Men shouldn't misunderstand this article about Rhode Island Child Support. This is by no means a criticism of men who fall prey to this mistake. Unfortunately, too many men do get stuck in the situation I'm about to describe and frankly, the women who truly place fathers in this situation should think twice about whether they have any integrity whatsoever or whether they are just being greedy at the father's expense regardless of what the law may allow the mother to do.
Fathers should not enter into private agreements with Mothers who have placement of children regarding the reduction and/or payment of either child support, daycare amounts or even temporary spousal support or alimony for that matter.
Private agreements of this kind are completely unenforceable and unrecognized by the court because they must be adjusted by a court order.
What can happen? Consider Paul's situation in the Providence Rhode Island Family Court.
Paul and his Lucy were divorced 17 years ago. 15 years ago Paul hit hard times after moving to Oklahoma. Paul spoke with Lucy and they agreed over the phone that Paul could pay $50 less per week on his child support. Paul paid $50 less per week until just before his son's 18th birthday after graduating from high school. On the day before his son turned 18, Lucy filed a Motion to Adjudge Paul in Contempt for not paying the court ordered child support. She asked for the $50 per week for 16 years plus interest compounded at 12% per year, plus her attorneys fees.
Paul was served and had to fly in from Oklahoma. Paul explained that they had an agreement. Lucy denied that there was ever such an agreement. The court didn't care either way. You can't unilaterally agree to modify child support. The court found Paul in contempt and ordered him to pay what amounted to tens of thousands of dollars in back child support. The court scolded Paul and told him he should have known better.
For my part, if they had made an agreement (which I believe they did) then Lucy is dishonest, greedy and lacks integrity. With any luck, this type of conduct will be repaid to her 10 fold in her life-time.
Father's be aware.... you must have a court order on the issues addressed in this article. No matter how much you want to....DO NOT simply trust the mother's word on any reduction. Return to court and get an ORDER.
Do it right or pay the price!
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