One year ago my current husband asked me to marry him. The very next day his ex-wife (who is remarried and has been for 2 years prior) had what she calls a mental breatkdown. She contends that it had nothing to do with our engagement or marriage, but the timing seems ironic. She was previously working full time selling insurance and making an average of $32000 a year. My husband had custody of their two children and received $500 a month in child support. They didn’t have a court order. This was just an agreement.
After her “breakdown” she unilaterally decided she would no longer pay child support and she threatened on many occassions to take the kids and never bring them back. My husband filed a motion for give him custody and order her to pay child support. After the motion was filed she quit her job.
She has now been unemployed for almost a year except for a job she took for 2 months with another insurance agency. She also quit this job. During the last year she has been seeing a psychiatrist and has now had herself diagnosed as bipolar. She says she can’t work and has now begun to receive disability payments from a disability policy she took out through her work, conveniently two weeks prior to her “breakdown”. She took out the policy effective March 1, 2004 and quit her job the end of March and begun filing for disability in May.
In the end she and my husband filed an agreed motion. She would have visition every other weekend and would pay $300 child support for six months to let her get back on her feet. In Jan 2005 it was to go back to the original $500. She agreed to all of these terms. At thet ime she had no job, was diagnosed bipolar, and had no income.
When the child support was to go up in January to $500 she called and informed my husband she wasn’t going to pay it. In the end she did but filed a motion to show cause on him for visitation violations that never took place. He in turned filed a motion to show cause because she refused to pay child support on time from the date the order was signed and she refused to keep him updated on her mental health/mental health treatment which was an agreement written into the agreed order.
Two weeks ago she filed on her own a motion to reduce her child support. There have been no substation changes since June 22, 2004, when she signed the agreed order. The only change that has occured is the fact that now she is bringing in $850 a month in disability whereas in June of last year she had nothing. She claims that she can’t work, but on numerous occassions has told us in taped conversations that she was allowed to work part time but would make more money on disability than she would if she went to work. Thus her policy is good for up to 60 mths and she intends to ride it all the way.
On top of all of this, one of the children my husband has custody of is autistic and has special needs.
It is our belief that this whole “mental illness” issue is fabricated. She had never been diagnosed prior to our engagement and had never stated to anyone she was ill. Her treatment started last March yet prior to that she worked full time and was very successful in her career. She never showed any signs of stress or mental instability nor did she claim to any of this.
What are the chances to show that she is willfully suppressing her income in order to get out of child support? Do we have a chance to show the time line of facts to the judge to show the “coincidentals” of this case? Also, if there is no substantial change in her circumstances or ours, can this be dismissed. We can no longer afford an attorney, and she has never used on. The legal system has become her hobby. Is it wise to handle this on our own and do we have a chance legally? Thanks.