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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
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My wife and I received a letter today from a lawyer representing

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My wife and I received a letter today from a lawyer representing her ex husband with a court appointed date to reduce his child support. His current child support payment per month is 753.00 for two children. He has made this payment for over 5 years. He recently adopted two more children belonging to his current wife. His lawyer cited my wifes estimated income which is slightly more than his 2500.00 compared to 2350.00 as a basis for this new recalculation. He currently does not and has never provided insurance other than DSS . The divorce papers clearly state he must provide insurance. Does he have a legal foot to stand on here. If he cannot provide 753.00 a month for his own children how can he adopt two children that are not his own and try to reduce his child support while not providing insurance etc. as described in the divorce papers. Any help would be appreciated as we are seeking legal council. We live in Caldwell County. Also he is teacher and only works 10 months out of the year. Thanks Dave
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Unfortunately, with regard to a situation where a person adopts his spouse's children, that person does not have to prove that he can care for them financially. It's not like adopting from an adoption agency. Accordingly, income is not a factor in that situation. However, if there is evidence that the only reason the ex adopted the children was to reduce his child support obligations, then the judge would not likely grant the reduction. Moreover, the fact that the ex has not insured the children per the divorce decree would likely be considered contempt of court. Accordingly, if I were your wife, I would likely file a motion for a rule to show cause (i.e., a motion requesting that the judge order the ex to explain why he did not comply, and to ask that the ex be held in contempt). Contempt can lead to various penalties including fines and in extreme cases jail.

Having said that, a change in the income of either the ex or your wife could be grounds for a change in child support, and a change in dependents could also be grounds to reduce the child support. Your wife may want to talk to the ex and elude that she'll ask for him to be held in contempt for not complying with the divorce decree unless something can be worked out regarding the child support. In other words, the possible contempt could be leverage to get the child support issue dropped.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated.

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TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9928
Experience: JD, MBA
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TJ, Esq.
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JD, MBA