There is a rather simplistic report floating around the Internet today concerning the child support case between Sheree Whitfield and Bob Whitfield. This case has always been a complicated one ever since Bob filed the case back in June of 2011. Before I begin, it is important to remember that Sheree did not take Bob to court for child support issues because he was in arrears. Bob took Sheree to court for her contempt of previous court orders (namely stealing $200,000 worth of furniture), and for a child support reduction since she was, at the time he filed, making more money than he was. The long version of all this can be read here. Again, remember Bob Whitfield is the plaintiff in this case.
So back in June of last year, Bob goes to court over the financial arrangements between the two. A 30-day domestic relations conference was set for the two to work things out without a judge. The courts are overwhelmed and try really hard to force warring spouses to come to some sort of agreement. They did not reach an agreement at the 30 day conference. So they set another conference for 60 days. No dice. All in all there were three 60 day conferences after the initial 30 day conference without the two parties coming to an agreement. The last 60 day conference was in January of this year. So an actual trial was set for late August. I had intended to attend that trial but I ended up having to take my dog out of town for a vet appointment. There was no judgement at that trial which indicates someone, probably Bob, asked for more time to get information together. I should point out here that Bob is representing himself in this entire ordeal while Sheree lawyered up.
This brings us up to the Friday before last when the trial resumed again. The headlines read something like “Sheree Whitfield Wins $75,000 in Child Support in Court Case.” Oh Yeah? Not so fast. Remember BOB is the plaintiff who is requesting a reduction in payments based on changes in salaries. Sheree is refusing to mediate. Bob has stopped paying. Are you with me so far? Good. So for 38 months, Bob did not pay child support. He was supposed to pay $2,142 a month for those 38 months for a total of $81,396. Sorry. but there will be math. This is why other sites have it all wrong.
Now let’s look at the judge’s order. Bob was ordered to pay Sheree $75,000 within 30 days for the 38 months. Under the original order he owed $81,396. That’s a net win of $6,396 for Bob, not even considering the interest that money earned over three years. But wait, there’s more. The judge also ruled that Bob only has to pay $1,000 a month for the next year. He should have paid $25,704 in the next year to Sheree but will only pay $12,000. There’s another $13,704 that stays in Bob’s pocket. In total Bob came out $20,100 ahead. But wait, there’s more. The judge did not award attorneys fees to Sheree. So she has to pay those herself. Remember, Bob was pro se so he has no attorney fees. So Sheree owes her attorney at the very, very least $25,000. So Sheree actually lost about 45K in this deal. Also, no mention was made in the articles online regarding what Sheree may owe for her contempt of court. She may in fact be ordered to pay Bob something for that, we don’t know, I haven’t read the entire judgement.
Now I hear y’all saying, “But, but, but Bob is an awful person for doing this! What about those poor children living on blow-up mattresses and eating processed cheese product on national television!?” Bob has a very generous custody agreement with regard to the kids and sees them often both here and in LA. He buys them the things they need when he is with them. He is not an absentee father. Also, Sheree got 1.1 million dollars in the original divorce settlement. She wasted it all on attorneys when she took her appeal all the way to the Supreme Court asking for more. When she got her settlement, she spent it on an Astin Martin, which was seized by the court to pay her attorneys, rented Birkin bags and other status items for herself. Bob even gave her hundreds of thousands of dollars from the settlement early so she could buy a house for the kids but Sheree did not buy a house. Instead she blew the money while her kids slept on air matresses in a rental unit. Bob knew full well the money was not going to the kids. So for that, I say, “More power to him.” I hope her lawyer got paid in advance…
Do you agree?