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Ottawa County Friend of the Court Reviews
I had to meet with my case worker today regarding my overdue alimony. Yes I did agree to having the alimony starting in Dec. and signed the support order about Dec 10th. That is my fault. At the time my divorce ended I was self employeed and had already gone 5 months with no income. I was not able to make the Dec. and Jan. payments because I had no income. In Feburary I was able to get another contract and I made my alimony payments in Feb. plus an extra $500.00
My ex-wife gave incorrect employer information to the case worker at the friend of the court back in Januarary. Today (March) I went to a show cause hearing. I had no idea what I was getting into, I did not think I would need my lawyer there.
My ex showed up with hers. The moment we went into the case workers office I knew I was in trouble as the case worker lady and my ex's lawyer were laughing and joking with each other.
I tried to explain my situation to the case worker. She came right and told me that she was choosing to not believe me. I agreed to pay an extra $250.00 per month and was informed that by signing the document I was agreeing and acknowledging that I was in contempt of court.
The case worker kept accusing me of providing false employer information when it was my ex wife that gave the false information. I asked the case worker if she ever sent a payroll withhodling request to the company that was listed on the support order and she informed me they could not send anything to a P.O. Box and therefore were not required to attempt any contact.
After signing the agreement to pay extra, as we were walking down the hall way the case worker informed me that if the full amount due was not paid by the last day of the month I would have to go to jail for 10 days and pay a $1000.00 fine. I tried to explain to the lady that I get paid on the 15th of the month and the last day of the month. I would not be able to pay the second march payment until my paycheck cleared which would be the first business day of April. She said "Well, you will need to go to jail for 10 days then."
What was amazing is how the case worker told my ex during the meeting that any agreement would be up to her to approve. If she was not ok with an arrangement that I offered she had the right to say no and the case worker would then send me infront of the judge and recommend I go to jail right then for 10 days.
I can't believe how I was treated. I did end up being held over to see the judge today. When I met with my court appointed attorny (another female) she was even worse. She flat out told me that I either sign the original agreement and that will give buy me a couple weeks before I go to jail or I can go in front of the judge today and he will put me in judge today. I thought the attorny the court appointed to reprisent me was supposed to try and help me. She did not care at all or even want to hear what I had to say.
Essentially I was treated like I had been hiding all kinds of money and was just trying to avoid paying. I could not believe how the female case worker and femail court appointed attroney talked about me to each other right in front of my face. To have them laugh at me and say "Well it does not matter to us if you want to go to jail today lets go infront of the judge and that is what will happen."
I did call my lawyer and he said "Don't worry you will be fine". This how my entire divorce has gone with Ottawa county. Anything my ex says she believes and what ever I say I am laughed at. Heck, even during mediation the mediator was always looking to me to agree to her demands.
As it is my ex got the house and all the equity (She did not have to pay me anything). She got $120,000.00 in alimony spread out over 5 years. All the posessions in the house. For me, I am looking at 10 days in jail.