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Joseph
Joseph, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  I have over a decade of experience as a Family Law litigator
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Divorced from my first wife many years ago. We had two sons,

Resolved Question:

Divorced from my first wife many years ago. We had two sons, one of whom died as a teenager. My other son became emancipated and left home. He is now in his thirties. The divorce was not pleasant, and being young and dumb at the time, I just ignored paying the child support. I have the paperwork from Tulsa County Courts that says the arrearage was for a total amount of $22,396.46 and covered May 1, 1984 thru February 28, 2003. There was also a paragraph in the paperwork that referred to interest accruing at 10% a year starting when I first got behind. I have been employed by the City of Tulsa for over ten years now and payments of $200/month, have continuously been taken directly out of my paychecks. After finally receiving a pin number and case number XXXXX access the DHS website to observe the history of my payments in this regard, I still was not able to make sense of any of it. I personally called the DHS office and spoke to a child support worker who informed me that even after consistently paying all these years, I stilled owed a total of $34,838.86 because of all the interest that has accrued. I find it unbelievable that I am still required to pay this horrible sum of money back for DHS to forward to my exwife every month when my son was emancipated and left home many years ago.

Recently, in December 2012, I suffered my third heart attack and underwent a triple bypass. I was remained admitted to St. Francis hospital for over a month. I suffered a stroke at some point close to the surgery, which has affected my vision in both eyes. There is hope that my vision will come back, but I've been told that may possibly take six months to a year before that happens, if it even does happen. I possibly might lose my employment with the City if my vision does not return soon. If this happens, I will be forced to pursue disability, and am worried about having enough money to survive each month, much less any more to continue making child support payments for my adult son.

I totally understand the necessity for strong child support guidelines, however in this particular case, the only person who benefits from the thousands of dollars of interest that has accrued in my case is the mother, Could someone please tell me if there is a way to get this dropped, stopped or modified, and how much out of pocket money I will need to come up with to get this to happen?

Please answer to my email address,XXX@XXXXXX.XXX.

Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, based on the facts as you have stated them, there is no compelling solution for you. One major problem here is the passage of time. The law likes finality and, as such, there are strict rules on how and when support should be changed and how judicial orders may be subject to appeal.

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You stated that the support period ended in February of 2003, ten years ago. That being the case, any time period in which you could have sought a modification or file an appeal has long since run. Meaning, you have no ability to change the amount of the arrears.

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I would suggest that the only possibility is reducing the amount of the payment. Based on what you have stated, it appears that you may have a significant problem in making your ongoing payments. If you do, in fact, become disabled or your income is otherwise reduced, you might consider requesting a reduction in your monthly payment.

.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for answering my question. The only reason I never appealed anything was all of these years, because of my ignorance in how all of this worked, I assumed the payments were going directly to my son. Of course my feelings changed when I realized my son doesn't receive any of this money.


 


At any rate, if I lose my job and find it necessary to ask for a reduction, is this something that I can do myself, or will I absolutely need to hire an attorney to handle this for me?

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.

Well, you don't "absolutely" need an attorney, it is certainly possible to proceed as your own attorney. Having said that, a family law attorney would be familiar with all the local laws and rules, would know the assigned judge and would otherwise help ensure the best possible result.

.
I hope you found my answer helpful. If so, please click on "OK", "Good" or "Excellent" service. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Even if you are a subscription member, you will need to click on one of the positive indicators. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed.
.
If you are not yet satisfied with my answer, please do not yet rate my service. Instead, please click on the "Reply to Expert" and let me know what else I can do for you. Please only rate my answer when you are fully satisfied.
.
Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.
.
Leaving a bonus is not required but doing so is certainly appreciated! Thank you and good luck.

Joseph, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience: I have over a decade of experience as a Family Law litigator
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