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Can you give advice about child support and whether I need an attorney?

by Dinnebier & Demmerle on July 31, 2012

My Ex filed for his child support to be lowered since he now has the kids a bit He more time. But, it came out in a deposition that he owns 7-8 LLC’s having a total of 2-3 million dollars in them. The child support commissioner has asked him 3 times for support docs and he’s not supplied them. He tried to say it was his Moms money, but the DCSS attorney said she saw all the LLC’s on his credit report. The attorney for the DCSS in OC told me I should hire an attorney, but what can an attorney do with someone that doesn’t comply with court orders? I don’t want to run up a big bill and still get less from him. What’s the best thing for me to do?

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Succinctly stated, whether or not an attorney will be able to benefit you is problematic. I always tell my clients not plant a tree, fertilize it, water it, and prune it, unless it will eventually bear fruit. No attorney should give you a guarantee that if you hire them, they can get you more support. It is simply a question of evidence that can be presented to a judge. The judge can only make a decision based upon evidence, not speculation.

It seems to me from your statement, that there is a reasonable chance that you could, in fact, get more support if you tried an attorney. A private attorney has more time and, perhaps, more experience than the DCSS attorneys who have a very large caseload. You have the further complication of whether or not to hire a forensic accountant. Clearly, in a strict sense, his assets are not used to determine child support. However, the income from the assets should be considered. You have further complications as to his overall wealth and whether or not assets should be considered in determining child support pursuant to existing case law.

You have also not told me the age of the children. If the children are extremely young, you will get more benefit out of pursuing his wealth and/or income from the LLC’s. If the children are close to 18 and are about to age out, you will not get as much value out of a long term child support order.

The attorney for DCSS told you to hire an attorney. That attorney is probably correct. I would urge you to advise your attorney that he/she does not have cart blanc to spend unlimited time and expenses, but should focus on getting you the most out of what time is spent.

Richard A. Dinnebier

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