My ex-wife is requesting I pay for half of the damages that resulted from my child’s car accident.
Even though I pay her child support, she stated the cost of the vehicle repair is above normal living expenses that are included in child support.
From my perspective, transportation of a child is a normal living cost.
Who is right? Do I have to pay for one-half of the damage on top of my child support payments?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Nebraska and Iowa divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.
You can argue that the expense is optional and not ordered if your court order does not address the same. They are extra and not necessary, in your opinion. You can refuse to pay.
This does not mean that if the opposing party takes you to court for a contempt action, then it may be found to be an expense and you may owe her the cost of the same for any portion you did not pay.
But, if you legitimately believe it is not addressed in the order, then you are not court ordered to pay the same. This is a situation where the court would have to interpret the order. In addition, it depends on your state’s laws and how they treat children’s vehicle expenses.
In order to be held in contempt in my jurisdiction, it is the burden of the party who has been aggrieved to show that such failure to follow the order was both “willful” and “contumacious.”Should the court find the party who failed to follow the order is in contempt, they will be “punished.”
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This option would apply if the court said the receipts were legitimate expenses and she took you to court for failure to pay. You could be fined, ordered to pay legal fees, or any other punishment the court sees fit.
A judge typically has discretion to determine what the best option is when a party is in contempt, and it typically depends on how long the contempt has been going on and how egregious the actual acts.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.