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Elizabeth Powell
Elizabeth Powell, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 127
Experience:  Washington State
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I was divorced from my husband after 25 years of marriage.

Customer Question

I was divorced from my husband after 25 years of marriage. In 2001, when he unexpectedly left home with a girlfriend, he told everyone that he had lost all of our money in the stock market. My attorney said that it was too expensive to ''look'' into the situation and after a year and a settlement with a mediator we were divorced. We have joint custody of our youngest son, who lives with me in another state. Soon after the divorce settlement, cashing all martial assets to pay taxes on several million dollars that were supposedly lost, he moved into a new, 4600 square foot home with a new wife. He owns 3 Mercedes and 5 Rolex watches. He has his own company in Ky and spends lots of money.   My question do I go about getting an increase in of child support? He won''t pay dr. bills for his son or car insurance. What about college? Our unfair settlement states that all support ends when my son is 18. After 25 years of marriage, at age 57, I will have no means of support. Help
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Elizabeth Powell replied 8 years ago.

Sorry to hear that this happened to you. When an order of child support is in place, generally there are state law provisions that allow you to move the Court to modify the order when the circumstances of the non-moving party (here, your ex) have changed such that it is no longer just and equitable that the previous order continue to be the order. This is called a support modification.

You might want to look for an attorney that is a little bit more confident with their litigation skills. Every state has civil rules that provide that each party can ask the other party questions about their income, expenses, liabilities, assets, etc. This is relevant to the issue at hand (e.g. whether the support order is correct or incorretly set) and necessary. Courts can award a requesting party attorney fees, especially when the party whose information is sought is clearly evading the truth. There are forensic accountants who earn a good living doing nothing but ferreting out assets that people don't want to show the Court. KY may also have a way for you to request post secondary (college) support for your boy. Car insurance is a huge expense when teens are added to your policy ( as you know well).

You can get certified copies of the KY order exemplified to SC and pursue the matter on your home grounds, as you and the child live there. The better organized your financial records are, the easier this is going to be.

But don't think of this as a hopeless case. It isn't. But if he's being that difficult, don't share your thoughts or requests with your ex, lawyer up and have at it. Also, get references and really seek out an attorney who understands this problem and is prepared to do the discovery to get the answers you need.

Hope this helps. XXXXX XXXXX

Elizabeth Powell and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ms. Powell, Thank you for your input. How do I find an attorney with good litigation skills and how do I get references for an attorney who "understands this problem". I don't know anyone locally who can give me this kind of information and haven't the slightest idea where to start.
Expert:  Elizabeth Powell replied 8 years ago.

Here are a few leads I can give you - go to your county courthouse. Go to the law library. Ask the librarian to point you towards the continuing legal education materials on family law. Go open last year's book, see what topics were addressed. See who the authors are. Those are the highly regarded matrimonial law attorneys. Call them. If their staff says, "we can't help you" ask the staff who they would recommend.

Google "Charleston matrimonial lawyers". That should bring up the local link for the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, an invitation - only group that will contain the cream of the cream of family law attorneys.

Third idea: When you are at the courthouse, ask the clerk when the family law motion docket is being heard (it may be called something else). Go watch. It is public. This is very revealing, because a lawyer's ability and presence is much more than their marketing.

You need to find an attorney who understands you and whom you respect. Hope this helps you find the right one! XXXXX XXXXX

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