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Woman Loses Marital Support after Belly Dancing

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pasadena alimony attorneys have been coming across more and more instances of people complicating their other divorce proceedings, child support or alimony matters through uninhibited opinions expressed via social media.  In an example of this, a New York woman who blogged about her love for belly dancing after she claimed that she needed marital support because of a back injury, has lost her claim for maintenance.

The woman, Dorothy McGurk had requested for $850 in support from her ex-husband.  She had worked as a legal secretary before the divorce, but she claimed that she had been unable to return to work because of a car accident she had been involved in on her second wedding anniversary.  The accident she alleged, had left her with at least two back injuries, and she constantly needed pain medications.  Before the divorce trial, the judge awarded her $850 in maintenance.

However, that maintenance payment began to look quite shaky after the judge saw blog posts in which McGurk waxed eloquent about her love for belly dancing.  In some posts, she mentioned that she'd “danced herself silly”, and in others, she mentioned that she danced every day.  Once the dancing habit was revealed in court, McGurk tried to claim that she had been prescribed belly dancing as a form of physical therapy by her doctor.  However, her doctor denied any knowledge of this.

A New York judge has now denied her request for $850 in marital support a month.

It is the first piece of advice Pasadena divorce lawyers would give anybody who's even considering a divorce - if you like to blog, stop blogging immediately.  If you're on Facebook, shut down your account and if you're on Twitter, cease tweeting.  On the Internet, on social media like blogs, and social networking sites like Facebook, it's too easy for a person to feel anonymous.  Unfortunately, this could prove disastrous to your divorce proceedings or your alimony or marital support claim.

Sacramento County Shows Great Improvement in Child Support Collection

Friday, February 04, 2011

The California Department of Child Support Services recently recognized the child support collection agency in Sacramento County for having made the greatest improvement in child support collections. Sacramento County has an impressive overall performance in child support collections among all the large counties in California. According to estimates, in 2010, the Sacramento County collection agency collected $105 million in payments.

California family lawyers may find Sacramento County’s performance even more impressive, considering that child support collections in California fell dramatically last year. In 2010, the state of California collected $2.2 billion in child support payments, a sharp 1% drop from the previous year. Additionally, 57.7% of California's child support cases were reported as being in arrears at some point during 2010. That rate is up from 56.2% in 2009.

There was also a sharp drop in child support collections through wage withholding, which continues to be one of the biggest ways of collecting child support payments. Such payments fell 5.5% from 2009. There was also an increase in child support payments collected through unemployment checks, by 62%.

All of these estimates have simply reflected the dismal state of the economy in California, which continues to struggle with an unemployment rate that is at least 2% higher than in the rest of the country. There are simply more numbers of people receiving unemployment checks in California, and child support payments tend to be easier to collect through unemployment checks.

The state of child support payments in California also mirrored the national picture. For the fiscal year ending September 30th, 2009, the total collections amounted to $26.4 billion, a decline from .7% from the previous year.

 

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