Child Support 101: Income, Restrictions, and Renegotiating Child Support Payments

You are doing your best to make your payments and help financially take care of your children, but sometimes life gets in the way. You don’t want to fall behind on your child support payments, but it might be difficult for you. On the other hand, circumstances in your life could have changed to where you need more assistance each month. So how do you go about getting a modification to the agreement?

Extenuating Circumstances

No matter what the circumstances are, you must prove that the change is necessary. In other words, something significant has to have happened in your life to make it so the payments are either too much or not enough.

An example of this could be the loss of income. If you have lost your job and are now receiving an unemployment check, you may be able to petition the court for a modification to your agreement. However, in order for your income to be considered a factor, you must have had a change of around 10 to 20 percent, which varies from state to state.

Another thing you must remember when using loss of income as a reason for modification is it must not be voluntary. If you are claiming hardship because you voluntarily quit your job, chances are the judge is not going to grant you a modification to your child support agreement.

You should also be aware that a petition for modification due to income does not have to be just because of lost wages. A petition can also go before a judge if there is a significant increase in income as well.

You may also request modifications to your arrangement due to the need to support another child not covered by the current agreement.

Restrictions May Apply

There are other things to consider when you are trying to renegotiate the terms of your agreement. There may be a time restriction imposed. Some states may require you to wait as long as three years before you can change the terms of your agreement.

The time restriction is imposed in order to discourage parents from seeking to change their child support arrangements frequently. If the request is significant, say the loss of a job, a judge may allow you to modify the terms sooner. Otherwise, you will have to wait.

Additionally, child support payments agreed to in a separation agreement may be more difficult to change. This is because separation agreements, unlike divorce decrees, are considered binding contracts. They carry more weight in some states than a court order does and are therefore much harder to change.

No matter what your reasons for modification, you need to contact an attorney to ensure the paperwork is properly completed. Even if you and your former spouse agree to change the agreement, until the court approves of it, the payment responsibilities still stand. Failure to make the required payments could result in fines and jail time. It is important for you to go through the proper channels to avoid being in contempt of a court order.

Unlicensed Contractors Must Disgorge All Monies Paid by Consumers – Can’t Get Any Offsets or Credits

California has very harsh rules against unlicensed contractors. A recent case further tightens the noose. The Court in Robert D. White. v. Terry E. Harper Cridlebaugh (2009) 178 Cal. App. 4th 506, 521 stated in pertinent part, “[W]e conclude section [Business & Professions Code Section] 7031(b)’s reference to the recovery of all compensation paid an unlicensed contractor means the unlicensed contractor cannot reduce the recovery authorized [for the consumer] by asserting claims of offset arising out of the unlicensed work [be it materials, services, labor, etc.].”

Cridlebaugh was hired to build a log cabin (retirement home) for the Whites, who were friends from Church. After the work began the Whites became concerned with Cridlebaugh’s work and competence. White eventually fired Cridlebaugh. Cridlebaugh recorded a mechanic’s lien against White’s property. White sued Cridlebaugh and Cridlebaugh filed his own suit, both of which got consolidated.

During the project Cridlebaugh was working under a corporate contractors license held by JC Builders, Inc. The responsible managing officer or RMO for JC Builders, Inc., a gentleman named Diani, was not involved with the White project and testified that he had only been in the United States on two occasions in the last two years prior to the White contract, and that he didn’t even know that Cridlebaugh was working with the corporate license. In other words, Cridlebaugh had borrowed the JC Builders, Inc. license, but Cridlebaugh was not himself licensed, nor was he being supervised by any licensed individuals.

If a responsible managing officer/employee RMO/RME is not participating in the construction activities or actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the corporate entity, the California Court of Appeal in Buzgheia v. Leasco Sierra Grove (1977) 60 Cal.App.4th 374, has held that it is as if the contractor is not licensed at all. In other words, the contractor is a sham and is unlicensed by operation of law.

By virture of the Diani testimony Cridlebaugh, specifically, the corporate licensed entity, JC Master Builders, Inc., was deemed an unlicensed contractor for the White project and had to disgorge all monies paid to them by the Whites. Pursuant to B&P 7031 they were also not entitled to advance their own lawsuit against the Whites.

