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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 14511
Experience:  13 years experience, divorce & custody issues, protective orders, child abuse issues
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I live in Florida, my ex-husband lives in Michigan, we have

Resolved Question:

I live in Florida, my ex-husband lives in Michigan, we have 2 children together. I am remarried, My current husband is disabled, under the SSA laws my children qualified for SSD Aux child benefits, & just got awarded, after a 2 year struggle proving my current husband supplied more than 50% income care to the Children. My ex-husband pays child support, but that was calculated with SSA when they made the determination that my current husband supplies more than 50% care. My children just went to Michigan for 60 days summer visitation ( I have physical custody of legal residence in Florida for the children, court papers proving it)
My ex went and applied for food stamps/medicaid for them & hus family while they are there visiting, he was advised the chidren get SSD Aux Benefits, & was sent to SSA to become payee. SSA has now stopped payments due to confusion, ( in a 2 week span he screwed up 2 years of work) but also my Ex has petitioned the SSA stating he pays child support, why should they get these monies, hence why it stopped, & he has petitioned the court ( child support FOC) to advise them that the children get benefits under their step-father.
Q: IS this right ?
How could he just change payee status on a visitation ?
Can his child support get lowered ?
Its not my income, the children are the beneficiaries.
Even with his new child support amount, my Ex-husband does NOT supply 50% or more support, & my Current husband STILL does.
Whether it was recalculated based on thus years incomes, last years income or the original filling years incomes of 2010/2011.
Help need info.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there.

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The problem here is that there is a father paying child support and a stepfather whose SS benefits are providing them with a disability AUX payment. You see, under state child support laws, if a man is receiving social security disability payments and he applies for the SSA Aux benefits for his children, then he is entitled to a reduction in the amount of child support that he pays to his former spouse for support of the children. There is a possibility here that a child support judge can lower the payments of your ex spouse if the combined amount of the SSA Aux payments and the child support that he pays is significantly higher than what your ex spouse would normally pay if there were no SSA Aux payments. At this point, there is not much that you can do until your children return from Michigan but my suggestion is that your current husband get into the nearest SSA office with you to put a claim in so that they can get these matters straightened out. Ultimately, the amount of the SSA Aux payments to you will not be reduced but the family court may lower the payments of your ex husband for child support by a percentage of the benefits that you are receiving for the children due to the stepfather's SS benefits. I realize that this is NOT fair because what you are receiving combined from the two sources is probably barely enough to get by for the children -- but state law in EVERY state permits the parent paying child support to receive a credit for any monies that the children are receiving from social security disability if that SSD money is classified as support for the children -- and because you fought this is a matter of the stepfather paying more than 50% support, it now is a child support issue. That is not to say that you should not fight this and if/when you get a petition for modification of the child support of your ex husband, you need to file a written answer with the court and object to the reduction of the ex's support payments based upon what the stepfather was able to obtain for them through his own SSD claim. Unfortunately, these situations are so new that it will be up to the state judge to determine whether or not your ex will receive a reduction and that determination will be made based upon how much the total amount is that you receive between SSD and child support for the children. If it were your ex husband who had the SSD claim, those monies would almost completely replace the child support payment under state law and his payment would be lowered.

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Please let me know what further questions that you have.

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MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Well I think my ex lied to SSA and said that he has custody of the children, since they were with him, but it is only visitation.


I also am worried about when payee gets changed, they will send my ex a letter about change of payee status, that will have my current husbands SS # XXXXX it, even though SSA calls it a claim #, it is blatantly a SS#, isn't that a violation of privacy for SSA to send my ex the # ? I mean his new wife will have it too.


Sounds like a security risk, when your not suppose to give out your SS #.


 

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there Maria -

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They are supposed to X out everything but the last 4 digits of the social security number -- however, if you get into the nearest SSA office with the custody paperwork as soon as you can (tomorrow or Monday) you may be able to nip this little stunt in the bud very quickly before SSA makes any change in the payee status (your local SSA office will contact the Michigan office and let them know what is going on -- that your ex does NOT have legal custody of the children). Then if you can head this little stunt off at the pass before anything is actually changed at SSA, you will still most likely have to deal with the ex spouses request for reduction in his child support with the family court -- and as I said, you should file an answer to any such request and protest any reduction. If you make the protest, you will at least be able to salvage some of the child support payment when the state judge reviews the case.

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MARY

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Please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING unless you press a positive rating below. Pressing the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger for Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


The Michigan city local SSA office already changed payee status. SSA already sent me the letter stating that I was no longer the payee.


THEN, I got a letter stating that SSA could not pay on June 2013, ( the 1st payment) say they need more information before they can resume payments, to contact them within 30 days, I did, I went to the local office, and they didnt ask for information, she just said we dont get into custody issues, LOL, She did requests other information, cause I said I'll bring in the court papers stating I have physical custody, & he just has visits. She didnt want that in my local office, But the national SSA phone teller, told me I should bring thoughs in anyway & make the Supervisor in my local office add them to the system. How can I make her. LOL.


