Modification of alimony and child support


#1

I am the dependent spouse. My income has dropped significantly since the Orders were issued in 2005. In fact, my income has never nor will ever reach the Court’s projected income for me which was not enough in the first place. This issue was brought before the Court in the past, but the judge refused to make any changes. Now, I have a chance to get a different judge, but don’t have the money to pay another attorney. I suppose I could try to do this myself, but I need to get the ex’s financial information. (He makes a pile of money). I know I will never get it on my own! Currently, my income is down several thousand dollars and I have never been able to live remotely close to the “former standard”. I lost my house, my ability to save any money, ability to not make any payments of any kind, country club membership, expensive vacations. I was awarded 7% of his income. He’s a physician and I’m a school teacher who was out of work for 20 years. My current income is about l6% of the former household income so you can imagine that I am not living anywhere close to where I did. I sold my house and am using that to make ends meet. It won’t last forever. Is it possible that he might have to pay my attorney fees since this involves alimony and child support? Or should I just continue to try to do the best that I can? I’m 54 years old and my future looks very bleak. I hate living like this, but I guess it could be worse. Thanks.


#2

If the court imputed income to you at a certain level, that may not change, however if your income has dropped even lower you may attempt to file a motion to modify alimony based on a substantial change in circumstances. You may conduct discovery to collect the documents you need from your ex. I strongly suggest that you at least meet with an attorney for a consultation before moving forward. He or she can advise you, based on the specifics facts of your case, and let you know if this is worth pursuing. If you do move forward it is best not to go it alone, if you are successful in your motion, you may be entitled to have a court order your ex to reimburse you for attorney’s fees.