Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Back in the late 1980's my wife divorced me. She was granted custody of our two children, 5 y.o. son and 7 y.o. daughter. She had returned to Southern California where the divorce took place. With the divorce there was a child support order of $200 for each child and $240 alimony for her, $640/month total. I soon got behind in payments, as this amount was beyond my means. Also, I lived first in New Mexico, then later, and presently in Arizona. Not long after the initial divorce, I received notice from California to discontinue making any payments directly to her. Apparently, she had signed up for Welfare. Now, more than twenty years later, with a much larger arrears (due to interest), she has contacted the attorney general's office, here in Arizona, and has initiated a case where she is persuing me directly for those arrears. A few years back, when I still had employment, California garnished my wages, she claims those actions were taken without her knowledge, perhaps entirely persued by the state of California. Is it legal for her to now persue me directly for these arrears? California appears unaware of her case.
Isn't there a conflict, where the last order I received from California was to no longer pay her anything directly, but send any and all payments to the place they directed me to send them. That order was clear in advising me that any payments would not be counted, unless they were sent to the location specified. Now, her recent lawsuit through the Arizona AG's office has me making payments to an entirely different location and entity (a clearinghouse). Though neither is directly to her. I thought the reason I wasn't supposed to pay her directly was so California welfare could recoup their monies, first. Will CA welfare somehow manage to get their portion, even in present circumstances?
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).