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JD 1992
JD 1992, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32154
Experience:  Began practicing Family Law in 1992
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I'm a single mother who's had to file for disability due to

Customer Question

I'm a single mother who's had to file for disability due to an aggressive autoimmune illness and although I divorced my ex husband nearly 14 years ago due to abuse he's managed to maintain some type of power and/or control over my life since by using either our children to keep me in compliance or through the withholding of much needed financial support. He's filed a motion to modify child support which this time, (he's actually right to do since our oldest daughter just graduated from high school and I'm in agreement that the child support should be recalculated) however I was only given notice of the hearing that's occurring tomorrow @ 1:30, 15 days ago and because I live on a fixed income I have not been able to hire an attorney. I haven't known what to do and have spent the last two weeks trying to acquire some type of representation through legal aid resources to no avail. I'm concerned not having filed a response to this motion because he also incorporates a second issue, arguing over attorneys fees that he was ordered to pay & already paid but it never ends, he's come up with a new argument and is convinced that the fees he paid should be reimbursed to him. In addition to being sick, at times too weak and dizzy to even stand, I'm also afraid and extremely intimidated by him due to the years of continued verbal abuse, the ongoing belittling in front of our daughters and most recently the numerous calls and text messages harassing me, passive aggressive threats by stating that he doesn't believe I'm sick and that he is considering contacting the Social Security department regarding my disability, (all of which my doctors reassure me wouldn't be a long-term issue) however even a temporary loss or hold of my only financial resource and the medical care that I couldn't survive without would be catastrophic and he knows that so when he sends me messages telling me Random stories, asking if I'd heard about a lady in New York who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for fraudulently claiming to be disabled is his way of reminding me that even a false claim made by him that I wasn't disabled would at the very least be temporarily devastating. He finds ways to do and say things that he knows will make me afraid or worried about the affects on my daughters. I cant even imagine being able to speak in open court tomorrow, much less adequately defend myself. Even the thought quite literally makes me sick, however I know that I must be there no matter what even if I don't know what to do. Today someone mentioned filing an Ex-parte motion, (although I don't know what I'd argue other than mental and physical Harm and severe financial detriment if he were to prevail) all this even though he has not yet crossed the line far enough for me to be able to obtain a VPO to keep him away from me and to prevent him from continuing to send me both letters and messages, parking and sitting in front of my home for no reason, randomly leaving things such as my daughter's belongings laying out on our driveway for us to find when we return home. I'm sorry for the long version of this problem but I just don't know what else to do. I'd be grateful for any opinion or recommendation you might have. Sincerely, Tammy
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JD 1992 replied 2 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

I'm not sure how an ex parte motion plays into this since ex parte just means "without notice" and would only get you a temporary order at best.

You definitely should have filed an Answer to his motion if for no other reason than preventing it from being a default judgment if something happens and you can't make it there. However, you can still file that and you can file a Motion for Continuance and explain the circumstances to the judge and ask for additional time to get a lawyer. You may also want to mention about the actual time limit between being served and the date of hte hearing.

You can ask the District Attorney's office to file for a protective order for you, they usually will do this if there are children involved or if there was physical abuse in the past.

If you have the hearing tomorrow, either because you don't file the motion or because the judge denies it, then you can mention to the judge that you had indicated to him that you were amenable to lowering the child support to an amount that is according to the guidelines and based on your oldest no longer being at home.

You may also want to pick up a book on objections like the ebook at

That one is both inexpensive plus very good.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered.

Expert:  JD 1992 replied 2 months ago.

Also, don't worry about the Social Security issue. They rarely do anything even when fraud is evident and if you are going to see doctors and still being treated then it is clear that you have a problem. He is just trying to manipulate you.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
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Expert:  JD 1992 replied 2 months ago.

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