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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 11-17-2020, 06:45 PM
Meenah Meenah is offline
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Default Advice please! Do I have to consent to a late filing? Should I get a lawyer?

Sorry for the length. Trying to be detailed to avoid confusion. Questions in bold at bottom.

Background:
Previous court order in effect. I have full custody. Other party pays support based on $50k income. Last two years, payor has made $60k and, $70k, respectively. Refused to give NOA's, even though this is stated in a clause in original court order.

I brought a motion to change without consent for the table amount of support reflecting payor's increased income. He did not file a response, but did attend the first court date/conference call. Judge gave him an extension to file (an extra month) and set a case conference in 5 months.

The support payor got a legal aid lawyer (not sure how re: his income). Again, they missed the extention date to serve/file a response. I received some of his documents 2 weeks after. His response is claiming undue hardship because he has other (younger) children to pay support for ( doesn't even pay table amount for those kids; bullied his ex into accepting substantially less than the table amount). Also most "facts" laid out in his response are inaccurate - claiming to pay larger amount of child support than he actually does, saying he doesn't have arrears when he does, etc.

His lawyer is requesting my consent to a late filing of their response. Do I have to consent?

The payor and lawyer are also requesting my financial/tax information to compare standards of living. Since I am only seeking guideline amount of support, I was not required to file a financial statement with the court. I still have not received a financial statement from him, which is required to be served to me and filed with his response.

His lawyer is shady and both of them leave multiple voicemails on my phone every day. I feel like they are trying to bully me into doing what they want because they realize they have no case, or at least a real long shot.

Questions
1.) Do I have to consent to a late filing for their paperwork? I dont want to be difficult or delay the case any longer, but I also dont understand why the judge would set deadlines if they dont seem to matter. This isnt the first time we have been to court for this. Every time he delays/drags out the process by not handing things in on time to try to avoid paying more. Last time court took almost a year to change the documents because he got multiple extentions to file.
He ends up hurting himself by doing this because he ends up with thousands in retroactive arrears.

2.) Do I have to provide my income information to the other party? It wasn't required in my motion and he hasn't even provided his financial statement (only an NOA - finally- with the draft response). Are they just simply asking for my cooperation with their requests? If it was really necessary wouldn't the court/judge ask for these documents from me?

3.) Should I get a lawyer? I have been representing myself, because, with an income of $45k, I make too much money to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to have disposable income for a lawyer. I feel like I had a straight-forward, fair case. But now it's getting complicated because they aren't following the normal flow of the process.

The whole fact that we have to waste a judge's time for this in the first place seems ridiculous to me. The payor is court-ordered to provide an NOA yearly but refused to avoid a change. He breached that order causing us to have to go to court to get a judge to MAKE him provide it. Seems silly for me to spend money I dont have to get a lawyer for something that really shouldn't have to come in front of a judge in the first place.

*** Note: I didnt seek additional support for the $60k year. And I pay all section 7 expenses out of pocket and have given up asking for any help with these. There are many other facts that support my belief that the judge will not let him off with paying less than the table amount, which I can outline if it even matters.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Meenah; 11-17-2020 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Shorten
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2020, 07:08 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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1) Consent, with objection. I understand your frustration but Judges give huge leeway to lawyer’s late filings. It isn’t a fight you will win.

2) provide your NOA/Tax returns and claim all Section 7 - retroactive and projected (you can only go after section 7 if you provide your income info). Send the affidavits with his NOA to his other baby mamas in case they want to file a motion to change (I’ve seen at least one case where several mamas shared the info to everyone’s benefit)

3) he has more money and a lawyer and a bad attitude. If you get a lawyer his lawyer will contact your lawyer non-stop, and each time you will pay. None of that money you give your lawyer will move your case forward. Just keep being self-rep and maybe use a lawyer for advice when you feel you need it.

Since they are contacting you non-stop, get a cheap phone with minimal minutes and a new phone number. Set up a new email account. Give the new contact info to the lawyer in a letter, tell them you will respond to any enquireries within 5 business days, and block their number on your regular phone. Check the phone and email once a week, after you have had time to yourself and listen to messages/check email. That should reduce a bit of your stress.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:10 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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Also, if he is claiming “undue hardship” he has to provide a LOT of financial information about his household - so that would include all of the income, debts, and asserts of a spouse/live-in girlfriend/family members living with him.
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2020, 07:24 PM
Meenah Meenah is offline
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Thanks for your advice!

