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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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I am a 90% disabled veteran and am not able to work, so my

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I am a 90% disabled veteran and am not able to work, so my sole income is the VA Compensation, I had a set amount for child support, but contacted oklahoma regarding my leaving the military and the change in my income, they said it doesnt matter and that the amount I was paying I will have to still pay or be garnished. I now live in Kansas and got a letter stating that I owe back child support, that I could not pay, and that it can be garnished, is that possible?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing family law for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues like yours. That being said...

Can you clarify what your income was when your child support amount was set?

And, what is your income now?

You indicate your contacted "OKlahoma" about the change in income? Who in particular?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was in the military, and I believe it was around $3,100, I dont have any "income" now, I get my VA Compensation in the amount of about $1700 a month, plus $150 for my child. I contacted OCSS, Oklahoma child support services, it is a division of OKDHS, I believe. I get sent around to different people everytime I call, so I gave up calling them.


My child support was set at $450 a month, but I have not made that much a month since that day, once I was divorced my pay changed, and I have contacted them over the years and they tell me that my pay decrease doesnt matter.


And now they had a child support hearing here in wichita that they never told me about to state my case and sent me a letter stating what I had previously said.

Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, and thank you for your responses.

With regard to same:

I am a 90% disabled veteran and am not able to work, so my sole income is the VA Compensation, I had a set amount for child support, OK, that we $450, I think you state, right?


but contacted oklahoma regarding my leaving the military and the change in my income, they said it doesnt matter and that the amount I was paying I will have to still pay or be garnished. This is TRUE, because unless and until you file a motion to modify that child support with your Family Court - the one that had jurisdiction last, over your divorce or custody case. So, I'd file that tomorrow.

 

I now live in Kansas and got a letter stating that I owe back child support, Yes, if you haven't paid on the OK order, and haven't gotten it modified or terminated, that is typical.

 

that I could not pay, and that it can be garnished, is that possible?Yes, if it meets certain criterial, your VA payments can be garnished - so check the statutue I provide below. You MUST immediately file a Motion in your OK court, asking for a Modification of Child Support based on a material change o circumstances, namely, your drop income in 1/2, that is not voluntary, but due to disability. Use your VA award to support the contention that you are disabled and tax records to show that that is all the income you have, but be prepared to show the medicals that the VA had when it decided you were disabled.

Optional Information:
State/Country relating to question: Kansas

Already Tried:
I am trying to contact lawyers to help me because I was never told of the child support hearing here in kansas, It is likely out of OK - and Kansas is required to enforce it..... moving doesn't allow us to escape the CS order.

 

and have tried to contact Oklahoma child support division but have been blown off Yes, you need to make that motion (request for reduction) to the Family Court. You are asking that they reset CS based on your new lower income AND the fact that your child is receiving income from your disability of $150/mo, so you want that considered as per OK law.



I was in the military, and I believe it was around $3,100, Income then.

 

I dont have any "income" now, Yes, you do. Income means, "in coming money".

 

I get my VA Compensation in the amount of about $1700 a month, plus $150 for my child. That is income.

 

I contacted OCSS, Oklahoma child support services, it is a division of OKDHS, I believe. I get sent around to different people everytime I call, so I gave up calling them. So utterly frustrating, I know


My child support was set at $450 a month, but I have not made that much a month since that day, Not from working but you still have income. The question is, can that income be garnished for CS.

 

once I was divorced my pay changed, and I have contacted them over the years and they tell me that my pay decrease doesnt matter. That is right, you MUST ask the Court to change the order - that is the Court's jurisdiction. And pay decreases DO matter if they are not wilfully sought out. It is too bad the OK staffers couldn't tell you that at least. So rude.


And now they had a child support hearing here in wichita that they never told me about to state my case and sent me a letter stating what I had previously said. You may want to consider filing a Motion to Vacate any Order out of that court, based on lack of due process being provided you so you could be "heard."

 

Now, here is the important part: Is this VA Income garnishable? Some VA benefits are NOT garnishable. Look at the bold underlined, below:

 

"QUESTION 7: Are Veteran benefits subject to garnishment?

RESPONSE 7: Certain benefits are subject to garnishment including periodic benefits (including a periodic benefit as defined in section 228(h)(3) of the Act) or other payments by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as compensation for a service-connected disability paid by the Secretary to a former member of the Armed Forces who is in receipt of retired or retainer pay if the former member has waived a portion of the retired or retainer pay in order to receive such compensation. Regulations under 5 CFR §581.103(c)(7) indicate that in such cases, only that part of the Department of Veterans Affairs payment that is in lieu of the waived retired pay or waived retainer pay is subject to garnishment. Thus, if your VA disability benefit is really "retired or retainer pay AND you'd waived a portion of the retired or retainer pay in order to get that compensation, then that part can be garnished, but otherwise it can not.)

 

In addition, as stated in 5 CFR §581.104(b) payments or portions of payments made by the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to sections 501–562 of title 38 of the United States Code, in which the entitlement of the payee is based on non-service-connected disability or death, age, and need are not subject to garnishment. Furthermore, 5 CFR §581.104 (f) indicates that education and vocational rehabilitation benefits for veterans and eligible persons under chapters 30, 31, 32, 35, and 36 of title 38, United States Code, and chapters 106 and 107 of title 10, United States Code are not subject to garnishment." http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css/resource/garnishment-of-federal-payments-for-child-support-obligations


Also, Section 3.450(a)(1)(ii) of the U.S. Code also allows for hardship considerations on a case-by-case basis, which may be the case if the garnishment were to exceed 50% of your disability pay and you had no other income.

Now, the above being said, you may want to file for Social Security Disability if you paid into that system, since you indicate you can not work. Attorneys work on contingency, and the fee in the end is extremely discounted compared to their regular attorney fees for non-disability legal work, so consider using an expert to handle the SS matter. This is particularly true if you have not paid SS taxes in close to 5 years or greater, because it will be your only shot at winning and you will have no other opportunities for any new SSD applications, should you not win the first one.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you need follow up before or after RATING me. And PLEASE know that my job depends on a POSITIVE rating now and at least an 8-10 feedback rating later. Thanks! I won't forget your support.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.



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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11839
Experience: 19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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AlexiaEsq.
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19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.