I'm new here and wondering if anyone can help....Just a little background - March 08 hubby petitioned the court 4 custody because my step daughter (SD
) wanted to move here (she's 15) and this is a better environment all around for her here. Well her mom went ballistic when she got served and threatened to kill her if she betrayed her again to her father, so we got an ex parte temp custody order. they went to counceling a whopping 2 times and they sent her back home to her mom since she was deemed safe and they were ordered into more counceling.
SD ended up deciding she wanted to stay in IL to finish high school, so we settled our custody case and just ended up modifying visitation to make it set in stone so we didn't ahve to rely on the mother's whims of when DH
could see his child. As soon as she got SD back, she filed for an increase in support cause her life revolves around money and she warned us she'd retaliate and she did.. we ended up settling her petition and DHs support almost doubled to what he was paying in the past (it hadnt been reviewed in many years so we knew it was coming).
Now fast forward 3 months....
Tuesday evening we checked email and found our ex-lawyer had emailed us a scanned version of a petition that was served on them via fax Tuesday afternoon. The court date was set for thursday at 930 so we got just barely a days notice.
The lawyer let her lawyer know he's not representing us anymore and that her petition was not proper anyway and needed to be dismissed but apparently her lawyer is a moron, which we knew before.
DH called the court yesterday to see if he could appear by phone and they had him call this morning, which he did, and they said this petition wasn't on the docket for today and they didn't know anything. So we emailed BM
's (bio mom's) lawyer to find out if it was being filed or not and to make sure she knows DH is pro-se now. No response.
Our ex-lawyer emailed us this afternoon with a copy of today's court order
that required they allow us 21 days to respond and sched another court date on Oct 10. So much for not being on the docket.....
So now we need some help with what to do - I've taken a civil court procedures class as I'm training to be a paralegal, so the layout and wording isn't an issue - but my class was in CT, and this is in IL, and I know the terminology is not the same.
They filed a Motion and it was titled "Petitioner's Motion for Modification of Child Support Arrearage Payment"
and she listed off 13 points to argue that since DH pays $100 a week now (80 current and 20 arrears) that she is entitled to another $100 in arrears each week. The only valid points were the 1st 5 that gave the cases history, and then the one bullet about how much he currently pays for arrears. Everything else had math errors, the wrong statute citation (had nothing to do with support, only income withholding), inaccurate information about past court orders, etc...
Like I said, her lawyer is a moron and she is no better. Their request is based solely off a statute that doesn't state what they are claiming it states - so I'm thinking we could do a motion to dismiss, but I don't know.
We cannot in any way shape or form afford to hire a lawyer to fight this for us, lots of personal/financial stuff went on since the custody modification settled months ago and its just not possible.
Is she allowed to ask for more arrearages if no significant change has happened? I know she can't ask for more current support without a significant change, but not sure on arrears.
Based on what she filed - would we be filing an "Answer" or a "Counter Petition" or something else? I know what to write in it, just don't know what to call it. i'm thinking a motion to dismiss would probably be the logical thing to do....
Also, do you think it's possible to appear by phone? How would that be accomplished? If not, any way you think we could get her to reimburse travel costs since she keeps starting these lawsuits as revenge?
Also - should anything about her retaliation efforts and her "threats" to retaliate be mentioned in the response. After the last settlement ni June when CS went up and custody stayed the same, she continually sent him ranting and raving emails asking for extra money for this or that and got turned down. She curses constantly and attacks him and in one email she told him not to worry because she has a plan for him. Then last month she asked for more money and we pitched in a portion that we belived reasonable and she has been calling and leaving him nasty messages - one was where she ordered him to tell their daughter that she's not allowed to have a boyfriend - the rest were harassing him for ignoring her calls. We told her months ago that he is only communicating with her via email and she continues the harassment. Her last voicemail went something like "So you think you are slick and you think you are smart by avoiding me and not answering my calls and not calling me back. Well you know what, it always comes back to bite you, and you know this"
She's proven herself to be quite crazy over the years so this is just the tip of a very large iceberg....
So any advice on moving forward would be appreciated.
I was already plenty wordy, but let me know if you need any specifics to help us more easily.