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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Problems with Interstate Support Modification Requests

    My question involves child support in the State of:Missouri and Maryland

    Okay, this is LONG, so I apologize for being a Tolstoy.

    Divorced in 2004. Two children moved with their mother from Illinois (where I lived at the time) to Maryland.

    Child Support ordered based on my previous year's income (When I was working two full time jobs)

    Ex wife forced daughter to move out of the house the week she graduated High School. (she was 17 at the time) I contacted the State's Attorney's office to report that my daughter was no longer living at home, was about to turn 18, and asked how I could go about filing for a modification based on A) a material change in circumstances in my finances, (I had lost both jobs I had been working) B) Daughter turning 18, C) Daughter no longer living with Custodial Parent, and working full time while living with her boyfriend.

    I was told that *I* could not report that my daughter was living outside of the CP's home. I was told that my EX would have to come into the office, and volunteer the information. (No way she was going to volunteer to get less support). I asked if she didn't come in, could they subpoena her, and was told no.

    I asked what steps people normally had to take when a child turned 18, and was told flatly that my ex wife had to come into the state's attorney's office and volunteer that information.

    I asked if how I could apply for a modification, and was told to go to my local Child Support office and open a case file there, and request it through them. I opened a case, and when I was given a case number, I called the information line and explained the situation, and that the State's Attorney told me I had to have the state of Missouri (where I now live) file the request. Missouri sent a request for a modification. After a months wait, I called back and was told that Maryland had responded to the request by saying that I had not sent in the required paperwork. I was never told that there was any form I was to fill out.

    I found the needed forms online, and mailed them (per Maryland's directions) to the Missouri office, who in turn forwarded them to Maryland.

    After another month's wait, I called and was told that Maryland said they couldn't accept the paperwork, because it was not the right paperwork. I called Maryland and asked what forms to fill out. I was told "call your local office and ask for a UIFSA request to modify. (I don't know why I wasn't told this the first two or three times I called and asked what I needed to do). I then contacted Missouri and asked how I would go about getting the UIFSA paperwork done, and was told that Missouri did not participate with UIFSA. (the caseworker actually didn't know what UIFSA was)

    This had went on for about 9 months, and I called Maryland again, but the State's Attorney who I normally talked to was on vacation, so the lady covering told me that they handle these cases three to four times a month, and there was three ways to go about it. 1) putting in a UIFSA claim 2) Hiring an attorney in Maryland to appear on my behalf, or C) file the normal Maryland forms and appear in person before the judge.

    I filed the forms from Maryland via Missouri, as I was instructed to do, and requested a date with the judge.

    After a few weeks, I called for a status update, and Missouri told me that Maryland had responded to my request (which was handled the way THEY told me) wasn't what I needed to do.
    I called the State's Attorney AGAIN and asked exactly what I needed to file, who to file it with, and what information I needed to send. I was told "We already told you. You need to file your paperwork" I asked exactly WHAT forms I needed, and the State's Attorney yelled "JUST FILE YOUR PAPERWORK" and hung up the phone.

    I cannot afford an attorney. I cannot afford to travel to Maryland to appear before a judge.
    My state doesn't participate in UIFSA.
    Maryland refuses to proceed unless I get UIFSA paperwork.

    This has been going for nearly two years. I am paying on a child that is nearly 20 years old, who isn't in school full time. I make about 1/3 what I did previously when they originally calculated child support.

    I work 40 hours a week and bring home $350 every other week after child support is taken out.

    I can't do this forever. I am too worn out and old to go back to working two full time jobs to make ends meet.

    I have zero problem paying for my remaining child, but don't feel it's right that I pay for TWO kids, and it's based on what I was making seven years ago.

    I am willing to listen to ANY advice! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Problems with Interstate Support Modification Requests

    Clerks you talk to on your phone aren't your lawyer. The state's attorney who is charged with enforcing support orders is definitely not your lawyer. If you are completely overwhelmed by figuring out how to petition for modification or termination of support it's not the case that you "cannot afford an attorney" - quite the opposite. So far you've told us that you can't figure out what to do without the help of a lawyer, don't intend to hire a lawyer and, even if you do manage to get your paperwork in order, don't plan to attend any hearings you manage to get scheduled for review of the case - although sometimes you can participate in child support hearings by phone, that's not always the case. I don't see that there's much we can tell you if you intend to adhere to those limits.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Problems with Interstate Support Modification Requests

    I have been told there is a system in place to handle these exact circumstances, without requiring me to spend a month's pay to be able to get to a hearing and back.

    It's not that I don't WANT a lawyer, I cannot, in any way, shape or form, afford one.

    I contacted approximately 75 lawyers in the county in Maryland that practice family law. ONE offered to take my case, with a $5000 retainer, since it's interstate and "very complicated". If I could afford $5000, I could afford the child support, and wouldn't even be trying to get something accomplished.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Problems with Interstate Support Modification Requests

    I have been in your situation and can tell you 1st hand that you need to hire an attorney or appear pro se for modification. If there are arrears owed that would be their justification in continuing to make deductions on the grown child's behalf. I would continue to call attorney's in the jurisdiction of the case because it should NOT cost that much to file for a modification of the original order. I have had to hire an attorney before for a modification and it cost $750.00 total, granted that was several years ago and in Tennessee. Good luck to you!

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