Lower Child Support Payments
I need to know how to lower child support payments. I was in an abusive marriage for almost 9 years; fear kept me in the marriage; my now ex-husband threatened me with everything from death to taking my children away from me. In Feb 2007; sadly I chose to end my marriage by confessing to an affair. When I went to talk to my now ex-husband the next day, I found a drunk, angry man....he convinced me to stay the night to attempt to "find a solution" to this crisis.
The next morning, he asked if I was ready to tell him who I had been seeing; for fear of this other man's life (he had stated straight out when he found out who he was he'd kill him) I did not divulge this information. My ex husband then stated to me "Fine, I guess you'll be going to jail". Not having broken any laws, I thought he was continuing to try and control me with fear.
Much to my surprise he had me arrested later that day for domestic violence; the warrant signed by an officer who just happened to be a personal friend of my now ex-husband. 27 hours after being arrested for domestic violence I was released after my parents hired an attorney to help me.
By this time he had already filed for temporary custody of my 3 children (only 2 of which are his - I had a daughter from a previous relationship when I met this man). He was granted temporary custody at that time. For the next 3 months, even though I had supervised visitation set up through the courts, he did not allow me to see my children.
When I asked for help I was told it was a matter for family court and I would have to wait for a court date. In the mean time, in March 2007 he had me arrested again for violating a protection from abuse order; this occurred after he had been following me, and pulled into the gas station; I yelled at him, telling him to stop following me, to stop calling me, and to tell his family to stop calling and following me.
This time, I was held in jail for 3 days, was not allowed to make a phone call. When we next went to court, I requested a forced DNA test (he was claiming my daughter who was 1 year old before I met this man was his own); the court ordered a DNA test. Upon our next court appearance; the DNA test had not been done; when my attorney questioned this, the judge "reviewed" the previous court records and claimed he had never ordered a DNA test.
In Dec 2007; the judge convicted me of the domestic violence charges and sentenced me; even though his "witnesses" had changed their stories (most were not even present the day he alleged the incident occurred). It never went before a jury of my peers. This all occurred in a small county in Alabama, where there is very much a "good old boys club" mentality.
My ex husband has numerous connections through a business his grandparents founded in the county decades ago. After 2 1/2 years battling in court for my children, I realized it
was beyond hope. I haven't seen my sons since Oct 2009; I continue to see my daughter (still with supervised visitation after 4 years). I was laid off from my job in Oct 2010; despite searching desperately; I am still unemployed; my current child support obligation in $906 per month.
My unemployment check after taxes was $238 per week. When they began garnishing that, they began taking $132 per check; leaving me with a meager $106 per week. When I knew the end of my job was near, I notified the case worker for my child support with a date for my last day of employment. I was instructed to call back upon that day for instructions.
On Oct 22, 2010 I called my case worker to inform him that I no longer had employment. He had me come to his office straight away to file the necessary paperwork for modification; at this point I was told it would likely be January before I would receive a court date. With continued unemployment, and very little money coming in, I knew I would soon be evicted from my apartment.
My fiance's sister offered to let us stay with her in Arizona while we were trying to get back on our feet. I again contacted my case worker to notify him that eviction was imminent and that I had no choice but to leave the state, I asked if it would be possible for a modification if I was out of state; I was told that yes, that could be done. He informed me at that time a hearing had been held in early December, I never received notification of this so I did not know to attend. In early January 2011, I left Alabama to move to Arizona.
There was a court date set, I called my case worker again to see what had happened and was informed that the judge said I would have to appear in court before a decision was made. At this point, I had been in Arizona a couple of weeks, my car had blown up; all my money had been spent just to get to AZ; I simply had no way to get back to AL.
Another court date was set as I was trying to get back to AL; it was held 2 days before I received my income tax refund and was able to get a greyhound bus ticket back to AL. Having no home; I found myself staying in a hotel, which quickly went through the rest of my money. Now that I'm back in the state, my case worker tells me the judge "may or may not" decide to hear my case; and tells me to "just hang on a couple months".
I can not "hang on"; I find myself living in an old, run down camper trailer; no hot water. All my $106 per week they leave me with goes into the gas tank for job searches. I called the capitol of the state looking for guidance on what to do and I'm told to contact the county my case is in. I don't know what to do or where to turn. I can not keep living this way; I'm not left with enough for anyone to survive on. Please help.