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FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  9 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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My son does not make enough to afford any child support.

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My son does not make enough to afford any child support. His divorced wife and the child live with her parents, who are, in fact guardian of the child. He is losing his job. What should we do?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. He certainly does not want to be held in contempt for failing to pay or have the State of TN after him, so he would need to file a motion with the court, asking that his child support be modified. The clerk of court should have the forms for him to fill out and file and he would need to demonstrate to the court that he is losing his job, can not pay what is ordered at this time and will be only receiving unemployment. As such, the amount could possible be reduced, by a showing of hardship by him. It would be at the discretion of the Judge on how to proceed but if he addresses it with the court ahead of time, he could try and avoid additional problems.

Here is some additional information to help him as well.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is actually quite a bit more complicated. He has been living with his ex's maother and family for several years and they have been helping him, because he has never made enough to pay the support! His ex-wife is mildly retarded and he is socially challenged. When they married, I was concerned should they have a child, but her parents encouraged it. We believe he is undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome and has great difficulty with day to day responsibilities. He had no clue what was happening to him when they went through divorce and so her parents, once again, "guided" him through the whole divorce, giving him advice. They have all lived in the same household for years and in essence are throwing him out now because the couple decided they were going to end the trial reconcilliation. They are still technically divorced. Again, my wife and I do not know where to turn. He is 37 years old and is planning to move back to Indiana with us to live, but I am concerned that he will end up oweing the rest of his life.

We need counsel. Do not know where to begin. Thanks for your reply.

If you need legal counsel, it is best to contact the TN Bar Association as they have an attorney referral service set up. Here is the link.

Since child support has been ordered by the court, it will need to be paid in that amount, unless modified. That is why I suggested above that he proceed and file the modification. If he is unable to as a result of his situation, then you should retain an attorney for him to act on his behalf. Even though her parents encouraged the child, it was his decision to still have it and even though they divorced, it has a legal obligation to the support the child financially.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much. We will get an attorney for him. I have one final question, please. Understand that we (our son, his mother and I) all agree he needs to financially support the child, but at the wages he makes, we simply do not understand how he can ever get caught up, as he has not even made enough to cover his own basic needs, which is why they have allowed him to live basically rent free in their home. His ex-wife has never worked and quite possibly never will....does she have any obligation? Will the child support arrearage continue to climb until the child reaches age 18? This will total over $100,000! We love them and it is our grandson, but this seems extreme for our son, who likely will never recover financially, not to mention will likely lose any motivation to ever work again. It is such a mess.

I understand how hard this is. This is why he needs to modify the support, to an amount which he can afford to pay. If not, interest will be added to the arrears and will continue to grow. If the mother is capable of working and does not, resulting in him having to pay more support then he can afford, it is an issue to address with the Judge.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your help. I will rate you a 5 and will tell you it was well worth the relatively small fee.



You are very welcome. Best of luck!

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