Are You a Single Mommy?

I'm a single mother who kicked ass in the courtroom to get the child support my ex owed me and my child.  I'm not anything professional or notable – but according to my ex's attorney I am "a steam roller". 

My ex was cheating the system, cheating me, and most distressingly, cheating our son. I caught ​him hiding income to lower his child support payments, then went on to battle him for two and a half years.  

You'd think millions of dollars were at stake.  They weren't.  It was the difference between $500 and $1385 a month, which, to any struggling, tuition-paying single mom is a windfall.

This story is about going all "legal Annie Oakley" on his ass to get what was rightfully my baby's.  

Before I won this case I was that submissive, people-pleasing Single Mom​ you may be familiar with. ​ Over the course of my experience, I embraced the Single Mommy Thing!  

You know the "Thing?!"

The thing where we are soft and loving moms, but fierce tigers for our cubs.  

The "thing" you need to live and become if you are a solo mom - single and solo.  

You become the all.

You get that "thing" where you're tired, sometimes pissed, but always on for your kids.  You can laugh and cuddle with the best of them - but you're also tough as nails.  You and your family have no back up plan - You Are the Back Up Plan.  

That's the Single Mommy Thing.  

​If you've got it, you know.  

That's what inspired me to ​share my experience, which was oh so grueling, so yours doesn’t have to be.  I’m hoping to inspire all you Single Mommies out there to stand up, summon your inner fire-woman-warrior goddess, fight for what's right, and ​embrace the "thing."  

The Single Mommy Thing.

–Rachel Beck

​All of the Child Support Modification Family Court Documents

​​A Marital Settlement Agreement can also be known as a Divorce Settlement Agreement, Marital Property Settlement Agreement, or Marital Dissolution Agreement.  Covers all financial details, division of assets, spousal support, child support and contributions...

​​​In our state the Judgement for the Dissolution of Marriage is the official signed off and contract of mine and Mr. Ex's divorce, or Dissolution of Marriage.  

​​​​The Court entered document that lays out parenting time and responsibilities.  Does not include financial details. 

​​​​​First Motions I filed to Modify Child Support.  I did this without an attorney.  Also, please note that I should have filed a Petition Vs. Motion.

​​​​​​While I was doing this without a lawyer, my ex (Mr. Ex), hired an attorney.  If you are doing things without an attorney, note how responses are written.

​​​​​​​I issued a handful of subpoenas, again without a divorce lawyer.  This helped  me uncover the hidden income.

​​​​​​​​I finally figured out that I needed a petition.  I was still not working with a divorce attorney.  I went online and found a petition and basically copied it.  Not perfect, but it kept the case going until I hired a lawyer.

​My ex (Mr. Ex) had an attorney.  His attorney wrote up a motion to strike​.  It is essentially legal speak for a document moving that the Judge cancel out the Petition for Modification.  It tried to attack all the points I made.  Again, if you're doing this DIY divorce style, notice how all the arguments are written vs showing up in court and simply presenting arguments verbally.  

​​I issued a handful of subpoenas to deepen the proof of Mr. Ex's hidden income.  His attorney then filed a motion to block those subpoenas and the evidence they produced.  Running my case DIY divorce style was challenging since I had no knowledge of the divorce and court process.  Mr. Ex's attorney used this against me by attacking me on technicalities.  

​​​At this point I had accumulated some very compelling evidence that Mr. Ex had hidden income.  Mr. Ex's attorney ramped up the pressure against those subpoenas, filing a second motion.  At this point, I was super lucky to find a divorce attorney who worked with me delivering unbundled services.  This lawyer helped me keep the subpoenas and evidence in play.  

​​​​​Petition for Child Support Modification (lawyer version)

​​​​I also used this divorce lawyer to ​rewrite my Petition for Child Support Modification.   He did an amazing job.  If you read his Petition and compare it to mine.  He did a great job of listing out the changes in circumstances and reasons to modify child support payments.

This bugger is what makes the divorce process, or child support modification process, take sooo long. If you and your ex can’t agree, your lawyers will start filing motions and responses and blah-blah-blahs, and calling court hearings about every little detail. This is where your dollars get sucked up in the huge vacuum cleaner called divorce.

​​​​​Motion to ​Quash Subpoenas (​3rd Time with 3rd Lawyer)

Yes, by this point there were THREE DIVORCE LAWYERS: mine, Mr. Ex's, AND his girlfriend's. Mr. Ex had transferred his business to her, so she too, started trying to block my subpoenas.

​​​​​​​Interrogatories (for Divorce & Child Support)

Interrogatories are part of the discovery process. They allow you and your soon-to-be/already ex spouse to ask questions that must be answered in writing under oath. The responses help determine facts to enable further questioning if/when the case goes to trial.

​​​​​​​​Request for Production, aka RFP (for Divorce & Child Support)

​A request for production ​is a legal request for documents and an integral part of the very important discovery process in divorce.  ​It's ​used to gather evidence, as well proof of assets and income, of each of the spouses.  A good attorney will use a request for production to strategically support their case.  In my case, I issued the first round of Request for Production myself, without an attorney.  

Usually, protective orders require one party to maintain a certain distance from the other. In a smoke-and-mirrors twist, Mr. Ex and G'friend tried to paint my (okay, quite persistent) subpoena pursuit as harassment. This manipulative move was clearly designed to discredit me in the eyes of the Judge.

Another legal discovery device we tried as we moved towards trial for our child support modification case. Again, it requires questions to be answered under oath – which can be done at home then signed by a notary.

This is the Judge's post-trial written ruling. Ours really went to town with his assessment of Mr. Ex and G'friend.

​​Unbelievably, Mr. Ex filed for a rehearing.

​​​And yes, another Motion for Rehearing.  At the end of our case, Mr. Ex was also required to pay some of my legal fees that resulted from his lies and obstructionist tactics.   Tens of Thousands of Dollars.

​​​​Yes, more legal fees responding.   In the end, Mr. Ex owed his attorney some crazy amount of money, he owed back support, he owed my attorney $10,000, AND G'friend's attorney somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000.  

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