Child support called to let me know that my ex filed for a mod. They want to come in with an Income and Expense declaration, pay stubs, etc, etc. OK, no problem. Set up appointment, confirm the date and time, I'm good to go. I'm not exactly thrilled (when the system rewards a parent for moving away needlessly, I take a bit of an issue with it), but the law is the law and I'm being as polite as can be. The lady informs me that if the documents I provide show a modification of more than $X, we'll hopefully work out a stipulated agreement there in the office and it'll be easy as pie. I like easy.
But that got me thinking. Well, based on what the ex filed, what's the preliminary increase? 270%. That's right. A 270% increase. Wow.
This leads to a very understandable question: Why? So I ask, "Now, since she's filed her Income and Expense declaration, I'm assuming that at some point I'll receive a copy, and likewise she'll receive one of mine?" This is the legal system. If I file any court document, she gets a copy; mind you, I am legally required to serve her a copy of any legal paperwork I file in regards to a custody case.
Yet this is not the case with Child Support, when the local Child Support Office is involved. They refuse to provide me a copy of her claimed income or expenses. I stated I don't find that to be particularly fair, only to be met with the response of: "If you refuse to meet with us and sign a stipulated agreement for child support, we will file this action in court and you can receive a copy of her declaration at that time."
Hmmm. "So, if I agree and sign a stipulation, your office will file the paperwork with the court, saving me some time, money, and hassle?"
"Yes", she responds.
"And at that point in time, I will be served with the legal child support order, an attachment to which will be her declaration?" Again, the response is affirmative.
"Or I can receive a copy when you file the legal action, assuming I don't agree to any stipulation?" Again, affirmative.
What the hell is wrong with our system? When going through the courts, I receive a copy of everything she files and claims. At that point, we can reach an agreement or leave it to a judge to decide. Yet if dealing with child support through the local office, I am not at all entitled to anything in advance, expect for the threat of filing court action?
Doesn't exactly seem fair to me. What are your thoughts or experiences?