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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3

    Exclamation How to Respond Pro Se to a Petition to Modify and Abate Child Support

    My question involves child support in the State of: Illinois/McHenry County
    Good Afternoon. I am new to this site, so please forgive my inadequacies as this is my first attempt here.
    I've been receiving CS per a court order in our divorce since 2007. Last year, the NCP filed a petition to modify and reduce the support order on the grounds that he no longer works his second job; which I was perfectly fine with, since during the divorce, it was entered on the final papers that if he chose to quit the second job or be released from it, there would then be a modification.

    Last August(2012) he filed a modification for support and CS was reduced. I was unable to appear in court to attest to anything, due to the fact that I make $12.00/hour and could not afford to miss work and have no attorney, and still cannot afford one. Fast forward to March21,2013, when I receive a typed letter in the mail from NCP stating he is unemployed and will let me know when he is employed again. In April, I sent him a letter requesting at least something toward weekly child support; to which I received no response.

    Last week I received papers from his attorney, stating that they were petitioning the court for "Modification and to Abate Child Support". Along with that paperwork was his Financial Affadavit which shows his and his wife's BOAT,NEW CAR payment, CAMPER, "vacation funds", "Lawn care maintenance fees", "alcohol allowance", "entertainment allowance",etc. Not to mention whatever monies he has to pay his attorney. The new car and boat were obtained AFTER he was awarded a reduction in CS.

    I appeared in court yesterday ( June 13, 2013) without a lawyer because I cannot afford one, and a Hearing date was set ( which now means more time missed from work-from a job that I receive absolutely NO BENEFITS to begin with!). It was also stated by the NCP's attorney that NCP was "not entitled to Unemployment Benefits and the reasons why would be discussed at the Hearing" which is set for July 10,2013. I was informed yesterday that I have "21 days to file a Response" to this petition to Abate (whatever this means) and I am scared to death, as I know NOTHING about how to file a response.

    I am now behind on rent, utilities, groceries, etc. The Public Aid office declares that I "make too much money" to qualify for any help ( I TAKE HOME 1500.00 a month ), and have no idea how to fight this!
    Prairie State Legal Services ( the "public aid type attorney thing" ) states to me that they "don't have enough man-power to help me out on this because after looking at my divorce case, they've found that my ex-husband papers me to death and makes, as they said, things a "3 ring circus" and it would take up too much of their time.

    Since our divorce was finalized 6 years ago, I've never asked for an increase in CS, he has never contributed half of the expenses as listed in the court order, and I've "let it go" being that he and I both know I cannot afford an attorney to fight any of this, nor do I know how to file anything pro se.

    My question is this: Since my ex-husband is re-married and his wife is gainfully employed and earns a very good income, are (or can ) HER WAGES taken into consideration at all? And.....HOW do I "fight" this Abatement?? Even though he chooses to have no contact with our 13 year old daughter, even so far as to reject her on FB, no B-Day cards, no calls,nothing at all in 7 years; his choice should not trickle into paying child support. Can anyone give me some guidance here, as to how to handle this pro-se? I would greatly appreciate and devour any guidance on the matter! Thank you, and may your day be good to you.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: How to Respond Pro Se to a Petition to Modify and Abate Child Support

    Nope, her wages cannot be considered. At the most, you need to request that despite his lack of income he should be imputed a wage equal to what he was making most recently.

    "Abate" means that he's asking for CS to stop completely for the time being.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How to Respond Pro Se to a Petition to Modify and Abate Child Support

    Dogmatique, I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my question. Your answer leads me to the following questions, though:

    1. How long can he get away with remaining unemployed; as he is a healthy, able bodied man capable of gaining employment
    2. How long can an abatement stand for, if entered in his favor, and will the back child support earn interest on what is owed?

    I apologize for such redundant questions, but I am all new to this world here!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: How to Respond Pro Se to a Petition to Modify and Abate Child Support

    1. The court can't force him to work, unfortunately. That's why you need to ask that he's imputed an income.

    2. That's unfortunately an open-ended question. If the order is abated, only the arrears already owed will gain interest.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How to Respond Pro Se to a Petition to Modify and Abate Child Support

    Not that I am trying to be greedy here on this, but.....Could I also ask for the missed pay that I am incurring as a result of having to attend these constant continuances on his and his attorney's end? Each day that I must miss work, drastically affects my income and ability to pay the bills, which are continuing to get farther and farther behind due to no child support.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: How to Respond Pro Se to a Petition to Modify and Abate Child Support

    No, you won't be able to get reimbursed for that. I understand where you're coming from - but at the end of the day, Dad still has the right to file for an abatement/modification.

    It's inconvenient, and yes it sucks. But that's family court

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