My ex asked for a de novo hearing regarding the latest child support order. I am representing myself and have not received any evidence or information regarding the hearing from my ex's attorney. What could be the basis of the de novo hearing? My husband and I both work full time 8-5 ish but my ex works 3-11 PM, his wife is unemployed currently. We have in home after school care for the kids, we both provide health insurance, although the court did not allow credit for my husband's health care even though it was better coverage, we take the kids to the doctor, dentist, ortho and therapist. Custody during the school year is partial custody every other weekend with the ex. I don't even know what to prepare. I do have comparable cost of child care in the area but I'm at a loss for anything else he may throw at me. This is the third de novo hearing we've had. First hearing was the initiated by the court, my ex did not pay child support for almost a year even though he was working. Second hearing was to eliminate the credit we were receiving for my husband's health insurance. I can only suspect he wants to eliminate summer camp, after school care and the therapist. He has stated that his wife is available to watch the kids for free. However, there is major conflict between my ex and I. He and his spouse live an entirely different lifestyle and there are major hurdles that I believe should be covered in a custody forum and not in domestics. BotXXXXX XXXXXne for all of his efforts over the last few years is he does not want to pay child support. What support can I bring to the hearing?
State/Country relating to question: Pennsylvania
Good morning,I'm sorry to hear of the situation.Your ex is certainly not going to be culling any favor with the courts by requesting hearing after hearing---and this latest request for a de novo hearing is no exception.While it is impossible to determine what he is wanting now, if it is to eliminate the expense of after school care, you will want to argue that the fact that his wife is unemployed is not the issue, that his support obligation to your children is based on his employment, not his wife's, (it never has been) and that there is no valid reason for him to be able to dictate who will take care of your children during the time that you have custody---that is simply how custody works. You are not asking for anything new, and there is simply no significant change in circumstance to justify yet another deviation from the court's order of support.You really don't need to bring anything specific to the hearing. As soon as you receive the paperwork he has, or will, file with the court, you will see precisely what he is asking for---and if it involves day care or other monetary support, your argument is clear---there is no legal justification for him to dictate who watches your child while they are in your custody--after school care has worked well, the kids are comfortable with it and the friends they socialize with. The extracurricular activities are important to the children and should not be disturbed simply because your ex would prefer not to have any parental financial responsibilities. Stress what he is asking for is selfish, and NOT in the best interests of the children. That is truly, and legally, the crux of the matter---and so should be your argument.You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions; and if you do, I ask that you please keep in mind that I do not know what you may already know or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please recognize that the rating system only gives me credit for working with you when you click one of the 3 stars/faces on the right (positive rating). Also, kindly rate me based solely on my service to you in understanding the law, and not based on whether my answer is what you were hoping to hear. I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation, and I trust that you can understand how it would be unfair for me to be punished by a (negative rating) ----the first 2 stars/faces----for having been honest with you about the law.I wish you the best in 2012,Doug
27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
Thank you for your response. The issue is, I did receive notification of the hearing along with documents to present evidence if I have any, but no basis or reason for the hearing other than to hear if support is to be modified.
Good morning,Under the circumstances, you might consider just waiting until the hearing and stating that the motion should be denied in it's entirety based on the fact that the moving party failed to state any kind of significant change in circumstance which could justify a Modification of Support.If they try to name a justification there---object. Argue that they had the obligation to provide justification in their moving papers and that the motion should be denied.It goes without saying that you would be better represented by a seasoned family law attorney---but that is entirely up to you. The fact is that if they have resented no evidence in support of the motion, you have no notice of their claims and no way to defend against a claim not asserted---therefore the motion must be denied.Doug
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