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Is this legal?

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#1 Momto2boys9801


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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:04 PM

Here is the back story.

My ex & I have 2 boys ages 14 & 11. We are in Wisconsin, we were never married to each other, the boys were born 1998 & 2001. We currently have a court order that is very detailed & yet he finds some "loop hole" in most cases.

About me: Currently I am married to another man since 2006, my husband & I have a child together born 2008. Since 2009 I have been a stay at mom home, but looking for full time work with no real luck. My husband is the bread winner in the house, we do receive state help by food share & medical. Also this summer I was found to have a golf ball sized cancerous tumor in my lung. I under went surgery in September to have the tumor removed along with my entire lung. Also we are in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

About him: Currently is unemployed and does not look like he will be working at time soon since end of 2008. He has a girlfriend, who is an attorney (family law). They live together & also have a child together born 2011. She is representing him in our case, (I don't have issues with it). I have photos of checks she has written out to me with her signature on the checks of his repayment to me for out of pocket medical expenses & other variable fees.

Our case: On 12/21/10 the court grated my ex a reduced child support (we share placement 45% him, 55% me, this was a recent change) based on the amount of time the children are with us. Also I have been claiming both children on my taxes since birth (this is per tax law & a prior court order on our youngest son) it was ordered that he was allowed to claim our oldest son every year starting for the tax year of 2011. I argued that this was not fair since my ex had/still has a history of not paying child support on time & 50% of out of pocket medical expenses. So the judge put a condition in the order that my ex must be current on his support.

She stated in an email that she is filing contempt charges against me this month due to the fact that I claimed my oldest son on my 2011 taxes when my ex still owed over $1,000 in child support arrears. He did pay his monthly support in 2011 for the most part on time. She is stating that I was not allowed to do that. I pointed her the that last point in the court order. She stated that when filing these contempt charges she is going to ask the court to pay my ex his attorney's fees.

My question: Is it legal to charge me his attorney's fees when 1. they live together, 2. he does not work, 3. that she is supporting, & 4. paying his expenses for his children? If it is or is not legal can you please provide me with a reliable source, ex: Wisconsin state statues, or Wisconsin case law? If this is legal given my family's financial situation is there anything I can do/say to get out of paying them?

Thank you for this help. I can not afford an attorney right at this moment.

#2 Tax_Counsel


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Posted 30 November 2012 - 03:34 PM

It's unlikely that any law in Wisconsin bars granting attorney's fees to your ex just because his attorney is also his girlfriend. That said, the judge will likely consider that fact when deciding whether it's appropriate to hit you with those fees.

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