You are a good chance to Modify your alimony, by showing a substantial change in circumstances. Those circumstances would be the increasing health costs and unexpected and unavoidable expenses.
Keep good records and get all your documents together. If necessary, have your health care providers write letters and/or affidavits to show the costs of your health care. When you are prepared, get a lawyer (or do it yourself) and file a Motion to Modify the Decree. I really think it would be difficult to do all this yourself, but the more you can prepare yourself, the less you have to pay the lawyer to get things ready for your case.
I wish you the best of luck.
I don't want to "rub salt in the wounds" but it doesn't sound like you got a fair deal in your divorce. Whether it was your representation, or just a judge who wouldn't listen, it certainly was not fair. I am providing a link to Legal Aid in Orange County. They could help with a lot of services for you, including representing you in court for more alimony. There are many other things available, not the least of which is information.
I would only suggest, to find an inexpensive lawyer, to make lots of calls. Try different avenues, such as Law Schools which may have legal clinics that could help.
Or, maybe your family could help you one last time by hiring a lawyer---specialist in family law, to get what you should have had at first. And Yes, you certainly should be able to get him to pay for your lawyer, since you have such low income and he is forcing you to go back to court.
Again, I really do wish you the best. Sorry I can only provide this information--wish I could do more.
You fell victim to (among other things) the "old boy" system of lawyers--which doesn't necessarily mean all men. Playing golf together, kids going to camp together, etc. And need to make big bucks off each client to keep up their lifestyle. One of the reasons I recommended Legal Aid is because, in my experience, the lawyers that work there, can stand up to anyone in experience and skills. But, they get paid a salary, and don't have to take your money. Also, they do family law as a main part of their work. They have all the experience you need. The lawyers work there because they want to, not because they can't get anything else. If their opponent is "high profile" or fresh out of law school, it makes no difference to them. They also have resources that private attorneys may not have, without the clients paying a fortune--such as private investigators and "friends in high places." Many times private attorneys will take a case from Legal Aid for free, also, just to "give back" to the community. Please be clear, I was not telling you to call them as a last resort. I've seen them take on the best in many different jurisdictions.
I am so sorry for these years you have spent since the divorce. I only pray things get better for you.
I cannot understand how such a travesty of justice could happen. But I know it does. I wish I was licensed in California, but alas, I am not. There are many good lawyers out there, but the difficulty is finding them.
Doctors, by the way, never want to put down "disabled" or "cannot work" or anything definite. They are afraid of 1) getting "pinned down" under some sort of cross-examination in the court room; and/or 2) No malpractice liability. If you don't say anything, you can't say anything wrong!
Please contact Legal Aid in Orange County, if only to get a referral to a few compassionate and courageous attorneys. You deserve so much better than you got. Unfortunately, in this forum, all I can do in to answer your questions.
I certainly wish you success in getting the alimony raised! I know you can do it.
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