Previously, California Supreme Court explained that unlicensed contractors are required to disgorge all monies paid to them pursuant to Business and Professions Code 7031(b). In the seminal case of Hydrotech Systems, Ltd. v. Oasis Waterpark (1991) 52 Cal.3d 988, 955, the Hydrotech court stated “[t]he purpose of the licensing law is to protect the public from incompetence and dishonesty in those who provide building and construction services…The licensing requirements provide minimal assurance that all persons offering such services in California have the requisite skill and character, understand applicable local laws and codes, and know the rudiments of administering a contracting business… [Business & Professions Code] Section 7031 advances this purpose by withholding judicial aid from those who seek compensation for unlicensed contract work. The obvious statutory intent is to discourage persons who have failed to comply with the licensing law from offering or providing their unlicensed services for pay…Because of the strength and clarity of this policy, it is well settled that ยง 7031 applies despite injustice to the unlicensed contractor….Section 7031 represents a legislative determination that the importance of deterring unlicensed persons from engaging in the contracting business outweighs any harshness between the parties, and that such deterrence can best be realized by denying violators the right to maintain any action for compensation in the courts of this state…”

On appeal Cridlebaugh and JC Master Builders, Inc. argued that they were prejudiced by not being able to pursue offsets (for materials provided, services performed, and labor, etc.) on the disgorgement claim. The Court analyzed the longstanding history of the licensing statutes and determined that allowing unlicensed contractors to claim offsets for services would eviscerate or reduce the effectiveness of the preventative nature of the statute. Precluding unlicensed contractors attempts to claim offsets against disgorgement claims for materials supplied and services rendered was consistent with the statutory scheme.

Thus, an unlicensed contractor is precluded from recovering on their claims for breach of contract, they must return or disgorge all monies paid by a consumer to the unlicensed individual, and they are not entitled to any affirmative offsets for materials supplied and services rendered. The offset clarification cleared up some previous references to prior case law which pre-dated the 2001 amendment to B&P 7031(b), thereby eliminating any potential confusion or ambiguity.

Mony Dojeiji and Her 5000 Km Walk for Peace – Part II

Here is part 2 of Mony’s story who went from being a Microsoft sales executive to completing a pilgrimage on the world-famous Camino de Santiago, which made her decide to complete a 5000 km long Walk for Peace for 13 months through 13 countries. Click here to access part I of her fascinating story.

8. From Italy you continued on into the Balkan countries. Please comment on your pilgrim experience there. I believe that Croatia was a particularly unforgettable experience for you. Please tell us about your experience in the other Balkan countries.

We walked through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia/Hercigovina, and Serbia/Montenegro. Our experience in Croatia was the most intense. The people here embraced us totally. We were in the newspapers and on television. Their hospitality and desire to help us was incredible. Our message seemed to resonate especially strongly here, in a country recovering from their own war. It was also there that Alberto and I separated. He walked ahead to Medugorje, in Bosnia/Hercigovina with the agreement that I would only be a few days behind him. Medugorje is a village in Bosnia/Hercigovina where it is said that the Virgin Mary appeared to five young children about twenty years ago offering messages of peace at a time when the country was strife with war. The messages of peace continue to this day with a new message announced every month. Alberto wanted to arrive for the next message while I couldn’t walk that fast. We ended up being separated for over a month with no way of contacting the other. We only managed to speak twice during that entire time. He called me once to let me know that he had arrived safely. And I managed to finally contact him, after days of failed attempts, the evening before I was about to arrive in Medugorje.

Circumstances seemed to conspire to keep us apart. I fell ill a few days after we separated with an infection of the lymph nodes under my arms. I was told I may need surgery to drain them since they were badly infected and the doctor didn’t know if the antibiotics would be strong enough. In the end, they did work but I needed over two weeks to recover from it and to regain the strength to walk again. I was taken care of and welcomed by an incredible community in Brodarica where the priest of the local church took me into his home, brought me to doctors and medicine, and where the nuns there oversaw every step of my recovery. They appeared as angels in my way to help me at a time when I was alone.

That experience of being looked after and protected on my way gave me the confidence to continue walking alone. For Alberto as well, it was important for him to know that he can walk without me. We always felt more confident together knowing that a couple would be accepted easily and given accommodations. It was more difficult for people to trust in a young man walking alone and give him accommodations. His experiences were not always easy but he found angels along his way, just as I did, who stepped in and helped him when he needed it most. It was a valuable lesson for us being apart and one that reminded us that we enjoyed walking together but we didn’t need to do it. We would always be taken care of.

9. After the Balkan countries you went through Greece to Turkey. Please comment on this portion of the trip. What made the Turkey portion unique and different?

