Sadly, it is not unusual for a parent to fall behind in child support obligations after a divorce is finalized. Since child support is a financial lifeline for children, falling behind is never a good thing. When Steve Ashby represents the party receiving child support, he works efficiently to restore the payment of child support and the arrearages that have built up. Sometimes, this can be accomplished by working with the party paying child support, to avoid the expense of going to court. When that is not possible, Steve takes sure and swift measures to get child support flowing again. To accomplish this, Steve can seek to have support paid through direct deduction from a paycheck or have the wages garnished from paychecks (a different process) or bank accounts. Ultimately, the court has the power to place a delinquent parent in jail until a specified child support arrearage is paid.
When representing delinquent parents, Steve Ashby works diligently to resolve the delinquency before things proceed to court. Often, a delinquent parent can be put on a repayment plan to catch up child support. The key is swiftly determining exactly how much is owed and then developing a plan which both parties can live with to restore the flow of child support. In many cases, a parent falls behind in child support because he or she suffers a significant financial reversal, such as a job loss or illness. In those cases, child support can often be modified to more fairly reflect the financial position of both parties.
What will all of this cost? Your total cost depends on the complexity of the case, and how combative the parents want to be. Typically, child support collection cases tend to be less costly because the issues to be resolved are not complex. To begin with, your first telephone consultation is free. In that phone conference, Steve will help you to evaluate where you stand and where you want to be when the process is all over. Then, he can give you some idea of how long the process will take and how much it will cost. After the initial free telephone conference, Steve has a rate of $350 per hour. That is a lot of money, so Steve focuses on identifying your goals and working to achieve the end result as quickly and efficiently as possible. For example, in many cases, Steve Ashby will often utilize mediation to settle cases which otherwise would be headed to the courtroom for an expensive and painful confrontation. In your initial consultation, Steve will give you an estimate of the overall cost and will give you a quote for a down payment towards these expected costs. This is called a retainer. The retainer is paid into a separate escrow account, which is not touched until and unless legal fees or expenses are generated. Each month, you will be provided with a detailed record of the time expended on your case down to one tenth of an hour (six minutes). In order to keep your legal fees down, Steve Ashby will utilize his paralegal ($75 per hour) to perform routine tasks not requiring the intervention of an attorney, when possible. If the retainer is exhausted before the end of the case, you will be expected to deposit additional retainer amounts to keep the retainer balance at a specified minimum (usually $500) till the end of the case. Once the process is over, any monies left in your escrow account are refunded to you, so there are no “non-refundable” deposits.
In child support collection cases the law provides that a court can order the delinquent party to pay all or part of the attorneys’ fees expended by the other party. This determination is within the discretion of the court, taking into consideration the relative financial positions of the parties. In many cases, the court will award some, if not all of the attorneys’ fees of the party seeking to collect past due child support.