Wednesday, August 31, 2011

News: Man tries to ram big rig into courthouse; tells police he was upset over child support

Man tries to ram big rig into courthouse; tells police he was upset over child support - Edwardsville/Glen Carbon news - bnd.com

Here is a recent story of an Illinois man who obviously didn't do a very good job of coping with a court's decision. It appears that he intentionally tried to ram his semitrailer into the courthouse after a judge refused to lower his child support.

Reductions in child support may appear to be very simple matters. However complicating factors can arise in:
- properly calculating current child support,
- properly calculating taxes,
- issues with a new spouse's income
- agreement on what the actual income is (i.e. is over time included?)
- past due arrearages,
- unpaid medical reimbursement, extracurricular activities and/or school fees
- and a host of other matters they can come up.

In this recent case it also appears the court refused to reduce child support because the judge believed the man intentionally lost a job and/or reduced his income. In such instances, a judge may often refuse to lower or suspend child support. Many times I ask clients if, after the loss of a job, they received unemployment compensation. If they received unemployment, then the separation from the employer was not likely intentional (layoff off, reduction in force, plant closing, etc). If however the client did not receive unemployment, the court may assume that the separation from employment was intentional. Of course every situation is different and only an experienced family law attorney can address your specific situation properly.

Also, the biggest worry in child support reduction cases may be the actual timing of a motion to reduce child support. In this there should be no delay in filing the motion and sending notice to your former spouse. The court will generally never reduce support "retroactively" to a time before the motion was filed and notice given. This means that if you waited 6 months to file a motion to reduce support AFTER you actually lost a job then you will likely be stuck paying the support amount as ordered for those 6 months.