A collaborative divorce settlement may seem like a friendly agreement between former spouses, but know this: it’s a legally binding contract. This two-way approach aims to be informal, and for this reason your ex may believe that he or she doesn’t really need to uphold the commitment. Big mistake.
Is your former partner withholding assigned child support? Consider the following steps to recovering unpaid amounts.
Find Out Why Your Ex Isn’t Paying
During the collaborative divorce process, you and your spouse likely sorted out some important communication issues. Put those skills to use post-divorce. If you haven’t done so already, contact your ex-partner, and find out why he or she is no longer paying.
The payment issues could be a matter of an unexpected hardship, such as job loss. In that case, the original support amount may need to be revisited. Whatever the reason, arm yourself with that knowledge first. Know that, if even an amendment is agreed upon, you may still be entitled to back support for any unpaid period.
Of course, if your ex is unwilling to talk you may need to enlist a law professional right away. Regardless, the information that is or isn’t gathered through this initial contact may help you or your future lawyer plan the next steps.
Prepare Your Collaborative Divorce Documents
Your collaborative divorce, however amicable, likely ended with a stack of paperwork. Settlement contracts, parenting plans, and even child support agreements will support your case of unpaid care. Prepare these documents so they’re ready for not only a lawyer, but a judge.
In addition to these documents, pending court proceedings may call for your Case
Information Statement (CIS). This legal document is often drafted at the closing of any divorce and contains important information regarding representations made during the shared separation process including matters of income, expenses, and assets.
Since a CIS is only required by court rules, you may not have this document from your collaborative divorce; however, if you do, it will act as significant, supporting documentation to any of the other agreements listed above.
Contact a Lawyer Who Specializes in Child Support
Ultimately, your ex may not work with you and your lawyer like he or she did during your collaborative divorce. Post-divorce, you may need specific legal advice regarding unpaid care – be it child support or alimony. A divorce attorney who specializes in these areas can provide invaluable insight on the next steps in pursuing your case and getting the money you deserve.
Ready to take action against your ex? Contact Dean G. Tsourakis today to learn more about your right to child support and alimony and to schedule a free consultation.on Aug 27, 2014