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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118750
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Divorce question. I entered into a bifurcated divorce

Customer Question

Divorce question. I entered into a bifurcated divorce (Florida) at a time when I was unemployed. Prior to job loss a temporary support order was in place but the judge "set it aside” back to date of employment loss as I had no ability to pay. In his new
order, he stated that if I were to get a “part time job” I would be required to remit 50% of those earnings to the wife. I have since gotten a "FULL" time job. I have paid my ex-wife much more than the state required child support payment based on my base
earnings (without bonus). I have not resumed paying the original support order as it was set asideand a new order written. Am I at risk for not paying her half the monies from my new “Full Time” job? It is my position that the new order was written in consideration
of my unemployment status. My circumstances have changed. The ex-wife is aware of these changes and is pressing me to pay her half of my current “full-Time” earnings. She states I am in default of the judges order to pay half. It is my position that if she
disagees, she needs to petition the court. WHAT IS MY EXPOSURE?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Since the order said pay her 50% of part time earnings and did not address full time wages, you are at risk, but not at risk of having to give her 50% of the full time wages, because that is not what the court ordered.
You need to gather your documentation of exactly what you have been paying her and you do need to go to court sooner, not later, with a motion to modify support to show the court your good faith in wanting to do this right (the FL courts are much more lenient on paying parents when they go to court to get a new support award instituted based on change of employment conditions than they are if your ex has to go to court to fight for more money). The court is going to raise up the amount based on your increase of pay, but not to 50% of your current full time earnings, because that is not what they ordered.
Do not wait for her to petition the court, you need to file and ask the court to set support in accordance with the statutory guidelines and present the court with a detailed list and proof of the payments you have been making to get credit for those as well. If you do that, the court will treat you much better because of your good faith.