My question involves child support in the State of: ALABAMA
Here's some facts, in bullet form:
- July 31, 2008: Left job of 31K per year because job was taking too much of a toll on family and marriage; left to start a graphic design / marketing business
- December 28, 2008: Filed Petition to Modify Child Support, using an Affidavit of Substantial Hardship, to have child support reduced. My income dropped from $2650 per month to approximately $1,400 per month
- May 27, 2009: FINALLY went to court. After a month to hear back from judge, find out court INCREASED child support from $616 to $643, AND to pay an extra $75 per month to pay on arrears to purge myself of contempt (a total of $718 per month). If we couldn't pay the original $616, how could we pay the increase?
- September 24, 2009: Still not being able to pay (bear in mind I've been paying ex-wife average of $200 - $250 per month) the full amount, ex-wife is filing contempt to have me put in jail.
I currently have two children by a subsequent marriage (18 months and 3 months old). There is simply no way I can pay ex-wife the full amount of child support and continue to live. I've just landed a part time job at Winn-Dixie as a stocker, so that should help with the other income; but it's still not enough.
My arrears total about $5,200 right now. I have an attorney, but he's not that experienced in this area it seems, but I'm stuck with him, as I can't afford another (I'm bartering web design services in exchange for his representation).
Ex-wife claims she's going to have been thrown in jail so I can be put on work release so all of the money will go to her.
She left me for another guy (a soldier) 5 years ago, and now he's progressed in rank and has been deployed - and I know they are not struggling financially like we are.
Think about it - rent is $732, $250 groceries, $100 gas, $200 electric = this equals $1282. Where is the child support money supposed to come from? Of course, there are several other expenses we have - but we prioritize what we need to live on - then pay child support - then pay other expenses.
Any advice on this situation is greatly appreciated.