Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When your ex won't pay

You read about them every day: so-called "Deadbeat Dads and Moms" who refuse to pay child support even though they're living in the lap of luxury. There they are, jetting off to Hawaii again without a thought for their offspring who go to school hungry and in ragged old clothes. But how accurate is this picture?

"The true 'Deadbeat' parent is quite rare," says Nancy Caruso Pascucci, a Chicago mediator, attorney, and an adjunct professor at the DePaul University College of Law. "If the non-custodial parent can't pay, there's usually a good financial reason for it: he or she has lost a job, agreed to more than he or she could really afford to pay in the settlement, or has remarried and has a new family to support."

Pascucci cites the example of one of her clients who -- before he hired her -- agreed to pay 70% of his net earnings to his ex for child support, and now doesn't have enough to live on. This situation is obviously unfair, but it's part of his legal separation agreement and he has to go back to court to try to get it changed. To avoid getting yourself into such a fix, Pascucci advises you to consult an attorney before signing any documents. "Your attorney can go over the ramifications of an agreement before you sign it," she says, "so you'll know exactly what you're agreeing to."
Diana Shepherd

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/--

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