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Author Topic: "relief sought"  (Read 3578 times)


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"relief sought"
« on: Nov 02, 2006, 03:01:50 PM »
Dear Socrateaser,

My separation agreement states that I waived the calculated Child Support amount ($196/wk) and agreed to pay $250/wk (the extra $50 for child care expenses- even though my ex only worked 1 out of the 3 years we were separated); it was our agreement that I would only pay the $250 until she "got on her feet" and then would pay $200.

I paid 1/2 the cost of the divorce proceedings over 2 years ago, and it wasn't until this past May that my ex paid the lawyer her 1/2, and filed for divorce.  However, two months prior (March '06) my ex agreed to the reduction to $200/wk, as I was going out of work for surgery, and would be out a couple of months.  This was to be on a permanent basis.

When my ex filed for divorce I received an "Action for Divorce" from her attorney, and didn't think I needed to do anything as the divorce was not contested.  In the "Action for Divorce" there is a section titled "Relief Sought" and in it, besides requests such as my ex being allowed to take back her maiden name, etc. was a line item stating the Child Support was reduced to $200/wk.

I received our divorce papers once finalized, and the front states that since I did not respond to the Action for Divorce, the divorce has been granted to my ex, and the stipulations of the separation agreement are enforced.  I hadn't even noticed this section until I recd a letter from my ex last week stating she is "ending our verbal agreement to reduce the Child Support and the $250/wk is to resume as of this week."  

1) Since I did not respond to the Action for Divorce, and the divorce was granted to her, does that mean that the "relief sought" was also granted to her?  (meaning it was not a VERBAL agreement, but put in writing, and I only owe $200/wk)?

2) Or, because I did not respond, and the Divorce Decree states that the stipulations of the separation agreement are enforced, does that mean that she does NOT get the "relief sought" and I still owe $250/wk.

Thank you.


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« Reply #1 on: Nov 02, 2006, 05:12:29 PM »
>1) Since I did not respond to the Action for Divorce, and the
>divorce was granted to her, does that mean that the "relief
>sought" was also granted to her?  (meaning it was not a VERBAL
>agreement, but put in writing, and I only owe $200/wk)?

First of all, you don't have any verbal agreement re child support, because such agreements are void as against public policy. Only a court can set child support -- period.

You can agree verbally or in writing with the other parent all day and night but unless there's a court order filed that orders your agreement, there is NO agreement.

If there is a default judgment then that judgment governs. If the judgment specifies a certain amount of support, then that's what you pay, period. If the judgment says that some prior court order remains in force, then that's what you pay. If the judgment says that you pay a certain amount, AND it also says that the prior orders remain in force, then you still pay the amount that the judgment says, because the express terms of the judgment overrule any implied terms.

If you want to know exactly what you're entitled to, then you'll have to post all of the text regarding support in your final judgment.

Note: a pleading/motion/application/action or whatever else it may be called in your jurisdiction is NOT a court order/judgment. The actual judgment is filed with the court, and you will only receive a "notice of entry of judgment" in the mail.

So, if you want to know what you actual rights and duties are, then you need to go to the courthouse and get a copy of the judgment AS FILED with the court.


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