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Old 06-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default legal advice

ok so my husband told me today that he wants shared parenting so he dont have to pay child support.as some of you know he was arrested back in dec for domestic violence for hitting me and my daughter which later i find out gets reduced to drunkin dissorderly conduct.now he only gets visitation every other saturday to sunday and the past couple weeks the kids have called him wanting to see him and he tells them he is busy socializing and its not his day to see him.also i work 3rds so my mom would pick them up from school well one day my 11yr old daughter was sticking her head out the window so my mom went to grab her by the hair to pull her back in and accidently scratched her ear and it bled for a little bit well the next day they went to their dads and he saw her ear and that night after she went to sleep he took a picture of her ear and says he is going to use it in court.PLEASE i need some info i dont have money for a lawyer i need to know if this can actually happen
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: legal advice

We can't give legal advice. . .we are just a bunch of forum yahoos, not licensed attorneys. If you have to represent yourself "pro se", at least go get an hour consultation on your rights as every state is different.

But it does seem like from just hearing only one paragraph that he is not at all at an advantage.

He's got a police record. Your daughter didn't file a complaint with the police so this is just kind of hearsay. That being said, depending on how old and what she may tell a judge (if a judge would even hear her), a case could be made which is why you need an attorney's counsel.

And shared parenting does not necessarily equal no child support anyway. He has got to demonstrate he is capable of supporting her and nuturing your daughter and it all goes to who has the health insurance and other guidelines, depending on your state.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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my daughter is 12 yrs old will be 13 in aug. he does make very good money 27.98 an hour to be exact he has very good insurance i have custody as of now and get child support but if i lose that i can not maintain my bills im scared i love my kids they tell me they want to live with me my youngest is 11 would the judge even ask them who they want to live with
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: legal advice

Shared custody does NOT equal not child support even more so if you have been a SAHM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
my daughter is 12 yrs old will be 13 in aug. he does make very good money 27.98 an hour to be exact he has very good insurance i have custody as of now and get child support but if i lose that i can not maintain my bills im scared i love my kids they tell me they want to live with me my youngest is 11 would the judge even ask them who they want to live with
To answer your question, in most states, to my understanding of the law, age 13 is reaching an age of "sentience" in that they can, if a judge will hear it, give input (not decide) on where they would like to live.

And judges very much don't like to "split" custody (let's say theoretically your 13 y.o. wanted to live with Dad and the 11 year old with you).

For instance, if they want to live with Dad because he let's them smoke pot and party, that's not happening under a reasonable judge's ruling. They can only give input until the age of not being minors (majority?).

Also. . .and I am only giving this advice as a father so this will be rather emotional. . .the statement "I love my kids" is kind of a platitude. I would hope so. I would hope the father loves them as well. I am not a fan of the new King Solomon type of custody where it's 50/50; I do think kids need a "home base."

That being said, I have asked my stb-x as my kids get older if they couldn't spend the summers with me, where I plan to "settle down" because there is loads of summer work for them and they can save for college and develop a work ethic (as well as lots of fresh salt air and exercise).

Like you she said, "I could never be without my kids for 10 weeks!!!" Mind you, I never said she couldn't visit. ..she could visit as much as she wants. Her extra parental presence would actually be welcome as long as they could work their summer job.

So, it's okay for me to visit but it's not okay for her? Because she loves her kids. Well of course you love them. Of course she loves them. I love mine and I am sure your husband loves his.

So. . .that being said, if he wants to see them more often and foster a second "home base" for them, I would hope you wouldn't stand in his way because of child support and you not being able to pay bills. If you can't pay bills, you need to reduce your lifestyle and/or increase your income.

Sorry. . .it's just faulty reasoning, on both of your parts. . .him wanting to "50/50 shared custody" to get out of child support and you wanting status quo so you can "keep child support." You sound both kind of guilty. I only pick on you because you are the one here, not him. . .I am just telling you that your kids are getting older and they may want Dad or need Dad and they can float more easily. With toddlers and such, they need a stable home "nest" to be raised. Your kids are slowly leaving the nest, Mom.

Be prepared to adjust to that.

Last edited by Scannerguard; 06-02-2010 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: legal advice

SG is correct, you really need to separate what is best for the kids from the $$ issues, as real as those $$ issues may be for you.

