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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 110400
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I had a court hearing yesterday to establish child support

Resolved Question:

I had a court hearing yesterday to establish child support for my son. My wife and I are separated, she lives in Michigan, I live in Florida. I'm currently unemployed. Since I quit my job voluntarily (but because of health reasons; high stress causing high blood pressure and anxiety) in June, the court ordered me to pay based on my old salary and stated that I could do this or similar work again. My concern is that I won't be able to make these payments, is there a way for me to get this reduced?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Unfortunately, what the court has done here is imputed income based upon your voluntary unemployment without good cause, since evidentally you did not produce detailed enough medical records to the court to prove that there was a medical necessity preventing you from working. If you are medically incapcitated from work then you would need to pursue a Social Security Disability claim and you will need your doctor to prepare detailed records as to how you are prevented from working because of your medical condition and you would need a Social Security Disabilty lawyer (the get their payments through SS for the appeals) to pursue the claim if it gets denied. As part of you SS benefits, if you qualify, there is a child support benefit as well. If not, I am afraid the court is not going to be very concerned about how you pay as long as you pay and you can file an appeal on the judgment from yesterday (you have 10 days to file notice of appeal with the court and you file that with a motion for reconsideration and then 30 days to complete filing the appeal if the court denies the motion for reconsideration). At this point it would be in your best interest to get an attorney, even though you are in a depressed financial state, and you can go to legal aid and also call the state bar and ask for the pro bono attorneys in the area for assistance.

If the appeal is denied, I am afraid you are going to have to file you SS disability or you are going to have to find some job to make the payments. As I said, courts are not very sympathetic to parents who owe a duty of child support and will not show much compassion for someone in your situation. The only concern the courts have is for the care of the children.

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