Legal, BTDT, advice for not-married custody questions? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 05-19-2011, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies,

I realize you're not lawyers, but some BTDT experience would be helpful.

DP and I are 3 mos into splitting up.

We were never married. He is on DS's birth certificate.

 

DS is 20 months old. We have a very amicable split right now - x-DP has our son in the afternoons, to cut down on daycare. He also has two other children with other mothers that he spends time with nights/weekends, so I have DS all but the 4hrs he has him in the afternoons.

We are still not split in everything - we still have joint banking; numerous utilities and such in both names; I carry his phone, for example. These simple things will be remedied with time.

 

I question two things:

#1 - DS is on the Oregon Health Plan (OR's version of low-income health insurance). In order for him to have it, DP and I have to LIVE together, or they would require state child-support from him. Right now, I'm not opposed to keeping DP's address the same so DS receives this.

So far, I've seen no benefit to going through the state on this "divorce", namely because x-DP doesn't work and therefor has no income. And I've heard from others that because I make $40K+, I'd likely be paying HIM child support.

Right now it works that we just fake addresses.

But, that nothing is being put on the books that we are separated... worries me for the future.

 

#2 - Me & moving.

I am just finishing graduate school. I will likely need to move within the next year for work - well, if I want a great job, which I do. We knew this when we were together, that moving would be a reality.

What does that mean for custody?

Let me state again that X-DP is very meek. He has two other kids with two other moms who are local and he has never shown a backbone to Fight or do Paperwork, or anything. But, that doesn't mean he Wouldn't. DS is the only child that has DP on the birth-certificate. He is legitimately DAD. He has rights. I just don't know whether or not he'd fight for them. Just because he hasn't for the others, doesn't mean he wouldn't with DS.

I want to make sure that I've covered my bases.

 

Just because I get a job out of state, can I assume that I can take DS with me?

 

It seems logical that, at some point, I'm going to have to involve Someone. The state, a lawyer, something bonafide that says I have custody. I don't want to just go on faith that he'd not fight me, and I also don't want to be naive.

I am also not a mean person. We have a great friendship; likely much of this could be figured out with a few conversations. But I want my bases covered.

 

So... is it lawyer time? Do I contact the state and change his address and, if that means I pay HIM child support, so be it? At least it's on record?

 

Just some BTDT advice is all I'm looking for. I'm googling actual law-speak as well.

 

Thanks!


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#2 of 10 Old 05-20-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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I think a parenting plan, drawn up together, if you guys are amicable, would be a good idea.  I believe you can hire a lawyer to assist you both in this, if that is what you want.  The parenting plan should cover parenting time, conditions on moving, etc.  I would do it now, while things are friendly, that way it is all on paper.  There may be something you can put in there about your future plans to move, and that you both agree to that, when the time comes. 

  I doubt you would be paying much in CS, if your ex doesn't have much residential time. 

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#3 of 10 Old 05-20-2011, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by enjoythesilence View Post

  I doubt you would be paying much in CS, if your ex doesn't have much residential time. 



Is that how they figure Child Support? On how much time they have with the kiddo - not just income? Well, that would make more sense. And since I incur all costs, all daycare, all food here at the house, etc., cause so far, DS doesn't go to x-DPs. Hmmm... thanks!

 

I hadn't considered having this conversation With Him :-) I suppose that would be the best place to start! I guess I didn't want to tip him off that I was even looking in to writing anything down. Don't want him to get scared into doing something on his own. But logically, it makes sense that we need to discuss this together first.


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#4 of 10 Old 05-20-2011, 08:53 PM
 
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So, the parent who does not have physical custody pays child support.  If you are going to broach the "writing everything down" approach it as protecting both of your interests.  The problem is, when nothing is written down, and there is no court order or agreement between the parties, either parent can just take the kid and run, and its not illegal b/c both parents have equal rights to the child.

 

Also, courts generally consider the "best interest of the child" when considering any moves or any custody arrangement.

 

Anyway, I might have more to add later.

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#5 of 10 Old 05-20-2011, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

So, the parent who does not have physical custody pays child support. 


What I've heard from my single-mom friends here in Oregon is that if we were to do the legal every other weekend, thing, with me being the primary custody, that is enough for DHS to deem Income Wise on child-support. All three of my single mom friends said if he had those weekend visitations, I'd be paying him child-support because he has no income and I do.

Which floored me.

 

Again, none of that matters yet because we are doing fine on our own. But b/c DS has Oregon state insurance, if he doesn't technically live here, they'll start asking about child support from one of us. Understood.

I need to really look into the state and not solely rely on my friends.

 

Do you think DHS would allow a purely hypothetical conversation? Or should I talk to an atty who knows the rules just as well, and then I'm not raising eyebrows at DHS?

 

 --- I want to make sure that if I'm considering moving, I have legal custody to do that. So, I know something will have to be on the books. Just what I've heard from my Oregon friends is that here, "they" could likely look at the parent that (while having no income) also means no need for daycare and could be a 24/7 caregiver. All my friends are concerned that x-DP could get custody just on that factor, and that he has a great family support system (which also enables him to never have to work). We're not talking about rich people here. Just people who are poor and work together. Unlike me who has a work-ethic, but that means I work all the time and have to pay for daycare, and I also have family support, but not enough to replace daycare. 

 

Granted, again, x-DP is So meek and likely terrified of the idea of Fulltime Dad (mentioning again, he has two other children, insert Geraldo-esque nausea), I don't think he'd ever contest this or attempt to take DS away from me. But it's a terrifying thought.

