Divorce Lawyer, Cordell & Cordell
But what happens when years down the road you realize that your ex was not disclosing her true income on the financial affidavits or keeping her salary increases a secret from the court? Is it possible to reclaim some of the child support you have paid?
In a situation like that, you need to immediately file a supplemental petition for modification of the child support obligation.
Unless a marital settlement agreement or final judgment of dissolution of marriage required you and your former spouse to update your financial information on a regular basis, your former wife would be under no legal obligation to disclose her increased salary.
However, if you previously filed a supplemental petition for modification of child support, then there would have been a duty to update financials at that time.
If you file a supplemental petition at this point, both parties are required to comply with mandatory financial disclosure and complete an updated family law financial affidavit.
Traditionally, the effective date for modification of a child support award is the date the petitioner filed for the modification. However, the court may make its modification order effective as of the date of the final hearing under appropriate circumstances.
This is very rare, and an order reducing child support will not be made retroactive unless there are “extraordinary or compelling circumstances,” such as reprehensible conduct on the part of a parent or fraud.
If your wife had a legal obligation to supply updated financial information, meaning the final judgment or marital settlement agreement ordered her to do so or you previously filed a supplemental petition to modify, and she failed to disclose her true income, then a court may consider such action as compelling circumstances to enter a retroactive modification of the child support award.
The importance of discussing the specific facts of your case with an attorney cannot be stressed enough. I would counsel you to hire an attorney and discuss the specific facts of your case with him or her.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Melissa Knight, an associate attorney in the Tampa, Florida, office, contact Cordell & Cordell.