Prior to my divorce being finalized, my ex-husband received state assistance and health care coverage while having temporary custody of our two children. I am now the custodial parent, and he is now paying child support. However, there is a child support case against me because of the assistance he received. He has demanded payment via DSHS, and they are threatening suspension of my driver's and business licenses. During our final hearing, the judge stated that $75 of his transfer payment was to be applied to my arrears obligation, but the verbage in the final paperwork didn't reflect that. He lived in Washington state just long enough for that state to have juridiction. Now, we both live in Oregon, and I'd like to know if I can have the venue changed to Oregon and still be able to have modifications made and the support obligation I owe eliminated. -- Dana from North Bend, Ore.
Each state has its own child support rules and courts, and all states are part of the UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act). Since you both now live in Oregon, the case can be heard there. There is no guarantee that the court will modify the order from the Washington court. If you don't have proof that you were to receive a $75 dollar credit toward your arrears, you may not get it. Your Washington case has to be registered in Oregon, and there are statutes that govern whether a case is being registered for enforcement or modification. The law is confusing. I suggest you contact the Division of Child Support office in Bend at 541-388-6141 and ask for assistance with your matter.
I am having trouble with my daughter and her visitation with her dad. Child protective services themselves state that he is grooming her for sexual assault. My daughter has made several reports regarding her dad's inappropriate behavior. I have been to court twice and last year I was on probation for not forcing my daughter to go with him when she was terrified and he came to get her at 10:30 at night. There is no gas to his house or running hot water. My daughter sometimes comes home sick because of sour milk in her cereal. My attorney has not been able to help us. My guess is her dad paid off the judge as well as his own attorney. He brags about paying $8,000 so he could have his way. Any help your can give us would be appreciated. -- Carla from Lincoln, Neb.
These cases are so difficult. It does not make sense to me that Child Protective Services has concerns and nothing is being done. As a former judge, I hope your guess is not correct about dad paying off the judge. You did not tell me your daughter's age, so I don't know about her ability to communicate or testify. You must keep detailed notes about the time she spends with her dad. Anything she tells you, write it down. This information could be helpful in pleading your case to CPS or the authorities. If you believe that your child is in danger, then don't be afraid to contact the police or CPS. Unfortunately, you have to work within the system.
My car was stolen, and the police refused to take a report or prosecute, so I went to the sheriff's department and they filed criminal charges. The thief went to jail, but then the county attorney dropped the charges. The thief signed the title of my car, sold my car, and a year later I got a phone call that my car was in California at a tow yard. The deputy called him while I was sitting there, and he agreed to pay me $700. Then he left the state and did not pay me a dime. I don't have the money to sue him. How can I get my money? -- Sylvia from Prescott, Ariz.
Here is the problem: You are trying to get money from a thief. You can spend money, time and energy chasing him down for the $700, but the chances that you will get paid are nonexistent. If he were still in Prescott, you could sue him in small claims court. Since he is gone and you have little chance of finding him, you will have an even greater difficulty in getting money from him. You didn't mention insurance, so I expect that there was none. I am sorry, Sylvia, but I believe there is nothing more that you can do.
(Jackie Glass is a lawyer and former district court judge from Las Vegas, Nev. Submit your legal questions to Jackie by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter at @theJudgeGlass. This column is being provided for informational purposes only. It may not be relied upon by you as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.)Copyright 2012 by Tribune Media Services, Inc.