Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?Did the decree have any language as to how long the payments would last or does it just say you pay indefinitely?
Are you paying no separate child support payments?
Dear JACUSTOMER - This is a very poorly written decree considering the circumstances and if you lose on this I think your attorney should be subject to a malpractice suit. First of all it refers to a "house payment" when there is none. I would assume everyone knew the lease was going to expire soon after this took effect and there is no language concerning a possible rent increase.
So you are going to have to argue that the fact that the $412.50 is stated as the offset that it means that is all that your portion of the rent will be. The flip side is that the decree says "her half of the house payment" meaning it could be anything. I just can't believe any attorney would approve such ambiguous language unless they just want to create more legal business when no one in the future knows what this all means.
Payments such as rent or house payments should be used as "in lieu of alimony or spousal support" and not as a replacement for child support which is an entirely different issue. Child support changes from time to time based on the respective incomes of the parties so I assume the overall figure of $1,022.50 was the child support figure calculated according to the formula set by the state.
If that is the case then your argument is "I will pay the $1,022.50 based on the guidelines and it can be applied to rent or phone bills or food or whatever. Child support calculations are not based on rental increases so the fact that her rent is going up should not affect your overall obligation.
Yes if that is the amount that you would pay under the guidelines. The problem becomes the language that you are supposed to pay "half" of the "house payment". That's where you have to argue the $412.50 is all you are paying toward the house since it is included in the child support and if child support is not being raised then the rent amount is not being raised.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).