Back in March, Seth placed a hearing on the court calendar to review and lower his monthly support. He knew that I was getting married in April and he wanted to drop my spousal support which he had been ordered to pay until 2015. By the time he set the hearing, I had already taken it upon myself to notify Child Support Services of my upcoming marriage and I dropped my spousal support prior to my wedding date.
From there, the review hearing was postponed numerous times due to attorney’s schedules and the Commissioner’s vacation in June. This morning was the date and I decided to go forward without my attorney’s assistance as it was outside of the scope of her retainer. She was only on board to help with my trial. I spent last night preparing everything needed and woke up this morning with zero anxiety.
Going into court to protect my children is one thing, a child support hearing is another. I don’t have the same anxiety when it comes to the money portion and today’s court date left me feeling apathetic. It wasn’t always that way. Back in 2009 and 2010, a child support hearing meant that I may or may not be able to buy groceries. I had a lot of emotions riding on those hearings. I have worked so hard over the past few years to re-establish myself financially and that even involved embarking on a career that was foreign to me at the time. I finally have freedom from Seth in all regards- the support allows the girls to participate in activities, camps, etc but without it….we are still perfectly okay. The freedom that I feel being out from under Seth’s wallet is amazing.
My mindset today was “it is what it is” – I will disclose all of my financials and my husband will submit his. I assumed that Seth would pull some shady maneuver to hide income but I was proven wrong. His attorney showed up and provided the information straight from Seth’s pay stubs. In court, the DA stated that we were requesting childcare costs to come straight from his paycheck by wage assignment since he owes me over $3,000 (in childcare costs- he owes $37,000 in back support) and obviously won’t pay when left on his own. Seth’s attorney then argued that he faced a financial hardship due to the distance that he would need to travel to visit the children and then factored in the cost of supervised visits. Then he asked the court to order me to split the cost of those expenses 50/50.
What?! Are you KIDDING me?! (Those exact words went through my mind and there was also an expletive thrown in).
The Commissioner asked for my thoughts.
My thoughts: Seth hasn’t even taken steps to begin supervised visits nor do we even know if he will. I also do not feel that it would be fair that I would be ordered to pay for any portion of his supervised visits.
The Commissioner agreed with me. He said something along the lines of, “We all know why Seth has supervised visitation and he has brought this all on himself. I do not feel that Ms. Swithin should bear that burden.”
At that point, the Commissioner raised his support drastically. I was shocked. The Commissioner then took away Seth’s obsession with how much money I make. At each hearing in the past year, Seth goes out of his way to try and prove that I live an elaborate lifestyle (in my 1950’s, rented, 1,000 square foot home). It’s almost humorous. He has even filmed us as we drive up in my husband’s new truck….but fails to turn on the camera when I’m driving my 2002 Volvo. The Commissioner denied Seth’s attorney’s request for a review hearing because he said that my income no longer matters or factors in at all. The reason: Seth has zero percent custody.
At that point, the Commissioner raised Seth’s child support drastically- it almost doubled. The irony is, I would have never placed a hearing on the calendar because it isn’t worth the stress. The hearing was Seth’s attempt to lower his support. That backfired on him in a big way.
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