How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask LegalGems Your Own Question

LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3204
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
LegalGems is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I can provide the long version, but want to stay relevant.

Customer Question

I can provide the long version, but want to stay relevant. I will summarize without the details that bring me to this question. it will sound awful without the context... but her eit goes.

I got a divorce in 2010 in NH. I make just over $100k /year. My ex-wife was awarded $2500 a month. She claimed she could not work. However, she is working just fine "off the books". She very capable of working. I have not missed a payment yet. I got all of our joint debt and all of her individual debt in the decree. She also got all the assets of the marriage... furniture, car, ect. I kept my old truck and my clothes. I was awarded custody of our remaining child as well. Her strategy that she was unstable and crazy made it impossible for the court to give her the kids.

I have since re-married and moved to SC. I have submitted several motions to reconsider the alimony. i simply cannot afford that much and service over $200K in debt as well. the system has proven to work even worse since i am not face to face in the court room. I have had two lawyers on this case and cannot afford to use either one. In fact ,I owe them too much money to utilize them.

My question is this..."what can be done to me since i am out of state... if i don't pay." I have asked the court and my lawyers this many times and gotten no answer other than this... "you will be found in contempt and a warrant may be issued int he state of NH." How far can the state of NH reach? Can they seize a bank account? taxes? pay check? for alimony alone.

the irony here is that the court does not realize that they are taking this to a a terrible conclusion for my x-wife... the one they are trying to protect. If i am in jail, unemployed, or un-hirable, then there will be NO MONEY for her. I am the only source of income in this situation. I want to do the right thing, but i cannot continue to go in debt to pay my x-wife. in fact, I'm so broke I cant even go into debt further. I cant even get a used car loan, a credit card, or a personal loan. I am up against a wall.

lastly, the court has repeatedly stated "you have found a way to do it for over 5 years now, you can continue to figure it out." I just need to know the REAL penalty so i can weigh my options please.

thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

LegalGems :

Good Day! I'm a Family Law expert here at JA and will do my best to assist you. Please remember, though, I can only provide general information.

LegalGems :

OH I am very sorry to hear this - it doesn't sound as if you received a fair settlement. Since modification isn't an option for you and you would like to know penalties for nonpayment I will verify them for you. A few moments please.

Customer:

thank you

Customer:

the important part of my question relates to SC. can they garnish wages or extradite or put out a warrant in SC for the case in NH?

LegalGems :

For child support yes they can, I am verifying about spousal support.

Customer:

I have no child support issues since i have full custody...the issue is just the alimony. thanks

LegalGems :

No I understand. I'm checking on the spousal support; I believe they aren't as restrictive as the CS issue.

LegalGems :

According to SC 63-17-3570(a), your ex can send the order over for registration with the SC courts. Once it is registered, she can seek a contempt order via 63-3-620, and if they find you are capable of paying it, then can hold you in contempt (i.e. jail). SC will not look to modify the order itself, as NH as ongoing jurisdiction. Per 63-17-3570, once the order is registered, SC has jurisdiction to issue any wage assignment orders (garnishment). I'm going to see what other consequences there might be.

LegalGems :

The idea about jail time is that if you are financially able to pay it, your refusal to pay it is a contemptuous action that you have control over. That's how they look at justifying the jail time.

Customer:

i guess it depends on how they determine if i can pay... ha

LegalGems :

Well, that's the thing; if the alimony is 30% of your gross income, and then you have $200K in debt, I don't see how you can pay it; but the court with jurisdiction has determined that you can...

Customer:

thisis helpful. i heard that it is up to the company in SC for garnishment. Does the company have to agree or is it court directed with no way out?

Customer:

I see.

LegalGems :

It's court directed. I'm still looking into other things. Have you looked into bankruptcy by the way?

Customer:

Already filed about 6 years ago...

Customer:

My xwife ran up over $50K in bills and we were over-extended on our home with an adjustable rate that went rogue.

LegalGems :

Oh...not good. Financially though the alimony amount doesn't make sense...still looking.

LegalGems :

I am looking into this and have downloaded about 5 different documents; If you want to check back in 10 I should have a full briefing for you.

Customer:

while you are looking... i can add to that. she claimed she was crazy and unable to support herself. Its not true, but she cried alot. She had no proof or doctor statements either.

