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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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My ex-husband has asked for a continuance on a child support

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My ex-husband has asked for a continuance on a child support hearing to obtain legal counsel for a child support case. He is forcing the kids to ask for money as a method of controlling what money I have to support the children. My 14 year-old daughter wants to write a letter to the judge and explain what he is doing. Will the judge even look at this letter? Will the judge take into account any money he has been sending via MoneyGram in his favor? Also, just yesterday, he told my daughter, "Is your mom going to be using any of the money I send you?"  He wanted the kids to take pictures of their receipts and send them in picture messages to show  for what they used the money he sent them through MoneyGram.  He only pays me $252 a month in child support plus a little extra for arrears.  The Kansas Child Support Services is wanting to modify his child support to $1,029 a month based off both of our incomes.  Isn't there anything that can be legally done to prevent this kind of manipulation and controlling behavior? He is self-employed, lives in a nice home with his girlfriend, and drives a nice truck, all of which are in other people's names. He also hasn't filed taxes for two years. 


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

The judge will listen to your daughter if she wants to testify. It would be better for her to either appear at the hearing and take the stand or talk to the judge in chambers than to send a letter, because he'll want to know that it represents how she really feels, rather than that she wrote what a parent told her to, or someone else wrote and told her to sign it.

If there is evidence that your ex is hiding money, the judge will consider it. It would depend on why he is sending money via MoneyGram and what is happening, but if he's hiding funds, yes, that will be considered. There is nothing in the law that requires you to account for every penny spent on the children, and no judge is likely to approve that request. Are you supposed to take pictures of the kids holding the electric bill? A mortgage statement? That's just silly, and the judge isn't likely to allow it.

You have the ability to present all of the evidence that you have that he is hiding assets and income. You can also ask the judge to enforce the state's recommendation. If they already did the investigation and can substantiate the amount that is owed, that should help significantly.

If he hasn't filed taxes in two years, you can report him to the IRS.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He is sending MoneyGram payments to control how money is spent. He tells the kids, "If you need money, just call me." So, the kids call and ask for money for various things. If they want shoes or something extra, they'll call their dad for money, but if it is for a household expense or an expense I need help with to support the kids that he foresees benefits me in some way, shape, or form, he will deny the money. Just so you know, I was in an abusive marriage, and I finally got out of it after sixteen years. This is his way of controlling me. Isn't there any legal way I can prove that what he is doing is just furthering the abuse after divorce?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have a copy of an old PFA to prove that he was abusive, and he also got arrested for breaking that PFA. If the lawyer handling the case for the State of Kansas has this, will they use that as proof that his sending money via MoneyGram and using the kids to manipulate funds is part of the abuse?

I'm sorry to hear that he is doing this.

You can ask the judge to order him to stop doing that, and to make all payments directly to you in accordance with the court order. You can also ask that all money sent to the children be construed as gifts to the child and not be counted toward what he owes for child support. If he is ordered to pay $X per month, and he doesn't send you that amount he could be held in contempt of course.

I can't say that the state will use that PFA as evidence of abuse, but they may use it when considering how much to order him to pay. You may want to contact them to see if they have that information, to ensure that their investigation is based on all the facts.
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