Mother Doubles Her Child Support and Gets a Fee Award Against Father
We made sure this father learned that lying about his income had serious consequences
Our firm represented a mother and ex-wife in a post judgment modification of child support. We had not handled the underlying divorce case, which had concluded many years before our representation.
The father (and ex-husband) had promised our client if she ever took him back to court she would deeply regret it and he would wage a war of attrition against her to ensure he broke her financially.
The father was self-employed.
Our client long suspected the father was lying about his income and was underpaying child support.
Our family law firm took over mother's representation.
There was no way we were going to let this bully and liar win
Father carried through on his threat and waged a litigation war whereby he and his lawyer engaged in bullying litigation tactics. Father refused to be honest about his income.
Father refused to enter into any reasonable settlement discussions. Father seemed dead set to financially bury our client. We were dead set on ensuring that not only would that never happen and not only would father lose at a hearing and pay more child support but that he would be held responsible by the court for mother's attorney's fees and costs.
The post judgment child support case we filed on behalf of our client proceeded to hearing.
The hearing was ten days long and included testimony from the parents and forensic accountants. There were numerous exhibits.
After the ten-day evidentiary hearing, the court announced its ruling
The court more than doubled our client's child support, finding, as we had advocated, that father had engaged "in a sustained scheme and practice of under-reporting his taxable income for the purpose of shirking taxes due and owing, and for the purpose of paying less guideline child support."
The court found father wrote personal expenses off as business expenses and those included personal car expenses, gasoline expenses to and from the river, expensive meals and lodging, gifts, hockey season tickets and more.
The court also found:
- Father's financial statements and business records "created and maintained" under his direction were "misleading and unreliable."
- His "tax returns materially under-reported his taxable income" and his tax reports were "not reliable."
- Father's testimony was "not credible", "evasive" and "non responsive."
- His business records "were designed to under-report his taxable income."
The above are just some of the examples of the court's blunt ruling on father's misconduct.
In addition to doubling father's child support to our client, the court also ordered $160,000 in attorney's fees and costs against father.
Our client prevailed in this case because she had exceptional representation by our family law firm and she had the courage and resolve to take the bully that is her ex-husband to a full hearing over his lies.
At the end, we hoped father learned a valuable lesson in lying and cheating and perhaps one that caused him to think twice next time he thinks about threatening his ex-wife.