Can I get custody modification if my ex is in the military? 14 Answers as of June 02, 2011

I have had a child support order for 4 years now. I was getting ready to file a modification for support increase when I found out he has been activated for the third time overseas. Each time he earns a substantial amount more in income. Should I just file a temporary motion for timesharing due to military service as a means of temporarily increasing his support amount while on active duty? He is currently behind on support because he has chosen voluntarily to do extra reserve duty in order to earn more income then from his civilian job. There is no income from his civilian job to pay support and when he receives his military pay he intentionally does not pay support. He basically tells me too bad, yet he makes more money on reserve duty. He told me if I try to raise his support he would sue me for custody. That will never happen. I have been her primary caretaker for 8 years; this includes his two previous 18-month deployments.

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
You should file the motion to modify and file for contempt due to his willful failure to pay. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/2/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
If you have a current support order you can activate an income assignment against his military pay to enforce that order. If you think the current support obligation should be higher because his income on active duty is higher, you can file to modify the child support order to a higher amount if a higher amount is supported by the new facts. Until the existing order is modified by a court order, he stills whatever the original order says and his failure to pay anything because he is on active duty is not justified. He clearly owes the arrearages and can be held in contempt of court for failure to pay. His threats to "sue for custody" is a typical response from someone whose anger only exceeds his ignorance of the law and you should not be intimidated by that threat.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/1/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
The answer to your question is in your question - file for contempt for failure to pay, get a temporary increase based on the deployment status - though you are going to run afoul the Soldier's and Sailor's Relief Act, so beware and DO NOT call his chain of command. I was the adjutant for MWSS-274 for a couple years, it will get results, but most likely not the ones you hope for. Instead, get a Court Order, then have your lawyer (preferably one who understands the Chain of Command) get the order served on his S-1 via the Command SgtMaj (via the XO if he is an officer). BTW: I always tell my clients, if you just go to court, go with clean hands. Never show up wanting something when you owe something, and never ask the Court for something if you have been annoying the other side's employer or withholding visitation/support, etc. in an attempt to seek self-help.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/1/2011
Vermeulen Law office P.A.
Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
Child support laws vary by state. You should contact the child support enforcement agency in your jurisdiction to determine the status of child support at this time. Then you should consult with an attorney who can advise you what steps to take next in pursuing support payments. If there is not an existing custody and/or child support order, this may have to be obtained prior to pursuing the support issue.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/1/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
I agree with you, an active duty soldier is not going to get custody of children. I also think you should consider filing a motion to increase the child support. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/1/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    I am not certain I understand the question. If there has been a change in income, it may warrant a modification of child support. If that has occurred, you may wish to file a motion in that regard.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    When he is on active duty, you should contact the military; they are very good about making sure his child support is paid. I would file immediately for a modification of child support if it was justified. Once he has gone active it may not be possible. You need to get advice and hire a lawyer quickly.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    You need to find an attorney who is conversant in both civilian courts and enforcing judgments against soldiers. My experience is that when the soldier's supervisor properly is informed about what the baby father is pulling, things will change.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    The support should be based on his income so if the new amount would be a sum that is greater than 15% of the current award then you should be able to get an increase.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You can go for a modification of support and custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Contact your local county Department of Child Support Services for free assistance with enforcing or modifying child support. You can start by going here: . You can also find your local branch here: You also have the option to hire a local family law lawyer to help with enforcement and/or modification. However, that will not be free, as most lawyers charge approximately several hundred to more an hour. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, you can contact the Division of Child Support to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You have several issues here. First, yes you can file for a modification, although if he is deployed, it will likely delay the modification until he returns. Second, if he is working for the military, then you can file and serve a wage garnishment to get your support directly from the military. As for his threat, there is nothing from stopping him from filing for a modification now, so I see no reason to not file because it will anger him. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
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