In 2006 I got divorced in Alabama. Foolishly, my ex-wife and I wrote our own settlement agreement which has now come back to haunt me. I wrote the agreement based on my financial ability to pay at that time. However, the economy has crashed and I can no longer make the agreed payment each month. I am not disputing anything in the court order and I made the settlement and child support payments for six years.
Two years ago, in 2000, after discovering I was paying too much child support, I went to court to have the child support modified and was successful. I also tried to show the judge that I could not afford the settlement payments but he would not even listen to my case. My ex-wife's attorney made a joke out of the fact I was asking for modification of a divorce settlement. My attorney, who I don't think had a clue, did not help me at all on the settlement issue.
Meanwhile, I have found the love of my life and re-married. Her father passed away about a year and a half ago and left her a home in Georgia and a significant amount of money. We have used some of that money to make my monthly payments to the ex-wife. We also bought a business with the money and moved into the home. Most of the money is now gone and with the economy the way it is we are just barely making it. Now that my youngest child has turned age of majority, my ex-wife is demanding I increase to 2,000.00 a month which is part of the agreement. However, I can't pay it.
This has put a huge strain on my current marriage and I don't know what to do. Do I have any legal options or am I screwed. If I am screwed, what can happen to me if I cannot pay?
Thank you in advance for your advice.