50/50 custody is best unless there is a compelling reason for the judge NOT to let it happen (ie, the father is abusive or a threat to them).

Your h is using this threat to get you to back down on other issues. IF he tries to use the kids to save himself money--and not for their own good--a judge is likely to pick up on that. BUT, if he is a decent dad, he'll still get some custody, up to 50/50.

As for what your mom did--no one but an attorney can advise you about that. Contact a hotline for information on free legal services. You will have to spend time getting the information (if you don't work, you can make "advocating for myself" your full-time job while the divorce is pending), but it will be worth it. Do not panic or throw up your hands and behave as though you have no control or power; you do! You just have to find it. OK, you can panic for 5 minutes, but then you have to take deep breaths and refocus on what you CAN do, not what you cannot.

SO: make an appointment with legal services today. If you are having trouble finding one, pm me and I'll try to help!

Good luck!
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Let me clarify on the 50/50 shared custody thing.

A. If both parents agree and the children are happy, who am or anyone to judge? It's cool by me.
B. If the motive is child support either way, then I question it.
C. I also question, the younger the child is, or even the older the child is, how advantageous it is, even if both parties kind of agree (I guess I am contradicting myself). Kids, I think, kind of need a "home base" and perhaps a "1rst base" to use a baseball analogy. I don't think I would have liked to live at one parents one week and another parents the next week or whatever. I think I would just have wanted to come home from school - maybe shoot over to Dad's for desert or something, if the situation allowed, but just be in my room, my bed, my toys, my friends nearby.

1 home and not worry if my stuff was at one house or the other.

I have to say, I had my kids overnight Sunday night into Memorial Day and by the 24 hour mark, they were bored and wanted to get back home. I took them to the beach and did my best to parent them but they want their home. . .the middle child cried to me for some 1 on 1 time, which broke my heart but I told him straight out this time that it was his mother who was obstructing that, with her "all or none" demands.

Anyway, back to co-parenting, I think summers is kind of different because the routine changes drastically. They aren't with their school friends as much, they need to work as they get older (well, at least I did). . .so what's the difference if for 10 weeks they live with Dad and foster that parental bond? Fathers are also probably more apt to "Father", not "Mother"

I know the genderless "parenting" is en vogue right now but I do think there is a difference and fathers probably influence children more in the pre-pubescent and adolescent years, especially boys.

That's to not get me out of diapering and feeding. . .but I think it's a nightmare for me to consider taking our toddler 50/50. . .that would be 2 house, 2 daycares, different overnights, constant separation anxiety, etc. The poor guy wouldn't ever feel stable IMO. I am happy to have 1 day/week with him to shower him with extra attention but I am also content to let him grow up in his mother's home and pay the commensurate amount of support.

But I have just the opposite problem you are having. . .my stb-x wants me to take them more so she has scheduled breaks and can date and so forth so there seems to be this inherent pattern whatever a woman wants, the man wants the opposite and vice-versa. A lot of women would be grateful for an ex-husband happy to pay support in exchange for some freedom.

Of course, I suppose every woman wants support and "me time". . .I mean, it's like every man wanting a wife and a mistress.

If only the world were that easy for my stb-x.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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well his motive is to get out of child support,my kids have called him to try and spend time with him and he tells them he is busy socializing which is sitting at the bar drinking,they have told me they dont want to go stay with him for a week and they do not like his new girlfriend at all.my needs are not all about cash but he does not want to be with us there for he has to pay child support i have just basic bills we dont even have cable just necessities thats it
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Luv2ivy,

Okay. . .here's what I would do. . .start documenting that behavior:

5/28/2010 - Oldest daughter called father to go out to dinner. My opposition declined stating he was busy socializing

5/31/2010 - Youngest son called father to attend his baseball game. Father stated he was working late and couldn't make it.


If you want 80% custody, in my opinion, you'll get it.

If you are going to have to go at this "pro se", with no attorney, you will have to show to the courts a pattern of non-involvement. I think proving motive is pretty hard and I am not sure the judge will be able to listen to you expound on his motive and he/she will just tell you to move along. But if you document peripheral involvement. . .a judge isn't going to want to risk changing their routine to hear back from the father, "Well, no, I can't take them to their activities and I can't take them on that overnight", etc.

See what I mean?

Now. . .now. . .that being said, having listened to you open up on the other thread about being lonely and you considering giving your kids a little more to him. . .maybe there is room for compromise here?

