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Hi, and Welcome to JustAnswer. Thank you for your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed, practicing Attorney and would be glad to help 1. Were you present in Court when the amount of child support was calculated by the Judge or the Hearing Master ?2. How did the Court get your income information in order to calculate tghe amount of child support ?
Keep in mind that custody is an issue which is separate and apart from child support and the 2 issues cannot be argued at the same hearing.
You do not need a lawyer to ask for a decrease in the child support amount. Go into the Office of the Court Clerk of Family Court, ask the Clerk for the Court form for a "Petition to Modify Child Support" and ask for a decrease on the grounds that the income information the Court used for you was incorrect and that you earn less than your former wife. At the hearing, have copies of all your pay stubs, as well as copies of your income tax return for last year. This will be sufficient proof on your part. You should also ask the Judge to Order your former wife to submit her pay stubs also as well as copies of her income tax return. Please be kind enough to press "Accept" so that I may receive credit for assisting you, otherwise I do not receive any payment at all, Best Regards,
If there is no Custody Order entered by the Court, then you must file a "Complaint for Custody". If there is already a Custody Order entered by the Court, you would file a "Petition to Modify Custody" . The Office of the Court Cloerk probably has forms for these that you can just fill out and would not need to incur legal fees.
When a Judge tells a lawyer to prepare a proposed Order for his signature, the lawyer has a legal and ethical obligation to serve a copy of the proposed Order he prepared on the opposing side, so that if the opposing side had any objection to the Orders contents, he would have the opportunity to voice his objections before the Judge signed the Order.
Did your former wife's lawyer give you a copy of the Child Support Order he prepared for the Judge's signature ? If he did not serve you with a copy before the Judge signed it, he violated the Attorneys' Code of Ethics in that he had an "Ex Parte" communication with the Judge and probably misled the Judge into believing that you had reviewed a copy of the proposed Order and did not have any objection to anything it contained.
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