Customer:

The amount was determined like this... NH bases the formula on my ability to pay a her need.

Customer:

she had a need higher than i could afford, so there was no GOOD place for the master to go.

LegalGems :

I get that; I just think they miscalculated.

Customer:

I had been, voluntarily, paying all her bills while we seperated. I was dumb and still in love.

Customer:

she committed adultry 4 times in 2 weeks and i filed for divorce.

Customer:

the master said... you found a way to pay 2500 so now you just keep doing it.

Customer:

i felt sorry for the master...she had no way out.

Customer:

but now i am in way too deep.

Customer:

I have to leave soon. can you send me the result when you find it?

Customer:

I am at work and need to stop chatting now. Is that OK?

LegalGems :

Yes; go ahead. I'm doing a thorough research given the severity of the situation. Just check back here later. I should actually be done in 10-15.

Customer:

thank you... how do i get back to this answer?

LegalGems :

Whenever I enter a post you should get an email. If not, just contact customer service - they are great.

LegalGems :

So the IRS can divert any of your tax refunds to pay any arrears in alimony. http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/ssact/title04/0459.htm

LegalGems :

I'm thinking that, since SC is the home state of your child, SC has jurisdiction over Child Custody and Child Support. You may want to contact your child support enforcement unit (each county has one) to see if this would be a case they would handle. Sometimes they "impute" income to an able bodied person, and she may have to pay you child support, which can be offset against the spousal support. This is just an outside the box idea that you might want to explore.

Customer: My daughter is now 18 and there is no custody issue
LegalGems :

Oh bummer. still checking the other issues.

LegalGems :

OK so I've done a thorough check and the consequences in SC are limited to jail time (up to one year). Which is worse than liens on property, etc.

Customer: What if I short Pay and just extend it. I am on my phone now. So it's slower. Can the court garnish wages if I am making payments?
LegalGems :

Yes, if you are at all behind/short, then they can garnish. I'm sure this is not worth asking but...have you considered reaching a settlement agreement with her?

Customer: I don't have any property or savings or retirement.
LegalGems :

And she wouldn't agree on lower monthly payments right?

Customer: No way. Very lazy and greedy. In fact she has asked for more several times and gotten it.
LegalGems :

Shoot; I am all out of options. I wish I had better news. I would suggest hiring a GOOD attorney in NH and giving it one last shot because this isn't a viable solution.

Customer: Ok. Thanks. I'm pretty lost here. My girls suffer too. This will probably keep my daughter from college. My. Deuce could care less about her college.
Customer: Last ? Can I appeal in my and get a new ruling?
Customer: Deuce auto corrected I meant x wife
LegalGems :

No; there is a time limit (typically 30 days) for appeal. I already thought of that.

Customer: I guess we are done then. Maybe I sacrifice a year to get my. Life back
Customer: Thank you
LegalGems :

I'm sorry. I really wish I had better news, especially since the alimony amount seems preposterous.

LegalGems :

You are welcome.

LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3204
Experience: Experienced Family Law Attorney
LegalGems and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have had some time over the weekend. I read 63-17-3570. I am not doubting you. I would like to make sure i did not miss something. Chapter 17 is titled " PATERNITY AND CHILD SUPPORT". the entire chapter appears to be relative to paternity and child support orders.in fact, Title 63 is titled "South Carolina Children's Code"


 


see link at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t63c017.php


 


I don't see any reference of definition of alimony or spousal support mentioned in my search.


 


am i missing something ?

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
I apologize for that. I copied and pasted the incorrect code (as I explained the vast enforcement mechanisms available for child support in comparison to the more limited ones for spousal). There is a uniform act - applicable to all states, that is entitled Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, UFISA. This act gives the state jurisdiction to enforce an order (either spousal or child) that is made in another state. The party would have to register it (the process is similar to the one discussed in the child support statute that you read) in the new state (south carolina) and then that court has jurisdiction to enforce it via wage garnishment, liens and contempt. I can't provide a link to this as it's on a subscription service, but you can google it and many law firms reference the entire statute.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
< Last | Next >
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney and Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    6424
    27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6336
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    5987
    I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5773
    JD, 15 years legal experience including family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BrianTMayer/2010-01-06_200119_BM.jpg Brandon M.'s Avatar

    Brandon M.

    Family Law Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3810
    Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2634
    Attorney