacy issues could be a concern but it would depend on how it's done. Most banks will take deposits if you can provide the persons name and address so no account number is needed.

But, this should be setup by the business as an automatic payroll deduction. Unless it is a really small company they probably have a service they use for payroll and direct deposits and they should be using that to ensure your checks get there on time.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 10:49 am
As roger, Ihave also done the company side of things.
In Mass. a court order for child support is issued, the employee is responsible to inform the employer, the employer is responsible for deductions from emaployee and payment is made to the State. The State then makes the payment to the end user. There were times, like any other State run agency that they got behind, and the ex with the children usually called the employer to find out what was going on, only to have to be referred to the State. Messy but, yes, mostly once the ball is rolling its generally an easy thing.
I would say that if you have a court order and that he is not self employed no one other than you and the employer, and/or any legal/state agency have the right to any information other than what you want to share with them.
However, reading your post at the beginning, you spoke to the secretary of the business and made verbal arrangements with her to take care of the issue in a not so normal avenue.
Call her and have things changed back to your liking.
I really dont think you need to go stirring up anything else.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 11:05 am
Hmmm. Being a bit paranoid, I do not accept verbal instructions. My feeling is that I am bound to the most recent order - neither more, nor less.
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 11:08 am
Roger
That's what I thought and after a call to my lawyer to confirm it, I know know that what she did was wrong.

Fishin
I have asked her to do the direct deposit, but she says the company is not set up for it and their accountant told her it would screw up the books. I can't see how, but that's what she told me.

Quinn
She would like to send me my checks through the mail, but that wouldn't work for me since I need the money there. When I asked the secretary to set up direct deposit before we moved to Canada, she said she would deposit my support herself instead.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 11:57 am
Montana--

Are you on good terms with your lawyer? Would he be willing to write your husband's employer a short (and cheap) letter pointing out that as a company they are playing fast and loose with a court order, your money and your privacy?

Often official letterheads accomplish a good deal.

Good luck. Hold your dominion.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 12:11 pm
You also might try forgiving the three weeks of back pay when he was out of work. Geesh, you play hardball.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 12:20 pm
I suppose you will have to put up with the checks being mailed to you, if that's what's specified in the order. Would it be possible to have your bank in Canada cheaply transfer to your bank in the US? Keeping the transaction in US funds, I mean?

By the way, I haven't seen any reference to ex having been out of work, which is not relevant to the obligation in any case. Montana is not a person to "play hardball".
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 12:31 pm
Legally the employer should be doing just what the court order states. Now, if the secretary was kind enough to bend that a bit to help fit your situation at your request, well, thats between you and her. Beyond that, yes, whatever else is going on would be wrong. I would think something in writing either from you or from your lawyer could settle the situation.
Regarding the time out of work. Is it stipulated in the court order that he pays even if he is not employed? I know through the state agencies here, if you arent paid for say a week off, you arent required to pay support. However, if you are paid in excess of regular earnings, you are required to pay support accordingly.
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 12:38 pm
Roger, I'm just teasing Montana a little bit, but yet I know of no bank that will lend you money to pay your child support with....

On a side note, employers hate it when workers have their paychecks garnished. It costs them money for the extra overhead. I remember at my Dad's business, every so often a ward of the court would show up with a garnishment order and a dollar, then they'd ask for a receipt. Even a kid could see the ugly reality of that exchange.

Anyway, Montana, I think you've received some excellent advice here, and the key is your ex. He needs to handle his own finances and pay you ontime. In no uncertain terms let him know if he doesn't, you're going to take him to court, and sue for additional funds (back payments, interest, court costs, travel costs, and the worst - pain and suffering). As someone else already pointed out, it doesn't hurt to have this written on legal stationary.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 12:59 pm
It's a great big pain in the neck, cjhsa. I've had to do as many as three on one employee, and one of the exes was attorney pro se, and such a mess that I ultimately ended up using certified mail for the checks. Otherwise, they became "lost in the mail". For this, the state of New Mexico permits the employer to collect the princely sum of $1.00 by payroll deduction.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 01:46 pm
Montana- I STILL say try and get the court order changed so that it goes directly thru the courts. You don't need this aggravation. Let the legal system take care of it, and you don't have to deal with your EX, his staff OR his relatives!
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Montana
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 03:30 pm
Noddy
I am on good terms with my lawyer and he was the one who took care of the support order at the same time I was in court getting full custody of my son. I called my lawyer today and I have to call him back monday, but I did explain the situation to his secretary who is a good friend of mine, so she can fill him in before I call back.

cjhsa
I let my ex off on 12 years worth of child support that I never got from him and settled for less than I was entitled too for the support I get now, so he has already had it quite easy, believe me! I also understand that it's a pain in the ass to employers who have to deal with it, but that's the way my lawyer said I should do it at the time.

Roger
I'm looking into my options now. Thanks ;-)

Quinn
It is written in the court order that if any back support is accumulated, 15% of my usual support amount is to be taken out weekly along with my regular support until the back support is paid.

Phoenix
You're right, I don't need this at all. As I said, I called my lawyer and spoke to his secretary asking her if I can set it up that way. She told me that that's how she has things set up with her ex, so I just need to see if my lawyer can set this up without me having to go down there. It would be great to have my support direct deposited into my account on time every week.


After I left a message last night on my ex's secretary's voice mail about my support being late and the fact I was not happy with her giving my ex and his wife my support payments with my account #, I expected her to deposit the 2 weeks of support that I'm owed as of today, but after checking my account awhile ago, she only put in one week. This has been happening often for the past three years and this girl needs a break.

My ex and I have been trying very hard lately to get along after years of fighting and he tells me that he's never wanted to cause me such problems and that it's his wife that is controlling him. Of course I told him that I would like nothing more than to stop fighting with him, but he is the one allowing his wife to control his child support along with the relationship with our son, so things won't change until he takes control of his own life. My ex's wife for some twisted reason is jealous of me and even my son and she will stop at nothing to make sure that my ex and I are constantly at odds, which she has succeeded wonderfully. My ex is fed up with it and tells me he's saving up some money to leave her next year and when he does, he'll make everything up to me. Yeah right!!! Our son will be 17 next year.
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