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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118788
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I am a parent who has just filed modification support in

Customer Question

I am a parent who has just filed for a modification for child support in Ventura County Superior Court, Ca.
My question is: I used an attorney for a modification of child support back in 2014. The back and forth with the requests to produce documents and so forth ended up costing me $30,000 in legal fees and my childrens college fund. This modification of child support was calculated using a 2013 tax return for both my self and my ex husband. Although we had information by the end of 2014 in December prior to filing the new modification to show a significant income increase for my ex husband the court would only use the completed tax return for 2013.
After many months of requests, I was able to obtain my ex husbands 2014 tax return, which as I indicated did show an increase of $65,000 a year over his 2013 tax return which was used for the child support modification at the end of 2014. My ex husband is self employed and only files his tax return year after year on extention, which means his completed returns are only availiable in October of each year.
I am requesting a modification of support now with the Ventura County Superior Court to be heard on December 15th. My ex husband has gone back to his attorney to file an extention to February 17th of 2016 "so he can get current and more accurate income to date" the attorney is also telling the court that I have unreported income, which I don't have, and he mentioned he needs to subpoena my records.
My question is how likely is the court to grant the extension, the court has previously refused to look at anything other than completed tax returns which I have for 2014 from my ex husband as well as mine to calculate child support. I cant see how any judge would look at only K'1 information for 2015 to determine support, am I correct on that point?. My ex husbands attorney states he would like this information prior to determining support. My tax returns won't be ready until April 15th of next year to reflect my minimum income. Is this just a ploy to delay many months. I don't know what my ex husbands income is for 2015, so it is a risk for me to agree to wait into the new year to see what the income is. It could be down significantly for all I know. What is my best strategy to get the judge to use the 2014 tax information to calculation child support? I know the outcome with this information, which would be a gain of $800.00 per month for my children.
If you need clarification on any point, please let me know. I'm sorry for any typos too.
Thank you. Laurie
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year 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.
As it is so close to the end of this tax year, him arguing that he wants to February to get in all of his tax records and get them together for a more accurate reflection would be a legitimate basis for the court to grant the extension of time.
If his attorney is claiming you have additional income they had better prove it because if they delay for that reason and you prove there was never any evidence of unreported income by you then you could ask for sanctions for them filing a frivolous request.
However, your income is pertinent to your child support amount, so you would have to submit your tax information as would your ex husband. You need to prove to the court that your ex is hiding income or has other income and argue that the court should look at his previous returns to see the income. You need some type of evidence to show he is hiding the income which would be good cause to look at more than his current tax information.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My ex husband is not hiding income. The issue is using tax returns for 2013 vs. waiting for K'1 information that is not a tax return till January or February 2016. How can a judge determine support without complete tax information for both parties. The only complete tax information available at this point for both of us is our 2014 tax returns. A request until February 2016 isn't going to allow either my ex husband or myself any time to file tax returns. Also, my ex husbands attorney filed an ex parte notice. The date was for December 2. I only received the notice in the mail on December 3rd. Can I object to the extension by filing something at the court?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
The court would look to use the 2014 tax returns only if there would be an extraordinary delay in obtaining the 2015 returns. The court is not likely to go back to 2013 unless 2014 is not available.
You can object to the extension arguing that the 2014 returns are available and those are most recent and that the 2015 returns are not necessary. Of course, your ex's argument would be the delay is minimal and not going to cause you any harm by waiting 2-3 months for those returns, so you have to explain why it would cause you some harm by waiting.