1.) What exactly is a consent with objection. And how do I go about doing this? I couldn't find a specific form. Do I draft one up myself?

2.) Section 7 expenses are a pain in the rear. The biggest expenses are hockey and braces. My benefits cover 50% of braces, his cover 75%. However I always pay up front, and when he gets the reimbursement check, he pockets the money. I had him sign a contract/agreement I typed up stating that he will give the paperwork and check from the insurance company to me when he receives it, but clearly this guy doesn't follow any rules. He is basically making money from it. Part of his undue hardship claim that he is making states that he pays "thousands of dollars" toward benefits every year, therefore he should have to pay as much support. I was going to suggest he take our son off of his benefits to save himself some money since we havent been able to use them properly anyway. I dont care that much about covering section 7 expenses. At the end of the day it feels good knowing that my sons needs are taken care of.

His baby mama knows his income. He should be paying approx $1200/month for her kids but she settled with $750 instead because he goes nuts when he doesn't get his way. Is threatening me that he will kill himself and it will be on me if I "take more of his money".

3) his lawyer is through legal aid - somehow he qualified. I think I can handle self-representation.

The voicemails from the support payor are just messages telling me how I'm a terrible person and I need to mediate on a "healthy" support amount because he is already paying way too much for our child compared to his other two, calling me names. Saying he is going to start showing up at places he knows where I will be because he isnt going to let me "ruin his life". Dumb, irrelevant things that aren't worth replying to. Conversations with him when he is in these moods are never productive.

The lawyer just leaves messages with his name and phone number... doesn't even ask for a call back? So I'm not really sure what he wants. I prefer to only have contact via paper/email so that I have some sore of trail/evidence.

Thanks again!
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2020, 07:30 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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Consent with objection is an email you send where you state “on XxX date your client’s Response was due according to the family law guidelines. On XXX date you
Requested late service. I am willing to consent to late service on the following conditions: that you recognize my objections that as a member of the bar against a self represented litigant you are not following the family law rules, and that if, in future, I require your consent for late service that you will give it without delay”.

The whole pocketing the insurance money is fraud on the insurance company and needs to be documented and brought up in court as it will speak to his credibility.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2020, 10:25 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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1. What tilt said about late service.

2. His other baby mamas are his problem not yours. His obligation is to his first child(ren). Change your number, email address and if necessary, tell him you will seek a restraining order.

3. Medical expenses are section 7. Hockey could be debated. Call his insurance provider and advise you are not receiving reimbursement for expenses. They will flag him and possibly make him pay it back.


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  #7  
Old 11-18-2020, 03:25 AM
Meenah Meenah is offline
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Thank you. I didnt realize it was fraudulent. I though I was the sucker for trusting him. I will definitely give them a call!
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2020, 03:35 AM
Meenah Meenah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
Consent with objection is an email you send where you state “on XxX date your client’s Response was due according to the family law guidelines. On XXX date you
Requested late service. I am willing to consent to late service on the following conditions: that you recognize my objections that as a member of the bar against a self represented litigant you are not following the family law rules, and that if, in future, I require your consent for late service that you will give it without delay”.
Thank you for the outline. Here is what I came up with. Hopefully it sounds okay. I will try to get a lawyer to look it over before I send it. I just finished reading about using a lawyer for unbundled or limited scope services which may be a good option for me.

"On dd/mm/yyyy Judge ABC signed an endorsement to extend the date for your client to serve and file a response to my motion to change. On dd/mm/yyyy, your client’s response was due. On dd/mm/yyyy, your incomplete response came to my notice. With this draft and on this date, you requested my consent to a late filing.

I am willing to consent to late service and filing of your client’s documents on the following conditions:

First, that you recognize my objections that as a member of the bar against a self-represented litigant you are not following the family law rules, nor the endorsement in effect from Judge ABC. Second, that your client’s response to motion to change shall be served and filed at the same time as your client’s financial statement (Form 13) as per the family law rules. And finally, that if in future, I require your consent for a late service or filing that you will give it without delay.


Kind regard, "
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2020, 12:53 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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That is perfect.
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