My question involves child support in the State of: Maryland
Last year, my husband lost his job as did many people in this country. Since then, he has finally found a new job but it pays substantially less than the previous one. He petitioned Child Support to have his payments lowered until at which time he can afford to pay more again. After waiting 9 MONTHS for a hearing, he finally had one last week. We cannot afford a lawyer so unfortunately he was left to do all of this on his own and it still took 9 months.
At the hearing, the child support officer stated that she was recommending the decrease at which time the "mother" of the child and I use that term loosely, began a tirade because one: her "council" whom she brought with her was not allowed into the hearing room and two: she was unhappy with the decrease period. During that tirade she came into the waiting room and began berating me and verbally attacking me, making rude comments about our other children and then tried to physically assault me and threatened me. Here's the kicker...she does not nor has she ever had physical custody of this young man.
Since birth, her parents have had physical custody. When my husband and I married, the whole family put us through the ringer over visitation, child support, you name it and her parents could buy and sell us so in order to be able to see the child at all, we basically had to play everything by their rules and we knew that he would be much better off living with her parents than her. Basically, our hands were tied if my husband was going to be able to have a relationship with his son.
Until this past week and her attempted assault on me, we had kept to the original bargain and were assured that although he did not reside with his custodial "parent" (ugh) that the child support payments were being given to her parents in order to help take care of the child. Now, due to her actions at the child support office, people are coming out of the woodwork who have information that she has never given those payments to her parents and that she used them for her own bills and what not all of these years. Basically, her parents have been lying to us all of these years that she was in fact giving them the money each month.
My husband made a very good salary and she "claimed" to only make a very small amount of money. His child support payments were large for one child but he has made them every month for all of these years (10) and has only fallen behind once during his time of unemployment and we even took money from his retirement in order to catch up because he didn't want his son to go without.
One consolation in all of this mess is that her behavior in the child support office was not only witnessed by the child support officer, a security guard and her so called "council" who turned out not to even be a lawyer but was also caught on video tape AND the child support officer assured my husband and I that all of this would be in her report to the court.
My questions are:
IF we can prove that she has kept all of this money or at least a large part of it for her own use and did not provide her parents with the support checks each month to take care of this child, can we sue her for fraud and make her pay her parents the money now?
Can my husband request that custody be transferred to her parents if they are willing to accept it since they have had physical custody all of these years?
I guess after reading this story, does my husband have ANY legal grounds for ANYTHING that we can go after her for? This whole thing is just making us sick that she has kept all of this money and yet was screaming and ranting at me in the waiting room that her child is not going to suffer just because my husband lost his high paying job. Add to all of this she also has a drug problem and has even been placed on probation for possession of a forged prescription which we just recently found out through public information on a background check, plus numerous other criminal offenses. We are honestly worried about him even being around her on weekends or whatever when she has visits with him.