Back Child Support Or Arrears

(Georgia, USA)

Matt - noncustodial parent, divorced in 2003, $500/mnth court ordered child support

Kelly - custodial parent, ex wife
Jacob - Matt and Kelly's son
Bridget - myself, the current wife of Matt
Eli - Matt and Bridget's son

Matt has been paying $500 per month from 2003 to November 2009 consistently every month. We have every other weekend visitations.

As of October 2008, Matt's working began to slow down. He is a self employed general contractor. We still hung in there but were pregnant with our son, Eli. Eli was born in May 2009. At the time we were still paying every month as ordered. As of July 2009, we were forced to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We were still paying on time. We lost our house and car. We moved to a rental home where daycare was much cheaper. Matt's work still had not picked up and was getting worse. As of December 2009, we could no longer make the $500 payment.

Matt had been contracted by a company who was no longer using him to do the work but using friends and family instead. By June 2010, Matt was getting little to no work at all. Within 14 months, (december 2009 to present day), Matt has brought in $14,000 which still has not been taxed (1099 will be issued).

As his wife, I am forced to take care of our son, my husband, and my stepson by myself. I make $17 per hour working full time. I have tried to send the ex wife money each month out of my paychecks. I have ranged from $50 to $250 depending on the bills and expenses for the month.

We are currently $4000.00 (estimated) in arrears. My husband has actively looked for work and may have a job coming in the upcoming week through a temp agency to work nights (3rd shift) making $10.50 per hour.

Is it possible to be "cleared" of the back child support since clearly he was unable to pay and I did try to pay some? Not to mention, have it lowered? I feel as though my son and I are having to live like a single mom family. Can't the court see how me as the current wife needs assistace as well? Not to mention my husband is now leaving us every night to work a job that is close to minimum wage just to be able to bring in something?

His ex wife is remarried, just purchased a huge new home, a new car, goes on vacations, bought a big screen tv for Christmas, and seems to be living well. I know she pays $65 per week for daycare and the stepfather has the son on his insurance with his other children from another marriage.

Please help. I know there is a clause of first families first... but how fair is it for the current family? We count too, right? I dont want my child to suffer so that my husbands ex wife can continue to shop for cruises and boats. My stepson complains during his visits of us not having a big house like his mom's,or not having a new car like hers, or not being to go anywhere to do anything. Its very stressful.

Please help... can we lessen or clear the arrears? can we lower the child support?

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