I have been divorced from my wife for seven years now, and have been paying child support the entire time. My son has been in college since 2012 (when he turned 18), I just found out this month that he actually failed out of college in 2013 and has been working full time at a construction job, earning $400 per week. During this entire time my ex-wife was telling me and our entire family that our son was still in college, I believe this was to be able to obtain child support for my son being in college. After becoming suspicious of the fact I believe my child was not in college, I submitted a subpoena to his college and confirmed that he had failed out of the first semester in 2013. I attempted to file for modification to end my child support obligations, but my ex-wife didn’t show up to court. The judge scheduled the motion for another day. Will I be able to obtain a modification for child support and have it terminated? Will I be able to get back child support that was overpaid? What are my rights in this situation?
As always, I suggest everyone seek the representation of an experienced family law attorney when handling any such matters. If you were to bring this case to my law firm, we would take the following actions on this matter. First of all we would file a motion for contempt of court, as your ex-wife had an obligation to inform both you and the court that your son was no longer enrolled in college and in fact was working full time, earning enough money to support himself. Due to your son’s age, you no one there have an obligation to be paying child support, because he is no longer in college. But it was your ex-wife’s duty to inform you and the court of this change in circumstances, and terminate child support. The fact that she did not do this is a crime and needs to be addressed. Also a motion for modification of child support, to terminate child support would also be filed at this time. During that motion we would also address the fact that any time between the period your son left school and your ex-wife was still receiving child support payments based on your son going to college, all those child support payments need to be returned to you. Finally in a situation such as this, as you should not be paying an attorney to have to go to court because your ex-wife essentially defrauded you by not informing you of the status of your son’s college enrollment, we would also file a motion for attorneys fees. In situations such as this where the opposing party of the case, has done something fraudulent which is cost you to incur legal fees, we always file a motion for attorneys fees so you will not have to pay the attorneys fees that are needed to remedy the situation that is not your fault, and is the responsibility of your ex-wife.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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