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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 110509
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My ex-husband argued before a Florida judge that he lost

Customer Question

My ex-husband argued before a Florida judge that he lost income because his wages were being garnished by the US Government. The judge was unaware of any case where this type of debt would count as a loss of income but wanted two months to research it and get back to us. The judge seemed pretty clear about the fact that his income had not really changed but still appeared sympathetic to the fact that he had no money to live off of and would face jail time if his income was counted. The most disturbing part of this (to me) was that the judge told me that if he decided to reduce child support, I would have to pay back everything from the date of filing (one year) and possibly owe him child support even though he has no overnights. My ex-husband doesn't work and hasn't in years. He was(sort of is) living off of a military pension, VA/SS disability. He's also stated before the judge that he's made no attempt to work out a payment plan for his debt with his creditors even though each notice from his debtors states that he should contact them if the garnishment causes an extreme hardship. He's also filed bankruptcy and I understand some other creditors are challenging him because they also feel his income has not really changed. Is there any sort of legal precedence in Florida that would bolster my ex-husband's case? Likewise, is there any case law that might help me? Thanks so much for taking a look.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

FS 61.30 is the Florida statute that supports your position and actually what the judge is saying as well. The child support statute says that your husband's gross income is considered for child support and it does not provide for any deduction for the fact that he has a US government garnishment from him for repayment of a debt. There is no case law that supports what your ex is arguing and all the case law says that gross income is what is considered and debt garnishment does not change what his gross income would be. See: Nelson v. Nelson, 651 So. 2d 1252 - Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 1st Dist. 1995

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