What can I do if my ex threatens me for more child support which I can't afford? 7 Answers as of September 04, 2013

My ex threatened to take me to court for more child support after 10 years if I don't sign a notarized statement saying she has the kids 100% of the time. My income is the same. She is mad I'm getting re-married. The kids come to my house every day after school. In addition, they are teens now and are always busy with friends and activities so they are never home. There is no parenting plan. Just verbal agreement. What are my legal parental repercussion if I do so? I don't want to look bad to my girls.

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Law Office of Brent R. Chipman
Law Office of Brent R. Chipman | Brent R. Chipman
Either parent can go back to court to have the court review a child support obligation. Even though you are not making any more money, the child support guidelines may have been amended or changed so that child support keeps up with changes in the cost of living. You could contact an attorney to see if there have been changes to the support guidelines and how those might apply to your situation. There is also a child support calculator on the court's website that you can use to determine if your child support obligation will change. You will have rights to have parent time with your children regardless of the amount of child support that is ordered. If there is no parenting plan in place, you can petition the court to modify the custody or the parent time and to have a parenting plan implemented to protect your interests.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 9/4/2013
Kevin H Pate
Kevin H Pate | Kevin H Pate
Smile politely and tell her that is her choice and if she makes the request you will respond to it in court. A change in support is going to be based on a material change in circumstances, e.g., you take on a new job or a raise to your income, or she has lost income. You do not suggest any of these type changes. You suggest the timing is because you are getting married to someone else. Without getting loud or abrasive to her at all, leave that alone for right now. Just acknowledge she can seek court approval for an increase if that suits her, but you do not agree to the request, you do not agree to sign away your parental rights and that is why there are courts. To resolve matters when people do not agree. If her request is denied and there doesn't seem to be any real basis for it, you may be able to request the court to order her to pay your expenses in opposing the increase she tried to obtain. You may not get it, but you can ask. The time to address her timing and her request to walk away from your kids is not on the phone with her or face to face prior to her taking action. It's after consulting with counsel on how best to make it clear to the court what you believe is really behind her request.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 9/4/2013
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
Keep in mind, a parent has a right to have child support reviewed every three years. That is not to state that the support will be increased. I would not sign an agreement that the children are with the mother 100% of the time because it will only hurt you. There is nothing to stop her from going to court in the future whether or not you sign the statement. It might be in your best interest to go to Court. Maybe you will need to modify the custody order if your girls want to spend more time with you. I would recommend retaining an attorney to give you your best chance of success.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/4/2013
Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson | Eric Johnson
Your situation is not unique, unfortunately. There are many ex-spouses ( and let's not be politically correct here; there are many ex-wives) who will try to use the children as pawns used to extort money from ex-husbands, retaliate against the ex-husbands offenses, whether real or merely perceived, and sometimes just to make life miserable for the ex-husband. A person like this is also someone who is probably comfortable with fabricating and spreading lies in the service of for extortionate and retaliatory schemes. DO NOT believe for one second that courts are terribly sympathetic to people like you. DO NOT assume that courts are even all that aware of people like you. DO NOT assume that courts will look upon life and sensational stories with skepticism. Protect yourself. Defend yourself. Prepare yourself. Keep the calendar of how often the children visit Bob and for how long during each visit. Make sure that your life and the way you live it is above reproach. Reduce all communication you have with your ex-wife to writing. This does not mean that you cannot have a phone call with her, but it does mean that if you have a phone call with her that you followed up with an e-mail reiterating what was discussed. You may want to approach her ex-wife about family counseling, so that the girls have a place to go where they can tear from their parents in the presence of the therapist or counselor who can raise any red flags if he or she believes a parent is being dishonest or manipulative. And then, get an attorney. The sooner the better. Forewarned is forearmed.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 9/4/2013
Welsh Law, LLC
Welsh Law, LLC | Michael Shane Welsh
Based on the facts you have set forth, I see no reason to sign a notarized statement agreeing to something that isn't true. If she persists, you can always take the dispute in front of the Court, or use the email/letter threat in defense if she takes you to Court.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/4/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Tell her to file and fight her. Idaho uses a formula for determining child support based on custody time and the income of both parents. Fight for your kids.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/4/2013
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    You need to consult with a family law attorney in your area as soon as possible. You should definitely not sign a document that is untruthful regarding the percentage of time you spend with your children, before discussing the issue with legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/4/2013
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