 


My local SSA office did share a paper with me, that my ex's local SSA office sent to HIM, this wasnt suppose to be shared with me.


 


it reads:


Dear Mr. P


We have suspended the step child benefits for "X" & "X", pending an investigation of whether or not they are even entitled to these benefits. If you have any Q's call,... blaa blaa


 


Now I know this is cause he lied to SSA & said he has custody, & they live with him,.. yeah they are with him right now, but it is just a visitation.


When I asked SSA about an investigation they looked at me like I was nuts,.. she said theres no investigation.


I just dont want this terminated, because of his lying, after 2 years of fighting for it, & the proofs we provided to qualify. because how SSA judged it was my working income with the child support that I was getting, against my current husbands income to determine if my current husband was still, even with the child support providing more than 50% support the the step-children.


 


With out the SSA talking to me or giving me the real information, I feel like Im lost, I DO WANT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO NIP THIS IN THE BUD.


 

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Maria --

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The only thing you can do if you do not want to deal with SSA again is to tell your ex husband to go back to the SSA office that he spoke with and correct the situation and I am afraid that he will not do that unless he is able to get some kind of an agreement from him that you will permit him to lower his child support payments. Other than that, you have to go back to SSA again and speak to a supervisor in order to get it entered properly into the computer that you do have custody of the children -- the worker that you spoke with was wrong and an absolute idiot to tell you what she told you (it has been my experience that many state and federal employees are simply lazy and they do not want to do more than they have to do at any given time). SSA DOES need to know who has legal custody of the children -- they need that information in every single case where there is a divorce and the parent who receives the SSD is NOT the parent receiving the SSA Aux payments for the children (there are hundreds of thousands of fathers who receive SSD payments and the payments for the children go to the mother of the children who lives elsewhere -- social security must keep records of which parent has physical custody of the children so they know where the payments are legally supposed to go).

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MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

 


see, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT i THOUGHT ABOUT SSA.


 


I felt as much, but also felt I needed some confirmation as to this, I also felt that even though the kids have this Aux rider on their step-father, that it shouldnt get their father out of his obligations of paying child support either though, since their father doesnt support them by 50% or more.


the point of both or eith payments are to support & better the lives of the children.


Or am I missing something ?

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Maria -

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While I absolutely agree with you, the fact that they are receiving child support from two different places is what the family court will see. As I explained earlier, in cases where a father is obligated to pay child support and that same father has an SSD claim that pays his children the SS Aux payments, then that father can claim a reduction in child support in state court and he will receive a reduction in child support from the state court -- the SS Aux payments are used as a credit towards a percentage of the child support due. Your case is unusual because you have a stepfather providing support via the SS Aux payments and a separate father paying full child support payments. This is what your ex spouse is protesting -- he will ask the family court the following question "If the children are being paid child support through the SSA Aux payments then why am I obligated to make a full child support payment on TOP of those monies?" and then he will ask the family court for a credit in the amount of the child support he is paying. It will be up to you to try to protest that and show that the children are entitled to both payments in full -- but it will be within the judges discretion to lower the child support payments because even though you need the funds, this can be seen as getting double child support and in a situation where both the SSA Aux payments and the child support were coming from the same man, the court is obligated to lower the child support payments paid.

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MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I see, but, SSA did make the judgement based off his child support payments, & my income.


So,.. this is where, I don't believe it is double dipping per say, when the SSA approved this.


 


But thank you, XXXXX XXXXX answered a few questions.

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Maria -

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Not a problem. The SSA payments will not be lowered under any circumstances. However, the state child support is a different issue completely and it is a state judge that would make that determination. However, if you bring in the materials from SSA that show that they also considered the child support payments in their calculations, then you may be able to keep the state judge from changing the child support payments at all. The main point here is that if you receive an inquiry from the state court or child support enforcement agency do not ignore it -- because then they will lower his child support without any input from you. If you present all of this to the state where he is paying the child support, then hopefully the state court will agree with the SSA calculations and leave the full child support payment intact (that will be the best outcome!). I truly wish I could tell you something that will make all of this easier -- but your ex spouse just decided to make your life difficult for a little while and it can be straightened out -- you just have to get SS to listen to what you have to say and enter that you have court awarded primary custody in their computers.

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MARY

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If you have not done so already, please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING unless you press a positive rating below. Pressing the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger for Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


This last part is very good advice. It actually does say on the awards letter that my income & child support was used in the determination of them making the award to the children. That would be the SSA paper to provide to the court !!!!!! Thank you.

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Maria -

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Then make sure that you have it available. This will all work out for you -- it is just the aggravation in the meantime that you must put up with because your ex did what he did.

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If you have no further questions and you have not done so already, I would appreciate it if you would press a positive rating below (the 3rd. 4th or 5th smile face underneath this ANSWER box). I truly am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating below (we do not receive paychecks - we are paid per question answered). If you have further questions regarding this matter the question will remain open and you can return to it at a later date if you need to do so.

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MARY

-

Please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING unless you press a positive rating below. Pressing the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger for Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 14511
Experience: 13 years experience, divorce & custody issues, protective orders, child abuse issues
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