On April 17, 2014, I attended the Judicial Case Conference with my lawyer and my husband and his lawyer. The JCC is a requirement before moving forward with a trial. It is in front of a judge and we get his opinion without it being binding. Any settlement of any of the issues at the JCC have to be by consent of both parties.
The judge was late so it gave my lawyer an opportunity to discuss matters with my husband’s lawyer. Dave’s lawyer was already in breach of the law because he failed to provide my husband’s sworn F8 (financial statement) within 10 days of the proceedings. He sent it 2 days before so we didn’t have as much time as would have been beneficial to go over all the figures.
Dave always maintained that he shouldn’t have to pay support based on his 2102 income tax statement. He said it was an anomaly that he made as much as he did that year. He told me the longer I waited to settle with him the more time he had to prove that his income would be at least $20,000 less annually. He emailed me in January 2014 to tell me that he didn’t get a bonus for last year because claims were down (he’s an insurance adjuster.) I assumed that he would not be billing out files and trying to purposely make his income lower. So I was very surprised when he had to produce his 2013 tax statement and actually made $20,000 more than he did in 2012!
The proceeding was supposed to go from 2 – 3 p.m. We were there until 4:40 p.m. and it was the day before a long weekend. Nothing was resolved. My husband simply does not want to pay any spousal or child support.
I wrote down some of the things that the judge said to my husband: “Nobody gets a free ride.” “It is interesting to me that historically your employment income has inclined over the years and yet you are so pessimistic about future earnings.” Responding to Dave’s story on why his earnings will be lower, “It seems like a fanciful explanation to me.” “You need to look at it as not sustaining her living but paying your share.” “The court uses gross figures, not net. You have to trust in the magic of the calculation that you will be taxed at a lower income bracket as you receive a tax credit for spousal support.”
My lawyer did tell me that Dave “wins the asshole of the year award.”
A trial has been set for November 3 – 7. My lawyer is hoping we can settle prior to that time. She did obtain a court order for Dave to provide his bank statements from the date of separation to present, his full income tax returns, his business expense statements and his credit card statements. I have to provide the same.