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Fraudulent Tax Returns and Child Support

Carolyn Woodruff

Dear Carolyn,

I have an example of corruption that exists in the family court system in North Carolina. My ex-wife is requesting increased child support. When I requested all of her financial documents, she provided fraudulent tax returns to the courts in order to gain increased child support payments from me. When I advised the judge of the fraudulent tax returns and proof that I had as far as lease for rental property that she claimed zero income for two out of three years, the judge’s comment was she is not the IRS; therefore allowing felony fraud to be committed in her courtroom and participating in a conspiracy to commit felony fraud.

Dear Exposing Corruption,

Your saga is one of my favorite topics, so thank you for calling Sound of the Beep. It is unclear to me if you are in Guilford County, as we technically do not have a “family court system” in Guilford. Randolph County does have a Family Court. It also sounds like you are representing yourself.

When you are going to challenge someone’s income tax return, you must provide convincing and complete evidence. For example, you might compel the attendance of the renter of the real estate to court and ask the renter to bring with him copies of rental payments to your ex. You do this with a document called a subpoena. You might provide photos of the rental property with the renter’s car in the driveway, and the deed to the rental property. Perhaps, your ex-deposited the rental payments into her checking account; thus, obtaining and presenting the checking account statements would help your situation. Obtaining via subpoena the electricity records and water bills from the providers for the three years in question would show that someone was in the rental house and probably would even provide the name of the renter. What you must have in a situation like this is lots of corroborating (or confirming) evidence.

If you simply went to court and said, “I know she has rental income” without some proof, the judge might rightly ignore you. But you also had the right to cross-examine your ex regarding her rental property, who the renter is, and how much the renter pays her per month. You had the right to call your ex to the witness stand and ask her about the rental income. Did you do this?

You also have a Rule 60 Motion you could file within one year of the court date you describe. The Motion would allege the fraud. Rule 60 permits the judge to correct the injustice of the missing rental income. But, make doubly sure you have issued the subpoena you need to prove your case.

On another note, you might simply turn your ex into the IRS and try to get the ten percent finder’s fee. That might be fun!

Don’t give up, and you probably need a family law attorney to help with the proof of income. Make sure the attorney is competent in income tax proof issues.

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Note that the answers in “Ask Carolyn” are intended to provide general legal information, and the answers are not specific legal advice for your situation. The column also uses hypothetical questions.  A subtle fact in your unique case may determine the legal advice you need in your unique case.  Also, please note that you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with Carolyn J. Woodruff by writing or having your question answered by “Ask Carolyn.”

This blog is adapted from a previous Ask Carolyn published in The Rhino Times.

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