Collect Child Support From the Dead

Like the 2nd Amendment slogan, we can only take child support from some men when we pry it from their cold dead hands. Prior to that we sometimes we pry it from hands that are bound together.

It is not uncommon to be in the hallways of the courthouse and notice the men on the chain gang. Sometimes these are ordinary felons. More often they are men who have been arrested for non-support. I often break into song:

That’s the sound of the men, working on the chain, ga-a-ang – all day long they are working….. under the table….

They get someone from somewhere to pay something and they get out of jail, and the process starts all over again.

But what if they die? Support in our state vests as a judgment each month it is not paid and survives death. The statute of limitations for collection of child support judgments only begins to run when the youngest child of the abandoned family turns 18. Then it runs for 10 years. If still not paid, a motion can be filed to extend it another 10 years, until the youngest child is 38 years old. The interest rate is 12%.

I have noticed men begin to drop dead in their 50’s, particularly if they are living the hard life underground or off the grid. (Lawyers begin to drop dead about that time too, but that is another topic). So it is conceivable we will have child support claims in probate.

Normally these will be advanced by the ex-wives of the dead men, but what if the mother dies? What if the children inherit the claim from thier mother? Hey kids, lets sue Dad for our impoverished childhood!

Kind of reminds me of Disney’s Lion King, Elton John singing about the “Circle of Life”. The whole prospect gives me a sort of warm feeling.

How Not to Pick a Lawyer

A browse through the yellow page advertising for lawyers is always an adventure. The larger the advertisement the greater the cost to the lawyer to support the advertisement. The impact on the ultimate fees charged is usually evident, without any real enhancement to competence in my experience.

One guy’s yellow page advertisement added the tag line “Serving you locally, and nation wide” which is impossible as he would have to be licensed in 50 states. He was later disbarred, can you imagine?

If you are going to rely on the yellow pages, I recommend you cut out the pictures of the people who seem to have the best advertisement, arrange them in a circle then place a bottle in the middle of the circle.

Then spin the bottle.

Wastin’ Away In Litigationville

“We got divorced and the lawyers got all the money.”  “Dad died and the lawyers got everything”.

How many times have you heard that? Why is that?

People do stuff that is based on assumption, folk law, movie law, hearsay, and maybe a little bit of knowledge that is a dangerous thing.  Act first, then see the lawyer.

And so it is they find themselves here, in the office, for more than a visit.

There are certain phrases I have learned to read as a sure sign there is going to be a problem that lasts months. My favorite:

This will just take a minute.

No it wont. And it isn’t the lawyers fault. It’s just the way law is; complex, and not well represented in easily accessible media, the pulpit or on bar stools where most people go first for legal advice.

Personally I turn to the music of Jimmy Buffett for respite from the stress of having to tell people the truth about where they are, breaking into song on the way home:

Wastin away in Litigationville

Looking for my lost statute of laws

Some people say that there’s a lawyer to blame

But I know

It could be my fault