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Michael J, Esq.
Michael J, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 3426
Experience:  Licensed Attorney - represented hundreds of clients in criminal cases, family law disputes, traffic issues, and general legal issues. Youth Court Prosecutor.
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I have been paying my ex-wife $700 a month for two years and

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I have been paying my ex-wife $700 a month for two years and have two more to go. As part of the divorce she got the house and the two loans that went with it. She was to refinance within 12 months to get my name off it but didn't get it done. Now she has defaulted on the mortgage and hasn't made a payment in 12 months. That's $2300 in her pocket every month because she still lives there. The bank hasn't kicked her out yet. I want to go to court and ask to have my support reduced to zero. Do you think I have a case? Is there a chance I could get screwed and have to pay more? We have the same earning potential in the same profession and have the same education, but I make a little more than her. I filed for divorce just prior to our 10th anniversary, but it wasn't final until after the ten year mark. The $700 a month was our agreement and not imposed by the court. No minor children involved.
Hello -

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer. My name is Michael; I look forward to helping you with your family law problem today.

If the $700 is not court-ordered, then why do you want to go to Court to have it reduced?

Thanks,

Michael
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

What I mean is it wasn't imposed by the court. We came to an agreement for our divorce and then it became a part of the divorce decree. The divorce papers say I have to pay the $700 a month until April 2012. You are from Mississippi? Are you going to be able to answer this properly? Are things the same in both states?


Yes, I'm from Mississippi. However, the standards for modifying divorce decrees are pretty similar across all of the States that I have viewed the rules for.

First, although you came to the agreement with your wife, once it became part of the divorce decree, it became binding. To modify the decree, you will have to prove to the Judge that something has materially changed since the decree was entered. An example of a material change would be if your current salary was decreased dramatically through no fault of your own.

In your case, the fact that your ex is lagging on her house payment will probably not be found to be a material change. Although she is refusing to pay the note, her obligation to pay the note still remains, and it is her obligations and daily needs that the decree is based on. She still owes the money for the house, regardless of the fact that she is behind.

Again, I doubt you have a case for modifying the decree.

Take care,

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. If you are not satisfied with the Answer, please feel free not to Accept, and post a follow up question so I may be able to clarify my Answer. My goal is to provide an outstanding Answer, so give me a chance.

Regards,

Michael
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I will pay for your answer, but one more thing. Because she defaulted on the loan my credit took a dive. I have never missed a payment on anything in my 37 years. A forclosure is now keeping me from buying another house with my new wife. Do you think I would have any kind of case to sue her for potential losses from not being able to buy a house right now? I mean if I could buy one or two houses right now while the prices are so low I could make a lot of money in the next few years.

I'm sorry to hear that.

No, you would not be able to sue for potential losses. Unfortunately, that's not how the law works.

However, because your wife was supposed to pay the house note and didn't, she is in contempt of court. I would speak to your family attorney about filing contempt charges against her. This is not going to make your credit better - but may give you some satisfaction.

Take care,

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. If you are not satisfied with the Answer, please feel free not to Accept, and post a follow up question so I may be able to clarify my Answer. My goal is to provide an outstanding Answer, so give me a chance.

Regards,

Michael
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