Can my wife re-openour divorce settlement regarding child support?

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Can my wife re-openour divorce settlement regarding child support?

My ex wife wants to reopen our divorce decree. She wants more child support and a cost of living increase. The divorce was in FL and now we live in OH. I make less than I did at that time and she makes considerably more than she did at that time. Can she do this? Can she win? What can I do?

Asked on July 25, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a separate child support agreement (or such an agreement as contained in a divorce decree) can be re-opened or "modified". Extra money for the support of the children can be requested. Since you are now living in OH the divorce modification would be heard there. As you may or may be aware, OH has statutory guidelines to determine child support based on the gross incomes of the parents, with an allowance for certain deductions before calculating the amount. Factors that are considered include custody arrangements, health insurance and special needs of the children.

As indicated, the guideline amount may be modified depending upon circumstances. In fact it may be modified either up or or down. Many times the spouse receiving child support goes to court thinking they will get more money when it fact they end up getting less. If the financial circumstances of the parties have changed so that the paying spouse now makes less and the spouse receiving the support has increased their income, there could actually be a reduction in the amount of child support to be paid. And this seems to be the situation in your case.

At this point, you may want to consult further with a divorce attorney in your area.


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