Legal Question in Family Law in Alabama

Child support modification stop back payments

I am the non-custodial parent with a child support obligation of $240 monthly. At the begiining of the 99-00 school term my ex-wife and I agreed, in writing, and signed by both parents, that the child would live with me through Jan.1,2000. This stay was extended through the school term and into the summer. The custodial parent was to re-pay any child support payed by myself, and monthly SS disabilty payments, received by her through tis time to myself. She did

not make these payments and is now threatening to sue for back child support for the time the child was in my home. I am indigent and therefor can't afford an attorney. What should I do from this point to protect myself and my current household.

Thank you.

Shawn McKearin

Asked on 8/02/00, 9:12 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Forrester Forrester & Associates

Re: Child support modification stop back payments

If you are indigent, then you should contact Legal Services Corporation who should assist you.

If you have written documentation as you state, then you have a defense to the claim for back support as you have provided support in kind by having your child live with. You should write a letter to your exwife and remind her of this and put her on notice that you will present same if she files a petition. Additonally, depending upon the nature and contents of this documentation it may constitute an enforceable contract and you can sue for the money owed you under the agreement. This would not be done in a Domestic Relations Court, as only the Court can approve a modification of your divorce Agreement. But if the right words are there and she signed it, then District Court should accept your complaint and give you a hearing. Further, your exwife my be in trouble with the Social Security Administation for receiving benefits when the child was not living with her.

If your income has been reduced since your divorce due to no fault of your own, then you may be entitled to a reduction in your child support obligation, but you will have to file a petition to get this done.

If we can be of assistance, please feel free to contact us at Forrester & Associates, 256-435-1007.

Note: If legal services is unable to help you, and you are actually indigent and the appropriate Court is within a reasonable distance of our office, Forrester & Associates does Pro Buno work for qualified individuals.

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Answered on 9/23/00, 9:02 pm

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