Diagnosis should prompt judge to end support

            Posted on April 24, 2016 

Diagnosis should prompt judge to end support

Q. My ex-wife and I equally share parenting of our 10-year-old daughter. When we divorced four years ago, she was unhappy in her job and, although well paid, decided to quit. I agreed to pay $1,000 per month child support since my income from both of my jobs was over the guidelines.

Since then my Ex has had four different jobs, all of which she quit because they “were not the right fit”. She just started another job earning the same as my primary job. Meanwhile, I have struggled to work two jobs while battling cancer. I am sick, I am tired, I want to leave my second job, and I think it is time to stop paying. Will the judge change my child support if I quit?

A. The child support guidelines permit the judge to deviate from the guideline amount in certain circumstances. To me, your situation screams deviation. You should file a complaint for modification right away because of your change in circumstances and ask the judge to end your child support. You have a valid reason to quit your second job and that should not be held against you.

Typically in modification cases, judges do not make temporary orders unless there is an emergency situation. Here, you should file a motion to terminate support right away and schedule a hearing date. While you will ask the court to eliminate your support obligation immediately so that you can leave your second job, be sure to include a request that any change in the support order be retroactive to the date you serve your ex with the summons and your complaint. That way, if the judge says this is not an emergency and does not change the order now, you may still get back everything you pay while the case is pending.

At the hearing, be sure to tell the judge how hard your treatment is while working two jobs and caring for your daughter half the time. Especially when faced with a significant illness, it is far more important to preserve your energy to spend quality time with your daughter than work a second job. If you do not act now to get financial relief, at some point your health and your daughter will suffer the consequences.

You have been more than supportive of your ex while she tries on jobs to find the right fit. It is time for her to keep her working woman clothes on whether they fit or not.