Laid Off And Child Support Payments Reduced

by Brent Means "VIP MEMBER".................
(anthony, ks)

I have been paying $1050/month for 3 kids since 2002. I dont believe that this amount was ever correct, but didnt have an attorney, and have just paid (deducted from paycheck) I also provide thier health insurance through my employer ($300/month). 3 weeks ago, i was laid off. unemployment will pay $435/week. insurance will now be $776/month without employer contribution. I was paid $21.00/hr when working, but after deductions for support, ins, and taxes, was taking home $172.00/week. insurance will be $172.44/week and support is $242.31/week, totaling $414.75/week leaving approx $21.00/week for me to live on. this does not include income tax, so I'm in the hole each week.

There are additional issues such as turning the kids against me, and my new wife, denial of visitation in my home, (mostly because i live 50 miles away, and ex wife hates new wife). I also do not get to claim any children on taxes (she let me claim 1 once or twice, years ago). I have also discovered, and she admits freely,that one of the kids, 12 years old, is most likely not mine. I didn't learn this, or suspect it until he was 10. I realize that I'm raising issues that may have to be dealt with separately, my main, and immediate concern is making payments fair and affordable while I'm unemployed. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly what her income is, but I've heard her tell the kids she brings home $700.00/2 weeks. can i file for modification? how long will that take? what do i do about payments i cant afford in the meantime?

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Child Support V.I.P. Question
by: CSA Staff

Hello Brent,

Thank you for your question. First things first were you two ever married? Were the visitation and child support payments established in a divorce decree?

YES you should request a modification immediately!!! Contact your caseworker and get the process started right away. Explain the emergency situation you are in. If the caseworker stalls then you can file with the courts YOURSELF for only court costs. This will go before a judge and may actually be faster. Contact your local family county clerk of courts and ask about the procedure of you filing yourself for only court costs. You do not need an attorney to do this on your own. Your ex will need to provide her income as well as they will look at your new income. The amount will go down drastically. What you can do in the meantime is try and pay the full amount as best as you can. At least still continue to "pay something" towards the support. Even if it is not the full amount, this does show good faith on your behalf that you did attempt to pay something, in spite of your economic hardship.
When it does get modified they will backdate the "new payment amount" to when the modification was filed.

Now you can get a court order to claim the children every other year on the income taxes. If there was a divorce decree then you will need to get that decree amended. If there was no decree then you can bring this issues up as well when you go to court about the modification. IF you file yourself. (which may be better for you in the long run because you can address multiple issues to the judge.)

The issue with the child that may not be yours. You should get a DNA test. There are actually over the counter tests or you can look online in your city and there are facilities that can do it for you. If there is a doubt then you should get a test. It is important you know now. You could potentially sue her for the past support you paid if proven he is not yours.

You also need to address the visitation issues. You need a "court order". A judge can order for you each to meet halfway. (25 miles for each of you). You again can file this yourself with the courts. Call your county family courts and ask the filing fee and paperwork for visitation issues. Do not allow her to dictate when you can see your children. Establish a court order and then she cannot pull these games. It really is too bad if she does not like your new wife. With a court order, she has to meet you with your children. If she does not comply then she will be in contempt of court. Take back the power! You do have rights and you have to fight to exercise them. We wish you well!

CSA Staff

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