 

Once again, need to really research Oregon laws. I'm think atty at this point.


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#6 of 10 Old 05-21-2011, 12:15 AM
 
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I was thinking make the plan with him, IF you think he will be agreeable.  Go with your gut on that one.  Maybe better to consult with an atty first, before approaching him, and get an opinion on making the plan together.  A lot of attys offer free consults, so you could get several opinions on the best way to approach it.

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#7 of 10 Old 05-21-2011, 05:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanKX View Post




What I've heard from my single-mom friends here in Oregon is that if we were to do the legal every other weekend, thing, with me being the primary custody, that is enough for DHS to deem Income Wise on child-support. All three of my single mom friends said if he had those weekend visitations, I'd be paying him child-support because he has no income and I do.

Which floored me.


 --- I want to make sure that if I'm considering moving, I have legal custody to do that. So, I know something will have to be on the books. Just what I've heard from my Oregon friends is that here, "they" could likely look at the parent that (while having no income) also means no need for daycare and could be a 24/7 caregiver. All my friends are concerned that x-DP could get custody just on that factor, and that he has a great family support system (which also enables him to never have to work). We're not talking about rich people here. Just people who are poor and work together. Unlike me who has a work-ethic, but that means I work all the time and have to pay for daycare, and I also have family support, but not enough to replace daycare. 

 

First, I say atty too - just b/c you meet with one, doesn't mean you're going to DO anything, KWIM?

 

Second, him having no job means that you could be ordered to pay support - but thats a question for a lawyer.  If he had EOW visitation, I don't think you'd be paying the full amount of child support (which here in NY is 17% of the non-custodial parents income).  BUT - most states that I've heard of are NOT ok with a parent just not working b/c they don't feel like it.  Most states order some sort of child support from a non-working non-custodial parent, and then expect those parents to get a job.

 

Third, your friends don't know what they are talking about.  Him not working and being able to care for DS 24/7?????  Thats all find and well, but he's not working, which means he would ONLY have the child support you'd have to pay to live on.  Doesn't sound like a stable environment either - not in the best interest.  Great family support system that enables him to do whatever the hell he pleases and not be a responsible adult???  Sorry, doesn't make sense.  I mean, if he was married, and living with his wife who had a child with him and he was the SAHP, that might be a different story - but that doesn't sound like the situation.
 

There are a TON of factors in deciding custody, I don't even know all of them (you'd need to look it up and speak with a lawyer), but being an EOW dad, who doesn't work, doesn't pay child support, and doesn't try to do anything to support his kid financially, is NOT going to be getting full custody later on down the road.  Judges MAIN concerns in child custody and child support proceedings is making sure that the child is not dependent of the state.  Living with someone who doesn't work, hasn't worked, isn't looking for work, and who has never financially supported the child before, isn't going to get custody just b/c mom has to move away to accept a job.  Children are EXPENSIVE (as you know!!), and if you don't have a job, its pretty difficult to provide for them!

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#8 of 10 Old 05-21-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanKX View Post




What I've heard from my single-mom friends here in Oregon is that if we were to do the legal every other weekend, thing, with me being the primary custody, that is enough for DHS to deem Income Wise on child-support. All three of my single mom friends said if he had those weekend visitations, I'd be paying him child-support because he has no income and I do.

Which floored me.

 

[snip]

 

Once again, need to really research Oregon laws. I'm think atty at this point.


I think you're instincts are right -- time to talk to a lawyer.  I don't want to contradict your mom friends who have BTDT experience, but many states (looks like Oregon is one of them) will impute income to a parent who is voluntarily under-employed or unemployed.  Maybe he would fall into that category, and, if so, the imputed income would offset any child support that you'd otherwise have to pay to him.  But there are so many factors to consider -- age of the children involved, availability of work, his education, work qualifications, other means of support, childcare and on and on -- that you're going to need a qualified professional's take on the situation.

 

Best of luck to you in getting this worked through.
 

 

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#9 of 10 Old 05-23-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbamama View Post




I think you're instincts are right -- time to talk to a lawyer.  I don't want to contradict your mom friends who have BTDT experience, but many states (looks like Oregon is one of them) will impute income to a parent who is voluntarily under-employed or unemployed.  Maybe he would fall into that category, and, if so, the imputed income would offset any child support that you'd otherwise have to pay to him.  But there are so many factors to consider -- age of the children involved, availability of work, his education, work qualifications, other means of support, childcare and on and on -- that you're going to need a qualified professional's take on the situation.

 

Best of luck to you in getting this worked through.
 

 


This is correct. They would most likely impute at least minimum wage. My XH declared he couldn't make more than $500/month but they still imputed min wage.

I personally would just get a consultation with a couple of attorneys and ask about your options.

 

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#10 of 10 Old 05-24-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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My advice...be CAREFUL.  I am now in a fierce custody battle...filed mere weeks after my ex-partner and I had shaken hands and agreed to split "amicably" because it was "best" for the kids.  I was off working with a lawyer who specializes in mediation on joint custody language, etc. when BOOM a lawsuit from him seeking sole custody.  And EVERY silly decision I made regarding the split up til then, all of which were based on trust and what I deemed best for the kids and for our shaky finances, was brought up in the affidavits against me.  

 

It sucks, but go consult a lawyer.  One other thing...if you meet with a few of them, they will then be unavailable to your partner should he seek his own.

 

 


Mom to two terrific kiddos, affirming every day that the Universe is unfolding as it should and all is well...

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