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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30348
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I have a judgement against me for child support arrearages

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I have a judgement against me for child support arrearages for $30,000 dated back 10 years, which I was paying monthly to a company called "OCS credit service" and the interest compounded to $125,000. I have stopped paying the monthly payment for 6 or 7 years. I just received a court notice from the X wife that she renewed the judgement that was expiring March 2013.She stated that the 125,000 has not been paid.Can they garnish my wages, what can I do to not let that happen.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Unfortunately, yes, wages can be garnished for child support arrearages. The only way to avoid garnishment is to settle or pay the amount due in full. The laws here are written in a manner that unfortunately puts the child's perceived need ahead of the parent. That means that there is no legal way to avoid payment.

She can also take any money held in joint bank accounts, regardless of who deposited it, so that might be something to consider if you and your wife have commingled your assets.

I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok , What about advice on the part "Optional information" where you asked "What have you tried so far?"

As I said, you can try to settle the judgment with the other parent. Child support judgments are really tough, though. They cannot be forgiven or discharged in bankruptcy. And there is no statute of limitations on collecting child support. Ariz. Rev. Stat., Section 25-503. It puts a lot of people in a tough spot, but almost nothing that can be done to avoid it. If your employer gets a wage garnishment order, he has to follow it, or he can get sued.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok , I have paid her but the interest has compounded to $125,000. Writing her a letter asking her to have that compounded interest pardoned or forgiven is not an option, and/or can I take this back to court to have the compounded interest pardoned or eliminated, and if I am able to take her back to court, during court procedings while we are waiting for judgement will they be able to garnish my wages?

they can garnish your wages during the time that you are disputing the amount. To avoid that, you can file a Motion to Stay. The standard is that you will be irreparably harmed if your wages are garnished while the dispute is pending. The problem is, by definition, a person is legally not irreparably harmed if giving him money will make him whole. So it would have to be something more concrete such as, if your wages are garnished, you will lose your home.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, thank you for your quick response. How and where do I file a "Motion to Stay" I rent my home and I will lose it if my wages are garnished and I will lose my car because I have a car payment, then I'll lose my job because I am required to drive my car for my job.

It's unfortunately not the type of thing that is so common that courts provide forms. It would be filed in the court where the judgment was awarded. Essentially, it needs to tell the judge what relief you're looking for (a stay) and why.

The elements that must be established to get a stay are:
1. A likelihood of success on the merits of the claim
2. Irreparable harm if the motion is not granted.
3. That the other party will NOT be irreparably harmed by a stay, and
4. The the stay is in the interests of justice.

If you can get to law library, they'll have specific books you can look at, which should help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok thank you. Do I get these forms in the court in Arizona where the judgement was awarded or can I get them from here in California? Where do I find a Law library?

Again, there aren't any forms. It's something that litigants have to draft themselves. Courts only provide forms for common, routine scenarios. The CA law libraries are primarily going to have CA law, so that unfortunately is probably not going to be as helpful. If you're not physically in Arizona, the options are to see if you can find a local attorney in Arizona to help, or just do the best you can to explain the situation.
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