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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36931
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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mu son was behind in child support payments in the amount of

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mu son was behind in child support payments in the amount of $4400 & was arrested and in jail. His ex made an arrangement with me that if I would pay the amount she would return all of it but $400 to me and she wrote me a check for the amount she promised. But before the money could be placed into her checking account she stopped payment on the check she wrote me. Do I have a case against her. I have the check she stopped with her signature on it. She even brought the check to my home on a Friday and then stopped payment on it on the following Monday. She really played me on this one. I thought I could trust her. What do you think my chances of recovery are in civil court?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Just to be clear, you paid her the money. She kept the funds, then canceled the check. Was your agreement in writing?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
no I paid the court the money and then it took about ten days for them to place the money into her checking account. No the agreement was not in writing but she made the agreement to me and my wife and a third witness. She even brought me the check to my house on friday and then told me on sunday that she was going to stop payment on the check
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

On the check to you, did she place a statement as to what the check was for?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
no but i do have the receipt from the court house showing where i paid the money
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your patience.

By itself that is not enough. As the mother was owed those funds, it legally does not matter whether or not you paid them, or your son, as the arrears belong to her. Similarly she does not have to return the funds back to you, regardless of the agreement, as the funds belong to her. While it is a cheap trick and not what you wished to see, I really do not see you prevail against her, as the other person gave you a check without formal and legal conditions, which means she was free to place a stop payment on it. You can definitely try to take her to court and get it resolve,d but I do not see a great chance of success--maybe at most about 20% in you prevailing.

I am sorry.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 7:29 AM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
is a verbal contract worthless?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

No, a verbal agreement is valid if you can prove it. However even if you can prove it, since the other party had no legal obligation to agree to it (she is entitled to the arrears), she can claim duress and argue that her promise to you is unenforceable based on that reason.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 7:37 AM EST
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

however she is the one that made the arrangement with me I did not make it with her. I told her that I did not have the money and that my son would just have to stay in jail. first she wanted half of it and i told her that I could not do thjat and then she asked if I could give her $400 of it and she would give the rermaining part back. I placed no pressure on her. My son is not a dead beat dad is has chron's disease and is unable to work right now

 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 3 years ago.
I do understand, but without an actual agreement in writing, even with witnesses you will have a hard time prevailing. The reason is that your witnesses may be deemed to have bias towards you (as your wife by definition will be more likely to claim what you deem is accurate, at least in the eyes of the court). If the third party witness is truly non-related and disinterested your chances increase, but I still do not see this as a winnable case. I am sorry.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 7:45 AM EST
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36931
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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