What are my chances on a motion for a new trial in child support enforcement?

My ex stopped paying child support over a year ago. I tried to get the AG’s office to enforce our decree that was reached amicably and drawn up by our attorneys. Ultimately, I paid and attorney to write and file a motion of enforcement but I didn’t have the funds to retain him for the hearing thus I had to represent myself at the hearing. Of course he had an attorney representing him. I was seeking jail time which was to be suspended while he paid all his back child support and health insurance that he owed to his children. In total, the amount owed was in excess of 30k. He’s now filed a modification to have his obligations reduced to next to nothing. At the enforcement trial I screwed up, as far as I can tell, by not calling him as a witness after presenting my evidence. The judge dismissed the case without prejudice saying I didn’t prove my case. My family stepped up and helped me hire an attorney now. She says we can file a motion for a new trial but puts our odds at about 25 of success. It seems a long shot and I was wondering if that sounded right based on the small amount of facts I’ve offered? Should I pursue the new trial or use the money for the modification?

Asked on October 12, 2017 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Motions for new trial are hard to obtain...depending on the judge you are in front of.  Some judges will hand them out like candy...while others will want good information to explain why you didn't handle the case properly the first time.  A majority of the judges fall into the latter (tougher) category.  If the attorney that you have hired believes the chances are slim because you have a judge that is in the tougher category, then you are better off putting your funds to use in a modification action.

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