My stepdaughter and son-in-law were married about 5 years ago while he was in the country illegally. After some time and after the birth of their son, they agreed that it would be best if he obtained legal status, so he was required to return to his country (Mexico) and wait while the immigration process ran its course. During that 20 month period their relationship was strong and she visited him in Mexico with the child several times. Only a few months before he was to return (October 2009) she met another man and cheated on her husband, and she has maintained this relationship to date. When he returned with as a legal US resident she kicked him out of the house. He had no money or job at the time. My wife and I took him in of course and he has been living with us since then. He has been working sporadically. I’ll skip all the mean and lousy things she has said and done to him, but it should be noted she was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She is only reasonable once in a while. She is a Registered Nurse and makes decent money (perhaps 60k/yr). She does have 2 other children (11) from previous married (she receives child support from their father) and owns a home, but is upside down in that home.
A few days ago she filed for divorce/dissolution, sent him copies of the paperwork and asked him to go to her attorney’s office to sign. Most of the terms are standard and reasonable, including shared visitation of their child and a division of assets, but some modifications are needed. Also, she would keep the house, and she is requesting 0 a month child support. While my son in law is completely willing to support their child and would be happy to pay even more if he could, he simply does not have that kind of money. He is living with us, works as much as he can which varies a lot, and as a house painter is not making much money. He is in no position to pay very much in child support until he can save some money, get out on his own, and obtain steady work. We know we can use the Florida Child Support worksheets to have the amount modified, at least for now. The big questions we have are:
-Now that she has served him with the papers, what exactly must he do to have changes made? Keep in mind, neither he nor we can afford an attorney, at least not more than a few hundred dollars, perhaps for legal assistance.
-Can he deny her filing and file a petition on his own? If so, can he sue her for Infidelity and obtain any compensation from her (again, he may not do that, but we want to know what the law is)
-Is there a time frame for him to respond, and if so, what is considered a “response”? Can he refuse to sign the divorce papers and not have it go into effect by default?
What other advice can you provide?
Any assistance you can provide would be helpful. Thank you.