The Turkey portion was unique for several reasons. Physically, we were walking in Turkey in the summer, in temperatures of well over 40 degrees Celsius every day. We started walking at 5:00 in the morning so that we could finish by 10:00 at the latest, before it became too hot. The heat sapped all our energy and left us feeling drained most of the time. Emotionally, we had also started our romantic relationship. It had started at the end of Greece but intensified in Turkey. As in every new relationship, it brought out the best and worst in both of us. Culturally, we had left the Christian world and entered fully into the Muslim one. All of these factors combined made us turn more inwards, to focus more on ourselves and to only see only the negative in our situation. As a result, we attracted more negative experiences that directly reflected our beliefs. Because of judgments that we had about the Muslim world being more conservative and un-accepting of two single people walking together, we didn’t seek help in mosques, nor did we try to engage people as we did earlier in our walk. We were walking along the touristy Turkish coast, and felt that people saw us more as tourists than as pilgrims, and didn’t really care about our message or what we were doing. We felt they were more interested in our dollar value than in our true intentions. So of course, we attracted exactly the situations that reinforced those beliefs. It was an incredible lesson in watching how our thoughts and beliefs directly influenced what we attracting into our lives. It was exactly as we had been saying all along – we had the power to change the world through our thoughts and intentions. Once we saw what was happening, we could step away from it and try to heal the prejudices and misconceptions that we had about this world. It was when we did this that our experiences totally turned around and we were finally able to see the true heart of the Turkish people.

10. Please comment on the final portion of your route. How did you get to Jerusalem? You also referred to a unique coincidence (that maybe wasn’t so coincidental at all) related to the 12 gates of Jerusalem. Please comment on some of the other “coincidences” you experienced on this trip.

The final portion of our trip was into the Arab world. We walked through Syria, Lebanon and Israel. The Lebanese-Israeli border was the only border we could not cross on foot. It was physically closed with land mines and barbed wire blocking our way. We had to take a plane from Beirut to Cyprus, then to Tel Aviv. From there, we took the train north to Haifa to begin our walk again. We were deeply frustrated by this because we really felt the message of peace needed to cross at this specific border, site of so many hostilities and conflicts. But it wasn’t meant to be. From Haifa, we continued along the coast, then cut inland towards Jerusalem.

Our entire pilgrimage was a series of synchronicities, coincidences, and people arriving when we needed help. We do not believe in coincidences, but that all has a Higher Purpose which often eludes us, but that is always for the greatest good of all involved. We arrived in Jerusalem on December 24, 2003, Christmas Eve, completely unplanned. We walked to the old part of the city, which is surrounded by high ancient walls. We knew there were twelve gates, not all open, and decided to simply follow the road that led to the first gate on the way. We found ourselves in front of a huge arch called Bab Al Khalil, the Gate of Khalil. An Arab friend we had met during our walk had told us that the name Khalil meant Albert in English (or Alberto in Spanish). So after thirteen months of walking, we entered the Old City of Jerusalem through Alberto’s Gate! We were also fortunate enough to be able to go to Bethlehem that very evening and to be in the city where it all started. In a way, we were coming back to the beginning.

We also had another unusual coincidence during the last leg of our pilgrimage. During the entire walk, we always carried signs announcing what we were doing. In Israel, our signs said the word Peace in English, Arabic (Salam) and Hebrew (Shalom). The very day that we put on the signs, the letters started to fall off as we were walking. We tried to paste them on again, but it didn’t work. It was as if we weren’t meant to carry this sign to its final destination. It was a difficult thing to accept because for me especially, I felt this was where the sign was most needed. But upon later reflection, we realized that the outward message of peace had served its purpose. It had touched those who needed it. But now it was time for us to go inward, to focus on the inner journey of peace, to bring that energy into Jerusalem with us. We realized that the only way to bring peace into such a troubled area was not to shout it from the rooftops, but to live it in our everyday lives, in our actions towards the people who are like us and unlike us. The work of peace is an inner journey, people changing themselves and their attitudes and beliefs about their neighbors and the world they live in. They can then come to the world from this place of peace, acceptance, tolerance and openness. When they can be that peace that they wish to see, is when they can affect the most incredible change. When they can see the other point of view, when they can forgive themselves and their neighbors for their mutual acts of atrocity, when they can truly listen and have compassion for the other, that’s when true peace can be created.

7 Questions For Entrepreneur Success

In my past articles, I have written about how you can succeed by implementing tools that I have given you, such as, article marketing, video marketing, blog and Web design, email marketing, and advertising. In this article, we are going to take a step backwards and discuss the most important aspect of any affiliate marketing business and that is being an entrepreneur. Without further ado, here are 7 questions for entrepreneur success.

