Child Support Arrears Response To Modify
I do not have an attorney and need advice. By way of background, my ex-husband is the NCP and is 5 months in arrears with child support, alimony, medical expense reimbursement (for the kids) as well as other items ordered by the Divorce Decree. Child Support Enforcement was going to suspend his driving privileges and he said he would enter the Fatherhood Program so they temporarily stopped enforcement. They sent him an invitation which he did not respond to. He then contacted them and refused to enter the Fatherhood Program and they told him he had 2 days to make a payment which he did (payment of $1,000 - he is $7,200 in arrears with child support). I have also filed for Abandonment (criminal) and we have a hearing set. I also prepared the documents to file for Contempt.
Today, I received a Motion to Modify Child Support based on his lack of earnings. He claims he lost a good client, however he is self-employed and there is no way to verify this. Any P&L's are based on his numbers so that is not verifiable either. There is no evidence he has any issues with money based on his lifestyle with the kids. He has an expensive boat which he has out with the kids and all their friends when he has them (not to mention he hasn't lost the boat yet). He has taken the kids on 2 summer vacations, etc. He has a history of claiming no money and was ordered incarcerated when we proved that was not true. Unfortunately now that we are divorced, I no longer have the ability to prove or disprove his financial situation.
We originally agreed upon child support at mediation on 8/13/08 and the Divorce Decree was entered 2/09 in Fulton County, GA. My ex-husband filed the Motion in Fulton County and I filed for Abandonment in Fulton County. The Abandonment hearing is scheduled 8/17 and the scheduling conference for the Motion is set for 9/7.
I have a few questions:
What is the best way to fight the Modification? I am representing myself and I want to be sure that I don't involve a bunch of useless items that the Judge doesn't care about.
Do I need to respond to the Motion? I believe I do but I would like to verify.
Can I still file a Motion for Contempt?
Any advice/suggestions/help would be great! Thanks so much.