By Laura Inns & Misty Gamino
Not all child support orders are fair and the system doesn’t always work. Our role is to force the system to treat our clients fairly. Unfortunately, child support orders are obtained often without any accurate information about a paying parent’s income or financial circumstances. This miscarriage of justice usually happens when a paying parent doesn’t go to court because that parent didn’t even know about the court date. When this happens, a paying parent can vacate or void the child support order by moving quickly and knowing what to do.
Recently our firm successfully vacated a 10-year-old child support order to save our client from financial ruin. For 9 years, our client didn’t know about the child support order. For 9 years, our client made voluntary child support payments. Then, our client finally discovered the child support order. State records incorrectly indicated he owed more than $100,000 in back-child support. Ten years ago, the court entered the child support order without even hearing a defense from our client. Our client didn’t go to court because no one even bothered to tell him about the court date. The court awarded the Custodial Parent a windfall of child support based on what she wanted, not our client’s ability to pay. The child support order was unconscionably unfair. In court, we proved the Custodial Parent lied. The Custodial Parent knew where to find our client 10 years ago. The Custodial Parent should have told our client about the court date. The court did right by our client and vacated the order. Our firm won. Our client is safe.
Vacating an unjust order requires strategic legal analysis. When someone discovers an order against them, they must seek skilled legal counsel immediately to determine whether the order was proper, if the order can be undone and how to do so. For example, if the court did not have “jurisdiction,” or authority to rule, then an order can be vacated and declared void. Our firm has successfully attacked harmful and unjust orders entered years earlier by proving the court had no jurisdiction. We’ve also wiped out orders by proving newly discovered evidence, meritorious defenses, fraud, duress, and mutual mistake in fact.
In our recent victory, we triumphed because the court did not have jurisdiction. In court, we established that the Custodial Parent concealed the court date from our client and our client’s whereabouts from the court. By the time we were done, the court had no choice but to grant our motion and vacate the 10-year-old order.
Fixing a bad child support order requires an attorney highly experienced in vacating orders with a proven history of succeeding. Experience without a successful track record is not enough. The Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving, Ltd. has this experience. We help victims stand up for their rights and demand fair treatment from the courts.