The article explains how to right-size judgment payments in single cases and multiple case actions.
Judgment Payments: Overview
- Always requests the court enters and/or sets a monthly judgment payment amount in establishment and modification orders to pay towards the child support judgment.
- A monthly payment schedule on past support may not exceed three years unless specific findings of fact supporting the action are made.
- CSS considers a three-year payment schedule to be unjust, unreasonable, inequitable, or inappropriate when there is evidence that the NCP cannot comply with the payment plan.
- CSS requests a monthly payment schedule that may exceed three years in accordance with the best evidence available, including the NCP’s earning records, past job history, earning ability based on education and training, and mental or physical incapacities.
- Practice Tip: When a monthly judgment payment is less than the amount of interest accruing on the NCP’s case(s), discuss this with the NCP. When circumstances show the NCP would be able to increase the monthly judgment payment at that time, set a judgment payment review hearing.
- CSS also considers NCP’s other child support obligations and total arrears.
Minimum Judgment Payment Amounts in Single Case
- When requesting the court to enter an order for payment on arrearages, request the court take into consideration the amount of the arrearages, current support order, and earnings of the NCP.
- Request the court enter a reasonable payment agreement tailored to each individual’s financial circumstances.
Judgment Payments in Multiple Cases
- Consider a holistic approach when requesting the court enter or modify judgment payments for an NCP’s multiple cases.
- Judgment payments across all cases should be consistent.
- When cases are assigned to other offices, the Managing Attorney (MA) of the office handling a judgment payment adjustment contacts the other offices’ MAs to coordinate adjustments.
- Request all of NCP’s cases (including judgment payment only), review all the judgment payment amounts, and request the court make adjustments in all cases at the same time.
- Use the Compliance Predictor Tool to determine the ratio of order to income. Use the difference between the current support ROTI and 20% maximum compliance amount to determine a reasonable judgment payment amount.