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  1. #1

    Default Risk of Reducing Child Support Arrears to Judgment

    My question involves child support in the State of: Ohio

    My ex-husband has not paid child support since March, 2006 and is nearing $20,000 in arrears. His legal counsel has been quite adept at keeping the case in limbo by repeated requests for adjournments, new filings, etc.

    He told CSEA that he is disabled and they said, "Okey-dokey." After two and a half years I have finally received a Magistrate's Order finding him not only not disabled but verging on insurance fraud. Social Security has also found him to not be disabled. He appealed the Magistrate's Order and the Judge has again ruled in my favor. He has now applied to the 4th District Court of Appeals and that could take another year BUT he did not request a stay of the Magistrate's Order so I can proceed from here.

    My counsel has suggested that I move to reduce the child support arrears to judgment plus interest. As my ex claims that he has no assets and refuses to work, (above the table), I don't see how a judgment would be beneficial to me. He would only assert that he is unable to pay and I would have nothing. I know that child support arrears are not dischargeable in bankruptcy but I fear that he could very easily file for bankruptcy and include the judgment and I would never see a penny. (I should note that he will inherit significant money and real estate upon his mother's passing.) I feel I would be in a stronger position to simply allow the arrears to remain as they are.

    My other concern is that although the court has twice now found that he is not disabled, CSEA may still accept his claim of being disabled and continue to refuse to enforce the court order. Does the Child Support Enforcement Agency have to abide by the court's determination regarding disability or can they make their own finding? (I have never, ever received any assistance from CSEA. They have been completely impotent in enforcing orders of the court. I have had private counsel since 2000.)

    Sorry for the long post but this is so complicated. I really need an opinion on the risks involved in reducing the arrears to judgment.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Risk of Reducing Child Support Arrears to Judgment

    When you have a money judgment to enforce on your own initiative, the question of whether or not CSEA wants to enforce it is beside the point. If you wish to enforce it and can find assets you can reach, you can enforce it.

    If you are more comfortable leaving it as an arrearage in the hands of CSEA, that's your choice to make.

    We're not in a position to second-guess your lawyer. For that type of advice, you need to actually consult another lawyer licensed in your state.

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