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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37818
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I received divorce papers today and in it states "defendant

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I received divorce papers today and in it states "defendant should be ordered to show cause there should not be a judgement in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant, ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiff a sum in accordance with the Louisiana child support guidelines as child support for the care and support for the minor child"

What question can I "justanswer" for you about your circumstances?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What does this mean? I just would like to understand my divorce papers
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I was wondering what the above in quotation marks meant? Her and I agreed on a set amount and I was told it was put into the divorce papers but I did not see it. And it also has a part in the divorce that I am gainfully employed! What does all that mean?
Okay, thanks.

There should be a divorce petition in addition to the order to show cause. They may be combined or not. Legally, you are required to file an response to the petition. There is, however, no form with which to do this. You will have to contact a legal aid lawyer if you cannot afford an attorney. You can also visit the courthouse and see if they have an attorney or clerk available to assist you in drafting and filing a response to the complaint.

An order to show cause hearing is like a "mini-trial," before a judge -- sort of like small claims court or "Judge Judy." You and your spouse show up and testify to why you should pay child support according to the state uniform guidelines. Generally, there is very little discretion for the court. You provide your income, pay stubs, etc., and the court decides how much you must pay, based upon a table or computer formula.

If you are unemployed, then you may be ordered to seek work -- which may include trying to get a minimum wage job, so that you can pay support.

I'll stop here, because you probably have additional questions. Let me know what's on your mind and I'll try to clarify for you.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok well then I wonder why that's in the divorce when even the lawyer wrote in the email that we will discuss child support and visitation later? The main question is do we have to go by state guidelines or can we tell the judge we have an agreed amount? I just don't want her to trick me and I did get a waiver to sign today stating I have to be in court Monday! I have no time to find a lawyer!
You and the other parent can agree on an amount different than the guidelines, but only after the judge hears you agree in open court, after you are each informed as to the amount that would be ordered under the guidelines.

Concerning your being tricked, I suspect that is what is about to happen. Only your spouse doesn't view it as a trick -- she will believe that you were trying to trick her into agreeing to a lower support award.

I can't be certain of this outcome, but that's what usually happens: as soon as the custodial parent discovers that they can get more support -- they want that support. And, once that happens, the court must order the additional support.

So, be prepared for the bad news -- that way you won't be surprised.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you very much this has helped a lot! One more question I have a letter typed up that her and I both signed that says we agree on this certain amount and its notarized should I bring this to court?
Sure, bring it to court and see what the judge says. I believe that he/she will ask if that is the agreement that you still want to make. If your spouse says "yes," then you will get that support award. Otherwise, the court twill be forced to ignore the letter and order guideline child support.

Hope this helps.
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