If I only request the court ordered amount in my custody case will it hurt my chances of having a Judge enforce the modified amount? 6 Answers as of January 13, 2011

I reached a child support agreement w/ ex at his attorney's office (finally!) after we had changed the custody agreement. The paper was never filed with the court (his lawyer plays tricks and I suppose this was another). He paid the new modified amount for over a year and then went back to the older, lesser amount each month and occasionally adding the modified amount (about $150 more a month) inconsistently. After years of paying his support every month, he is now behind two months. Is there a statue of limitations on the written modified agreement? Also, I would like to file a Notice of Delinquency. However, if I only request the court ordered amount will it hurt my chances of having a Judge enforce the modified amount? Thank you for any help!

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Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
I have reviewed your case information and I can help you with your enforcement problem. We can probably enforce the agreement. However, we need to make it a court order instead of an "agreement" If you fail to allege a right, you may lose it.

Since documents have not been filed with the court it is very important that we speak as soon as possible, so I can evaluate your problem, and if hired protect all of your interests, hopefully without going to court.

You may find some helpful information on my website.

The best way to contact me for an immediate response is for you to call which will contact me directly anytime any day (24/7).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/13/2011
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
As long as you have a signed copy of the agreement you do not need to worry about a SOL issue (unless it was over 4 years ago). As far as hurting your chances with the Judge, you don't need to worry. If you have an agreement about the amount of child support with you ex the court would love to honor it. Anytime two parties can agree on something the court is happy to set a stipulated order from them.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
You may, under these circumstances, be able to enforce the stipulated support amount under contract theory, but it is not a Court order. Not to cry over spilled milk, but you should definitely make sure that the Attorney follows through in the future. Do you have a copy of the Stipulation. You should move to modify the support amount, requesting guideline support, particularly if that will be more than the Court previously ordered or it it was clear that your ex- was paying less than he should, or move to enforce the Stipulation. I believe that you have to have an Order for him to be delinquent.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Possibly. Your best bet would be to seek to have the modification agreement enforced. If you have a written agreement, signed by you and your ex-husband, modifying Child Support, you can file a Motion in the Family Law Court to enforce the written agreement and have a modified Child Support Order entered. If the agreement you reached in your ex-husband's office was only oral, you can't enforce it. If you have a duplicate fully executed original of that signed agreement, that would be best to show the Court at the Motion hearing, but if you have only a copy of it, you can still show it to the Court and explain why you don't have an original (that your ex-husband's attorney and kept it). You should use a copy of the signed agreement as an Exhibit attached to your Declaration and an Exhibit at the hearing on your Motion, setting forth in your Declaration in support of your Motion that your ex-husband's attorney took and kept the original. If you don't have a copy of that signed agreement, you should promptly seek to inspect and copy it via a Demand to Produce Documents. In your Motion, you should request that the Court modify your ex-husband's child support obligation retroactively to the effective (or retroactive) date set forth in the written agreement, or if no effective date was set forth in that written agreement, ask to have the new order retroactive to the date of the last signature on that written agreement. The Statute of Limitations on a written agreement is four (4) years, but don't wait that long. I would suggest that you file, serve and have your Motion heard before you seek to enforce arrearages (whether by Notice of Delinquency or otherwise), so that the arrearages would be calculated at the new rate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
Call your local county Depart of Child Support Services branch. Ask for their help with enforcing child support, at the higher agreed upon amount. I'm sure you have some paper trial to show the agreement, correct? If not, ask DCSS to request court orders to modify support to the proper amount, and then they will enforce it if not paid (which should be paid via an automatic wage garnishment).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/12/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    Just file your motion and explain the facts as you have to me and the court will rule in your favor. You may need an attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/12/2011
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