Think about this for a moment, you come up with a brilliant idea or product and decide to present it to your manager. Imagine what it would be like if your manager says it’s not a great idea but we are going in a different direction. So it’s time to take your idea or product and start your own home based business so that you can start making a profit from your idea.

Keeping the idea in your head will never come to fruition if you do not put it down on a piece of paper in form of the business plan so that you can start down the path to financial freedom. Here’s the question that most people ask themselves all the time what type of business would they go into.

Before you quit your day job, think about for a moment to reevaluate your current circumstance and what lies ahead of you, do not fool yourself on this part because you want to begin a new life and start earning money for yourself.

Many people fail to accomplish their dreams is because they cannot make up their mind on what they truly want in life. You, on the other hand, have that choice to become financially sound or not. As we go about each day of our life, we see all sorts of people with different dreams and goals, some want to be rich and some just want to get by. So which one are you?

Here is your first homework assignment as a brand-new affiliate marketing entrepreneur that I am going to give to, so listen up and grab a notebook and a pen or pencil to get started because I’m going to ask you seven questions that pertain to being an affiliate entrepreneur. I want you to submit your answers in the comments section below this article and tell me what it is that you truly want as an affiliate marketer, if you do not want to do this, it is okay to record your answers in your notebook for you to keep.

These seven questions that I’m going to ask you, I want you to answer them honestly, will help you figure out if you got what it takes to run a successful online Internet business. It is a very competitive field to get into, so these seven questions that I’m going to ask you will help light a fire in your heart and get you excited to launch your very own business. Keep in mind that those people who are wishy-washy will never succeed in this life because they are always changing their minds at the last minute. I do not want you to do this.

1. What kind of topic or hobby do you love to do that keeps you motivated and excited?

2. What is it that makes you happy the most?

3. What do you think about all day long?

4. What do you see yourself doing in the future?

5. What is it that you love to enjoy most?

6. What technique would you use to help you become a respected business leader?

7. What plans do you have for your business in the near future?

The answers that you write down to these 7 questions for entrepreneur success will be your guideline, even if they are silly answers, they help you achieve success in affiliate marketing. So, before you go to bed tonight, make sure that any decision that you make concerning your Internet Empire is set in stone.

Debt Relief – Understanding How Stimulus Monies Benefit Consumers in Debt

Government is working hand in hand with the public to get them debt relief. Government has launched different programs to stimulate liability elimination methods. Creditors were previously not ready to allow people get out of liability issues with the aid of liability elimination methods. But the debt relief programs, started by the government have persuaded them to go for the liability relief options. Government’s plans have not only provided relief to debtors, these programs have even provided relief to creditors. Due to all these debt relief plans, the economic situation of the country has started getting better. In this article I am going to talk about different government plans, and how these plans have helped the debtors and the creditors.

Different government debt relief plans include:

i. Tax breaks: Government has provided tax breaks on investments and profits earned. Due to this different liability relief programs have been used to get out of liability issues. Government has provided tax breaks to investors and that is why they have earned a lot of money and have been able to pay off their debts with the money earned. The creditors are even lending a lot of money due to these tax breaks on profits. Tax breaks have stimulated liability settlement, a liability relief program. People have earned money and settled their debts.

ii. Bailout plan: Government initiated a bailout plan; according to this plan the money lost by the creditors due to settling debt with the debtors will be given back to the creditors from the bailout plan. According to the liability settlement program, debtors are provided a discount of 60 to 70% on the original loan amount. This 60 to 70% is covered by the debtors, from the bailout plan. Creditors previously did not feel motivated to go for his method but now they are allowing debtors to settle debts because they are getting the remaining part of the money back.

iii. Government grant money: Government is providing money to debtors to pay off their debts. The debtors just have to fill out a proposal and application for the grant money and then these proposals and applications are reviewed by the federal government. If the federal government feels that the person filling out the proposal and application are eligible then they are provided with grant money. Grant money can be used to settle debt or pay of the entire debt amount. It can be used to start new businesses so people can earn money and pay their debt through that money. This way they will get debt relief and will be able to stand back on their feet.

Getting out of debt through a debt settlement process is currently very popular but you need to know where to locate the best performing programs in order to get the best deals. To compare debt settlement companies it would be wise to visit a free debt relief network which will locate the best performing companies in your area for free.