Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Victim #114: Don't Make These Mistakes

At the time of my divorce (it took 2 years) the judge granted alimony payments of $2800.00 per month to my ex-wife. That figure was based on my annual income (the most I have ever made in a year) of $130,000.00. Since that date, I have not come near that number.

Due to a management change at my employment, I was asked to step down from my position in 2004, which paid 85,000 annually, to a position that paid 30,000. (the then location manager and I did not see eye to eye). I could not survive with that pay, so I resigned (huge mistake).

Since I signed a paper stating that I resigned, it was used in my modification hearing as a means of proving that I deliberately reduced my income. I had even called in the district manager to verify my story, but because I signed that paper, I was doomed. Shortly after I left, the then location manager was let go and I was hired back, but into sales (construction materials). The construction industry is depressed and I am currently making 65,000.00 per year.

While I was between jobs, and working a temporary job, I fell behind on my alimony. There were some paycheck that I received in which alimony was deducted and I was left with a two week take home of $90.00.

Not only was my modification denied, but the judge found me to be in arrears $14,000.00. As I soon found out, at the time of my divorce, I was ordered to pay 2 months of alimony up front while the payroll deduction order was processed.

This payment was given to her attorney and then given to her (another mistake.. At no time should any payments be made except through the clerk of court) I am still unable to receive credit for this payment.

I have since remarried and with the help of my wife, have borrowed money to make up the arrearage as we can. (another mistake I made was to make a lump sum payment on the arrearage thinking that I was prepaying.....it cannot be prepaid.....the judge considers it to be similar to a credit card and the lump sum payment only brought the balance down. I still have to make additional monthly payments.

I have been sent to jail for contempt twice. My attorney has now dropped me and I have lost our house because I have no way of paying (for some reason, the judge keeps making me pay the attorney fees of my ex-wife).

I have another court date tomorrow and have asked the opposing counsel to postpone for 30 days to see if I can get some type of legal counsel.

To sum up.....never quit(or resign) your job for any reason.....never make alimony payments except through the clerk of court.....and never pay more than you need to when you need to.