Is perhaps 1 overnight a week in exchange for a small reduction in child support is not a bad place to start for each party? You could have that night to do something.

And then maybe both of you work towards a 50/50 shared parenting arrangement if you really think that is best for the kids?

I would tell him in a negotiating fashion, "Ex-hubby, I am delighted you are showing an interest in your kids. No, I think 50/50 is too much of a change too quick but I am open to moving toward that."

I mean, a lot of men are knuckleheads and don't realize what that "custodianship" actually means. It doesn't just mean their child support gets reduced. It means. . .okay, you want the kids on Wednesdays. . .fine. . .that means if they are sick, you call out of work. It means in the summers you stay home from work or arrange for summer camp. It's on him, not you.

It means he's (and his girlfriend who may not be keen on raising another woman's children) responsibile because you are working or something.

That's how you negotiate from your end. . .don't just put up a barrier. . .ask probing questions on what responsiblities he is ready to assume and then actually entertain it.

Once he grasps the gravity of what he is asking, he may back down.

And as per the courts, I think it is appropriate to involve your 13 year old a small amount in the decision process. If she feels strongly opposed to the idea. . .then that's a different problem. I wouldn't encourage her opposition. . .but get back to your husband on her position and then brainstorm together how you can work towards strengthening the father/child relationship that may be faltering.

Good luck.

I am taking a special interest in your dilemma and problem so I'll check back periodically.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: legal advice

Well said, Scanner. Many men do not understand that they are 100% responsible on "their" days.

OP, continue to document even when custody is shared somewhat. It is good for the kids to have time with their dad, and God willing, he will want it and will take it seriously. But if he is asking you to "keep them just a couple of hours" on "his" time, etc., he's not living up to the arrangement, and THEY WILL KNOW IT. If your leverage is the money, you might be able to use it to keep him honest. You can charge him for the time you have the kids that he is to cover--negotiate an hourly wage, for example. But be very clear that it isn't really about the money--it's about you wanting him to value his kids and to demonstrate that he does by making full use of his time with them. Be sure to discuss with the kids how he is spending time with them--or, is he leaving them on their own a lot at his place? He may do this, and it is damaging to them, to know he does not value his time with them. Doesn't have to be every minute, but does he spend more time with them than away from them? If not, how much of "his" time does he actually spend with them (apart from regular business hours)?

It does not have to be 50/50 for him to have a good relationship with them. He deserves to have as much time with them as he can spend with them, up to 50%. If he wants 50% but spends 80% of "his" time away from them, he's just demanding 50% to lower the child support and he's not being a good father. You cannot make him a better one, but you can keep the kids with you more and show them that you cherish them.

FWIW, one night a week w/o the kids will be good for you. Maybe start with that. Good luck!!
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: legal advice

I agree with sisters and want to add that the father doesn't have to be doing something "quality" with them (I dont think sisters meant that) every minute he has them but he should be with them 80% (or in charge if they are at school) of the time when he does have them and not pawning them off on his gf or a sitter. He should also have the capability to step up from his work schedule if there is sickness, injury, or a disiplinary problem that day.

Most of the time when I have the baby or the kids, I just hang out doing laundry, shopping, and cooking and maybe 2 hours at the pool or the local beach or something. I try to avoid the Disney Dad temptation.

This point seems to be lost on my stb-x.

We have the opposite problem - she wants me to take them more. The problem is okay. . .I could do that. . .but with my screwball work schedule, I'd have to arrange a sitter when I am working overnights, which is about impossible, which means . . .I am paying a reduced child support (but something), but also child care.

That doesn't make sense to me - from a child-rearing sense and a financial sense.

But I hope as I stabilize my finances I can slowly start to take them more (and I hope she remains open to it and doesn't flip-flop on me but I give it a high %age chance she will) if I don't have to work as much.

I must admit though - as I make more, the state demands I give more. . .and then you feel like you have to work more. . .the trap of the non-custodial parent unfortunately.

This winter I am attempting to get a place close-by to her and "experimenting" with how much coming over to Dads during the week works or not.

It always seems like a good idea on paper to everyone. . .50/50. . .I personally suspect the kids will have other plans at their mothers most of the time. This is why I pushed for the idea of "birdnesting" so much, at least during our divorce. . .but to no avail.
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