After a long and acrimonious divorce, I was ecstatic to walk out of the courtroom a divorced woman. The judge awarded more child support than we expected, too, which would come in handy. My ex-worked while collecting disability and it was in light of that that she awarded more child support and I was relieved that life was going to be a little easier than I expected in a financial sense.
When month end rolled by and I still had not received a cheque, I called my lawyer. When my ex came to pick up the kids for visitation, he handed me a cashier's cheque for less than half the amount that was due. I sent him a nice text, in which I explained that I understood that paying child support is new to him and that I would work with him, but that I needed to know when to expect the rest. He told me to speak to my lawyer, which I did.
My lawyer sent his lawyer and email, just to be told that he no longer represented my ex-husband. When we finally found out who represented him, we were shocked to realise that they had somehow gone to a different judge, who then reduced the child support to the dependent portion of his (fraudulently collected) disability pension.
My lawyer was never notified of the hearing and the judge didn't follow current laws when granting this reduced child support amount. To me, it is a slap in the face. I have three children, two of whom have significant medical expenses and the child support we receive doesn't even cover their school fees.
Also, because he collects disability, the court will not enforce the medical bills, which should be split 50/50. His "disability" protects him from having to take care of his children, while he collects disability while working in construction, climbing on ladders and roofs and takes part in extreme sports on the weekends.
My phone doesn't stop ringing with debt collectors calling to demand payment of our marital debt, which was split 50/50. His disability cheque can't be garnished. So, for as long as he earns a disability cheque and refuses to earn a regular paycheque, I have to pay all the debt, including his half.
Moral of the story is to not count on your child support to pay your living expenses until it's in your bank account. You may think things will be easier until the cheque fails to show up.