Going through FOC when communication is poor? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-22-2012, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ex and I have been "coparenting" since DD was 1, she's 4.5 now. We do a semi-split week, which is Sat at 6pm through Thursday morning school drop off with me (so 5 nights) and then Thursday after school until Saturday evening with her dad. He used to keep her through Sunday evening, but he works at 6am on Sunday mornings and I am home - I used to work weekends and I no longer have that job.

 

Because I am now a full-time student with a weekday job, we no longer have the ease of basing visitation on opposite work schedules. This leaves me with no days off with my kiddo, we just do school every day and have evenings together on Mon, Tues, and Weds. We have Sunday together currently, but DD's dad continues to voice his discontentment with our current schedule because he "doesn't have enough time with her." Ex is off work when he has DD, so they have Thurs pm, all day Friday and all day Saturday until I pick up to relax and be together. I'm tired of listening to him complain.

 

We've never used FOC. We were not married, and have set up our own arrangements from the get go. We agreed that we did not want to go through the court system if at all possible, and until recently our communication has been decent. However, as raising a child has become more involved (planning for Kindergarten, doc appointments, general involvement in activities), the communication is minimal. He doesn't check in with me at any point during the week, does not talk to me on the days she is with him, does not make an effort to initiate any concerns - I make medical appointments, I plan for kindergarten, I deal with preschool, and he kind of accepts his lot, complains about it, but doesn't seem to understand the imbalance. He is unreliable, because I cannot depend on him to be accessible or willing to help out when it isn't his "scheduled time." He passes as a good dad because he plays with her, feeds her, and so on and so forth, but really this sounds like more of an excellent babysitter to me! I'm big on communication. We can't coparent if we don't communicate, and I'm tired of being the one to initiate this. I've recently started seeing a therapist because the stress of trying to be responsible for both of us is driving me insane.

 

I've applied to graduate school and will likely have a teaching assistantship. However, this requires me to be available the two weeks prior to the semester for a curriculum-building course. These two weeks are also the time inbetween preschool ending and kindergarten beginning, all of which he is completely oblivious to. When I was younger, we spent weeks at a time with my dad during the summer (and weekends with him during the school year). I know that Ex will be planning his yearly vacation to go out of state and camp or rock climb or something else with his friends; I've never taken a vacation, and here I am feeling like I may need to decline this assistantship because I cannot rely on him to be proactive and responsible. He's not NOT responsible...he's just...clueless. Why do I always have to be the one to inform him/initiate these things?

 

This is a two part post. I'm wondering if going through Friend of the Court would be worth it due to the stress of maintaining communication, or if it will be a waste of time and money. Should I just keep assuming 200% of the responsibility? It drives me insane that the imbalance and the lack of attentiveness/assertiveness on his behalf, because it isn't really visible like "bad parenting" is visible, doesn't feel like stable ground for being frustrated with him. I feel like I'm just supposed to be thankful that he does anything at all, and go on balancing too many things at one time. I've worked SO hard to finish this undergraduate degree, I've accomplished so much....all without financial support from him, we've just done this split week, and he has this easy life where he makes a decent amount of money and complains about not having "enough time," when he isn't willing to make any changes to take on more time to begin with.

 

What would you do?


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#2 of 10 Old 02-22-2012, 07:59 AM
 
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I am in the same state as you and FOC has been a world of help to me with child support being paid. But I will warn you based on the county you are in since you have your city listed their FOC office is VERY slow to get things going or enforce the order.


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#3 of 10 Old 02-22-2012, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not even concerned with getting child support paid, though at this point if he can't communicate well, I'd rather do that...like, why am I trying to make it easier for him by NOT asking for support? But then I've heard that Michigan favors doing a 50/50 split instead of support...so I worry that they'll put her with him more than she is with me because he's "financially stable," so I wondered if I should make sure she's enrolled in Kindergarten first (I've been sending her to preschool and paying for that myself since last January; he pays her health insurance and had paid for 1/3 of her first 9 months of preschool, now she is in the GRSP program and I pay a minimal amount for extended time) for the sake of residency or something like that. I'm actually in Washtenaw County, thank goodness. I know Wayne county is awful. He is in Wayne county, though. I just want somebody to like...tell him that spending two days with your kid, or spending ten days with your kid, or every day with your kid isn't good enough if you're not connecting the day to day pieces of raising a child with that time, you know? If I just...ignored her health, didn't pay attention to Kindergarten and the need to PLAN those things, I'd be a terrible mother...so why is it okay for him to just get by and live off of my effort?

 

Thanks for your input...I very much appreciate it.


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#4 of 10 Old 02-22-2012, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think what sums it up best is that he doesn't run any of his life choices past me, he just does them. He is able to change whatever he would like to, and we adapt. He wants to take a 10 day vacation out of state mid-summer? He does. There is no sacrifice on his end. And I'm tired.


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#5 of 10 Old 02-22-2012, 07:06 PM
 
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I really think you need to contact FOC.  It won't help with your emotional or psychological load, but if you're not getting any days off with your kid then timesharing is skewed. 

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#6 of 10 Old 02-23-2012, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by provocativa View Post

I really think you need to contact FOC.  It won't help with your emotional or psychological load, but if you're not getting any days off with your kid then timesharing is skewed. 



so they will take that into consideration, then? that my time ends up being all of the school days and his is zero responsibility? I feel like so many families do the weekend split where parent A has kids during the week and parent B has them on the weekends, and so parent A gets the short end of the deal because of school/work obligations. good to know that timesharing doesn't have to work that way.

 

last night, I asked told him that if we were going to continue coparenting, we needed to be communicating every day. his response was that he's had a tough week and hasn't felt like being social, and that he's been sleeping a lot during the day because he hasn't been able to sleep at night.

 

 

duh.gif

must be nice.

 

thanks for the help :)

 

 


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#7 of 10 Old 03-06-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've got another question. I recently heard about back child support being collected when the child turns 18 and applies for financial aid for school, for example, or after being on some type of government assistance that the gov't will go after the other parent for back support/to cover the amount received in assistance. Because we've never filed, but I do receive EBT and a grant program for preschool, will they go after him at some point? Should I get something notarized that says we aren't exchanging finances? What do people do when they settle outside of the legal system?


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#8 of 10 Old 03-06-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosadesal View Post

I've got another question. I recently heard about back child support being collected when the child turns 18 and applies for financial aid for school, for example, or after being on some type of government assistance that the gov't will go after the other parent for back support/to cover the amount received in assistance. Because we've never filed, but I do receive EBT and a grant program for preschool, will they go after him at some point? Should I get something notarized that says we aren't exchanging finances? What do people do when they settle outside of the legal system?



Basically if you have a court order for child support that order is filed with FOC, even if YOU are not using FOC services.  At some point your case will surface at FOC and they (or the system) will start working it.  That time could be in 2 weeks, it could be in 20 years.  Getting a notarized statement does nothing to prevent collections.  That court order is money due your child at once your child turns of legal age that money is still due.  You, or your child, may want that money later on.

 

^also if you read your court order your arrears (past due amount) most likely is accruing with some type of interest building as well.  (Mine is 10% a year)

 

FOC looks out for the benefit of the child, and well.. themselves should you take assistance at some point before the child turns 18.


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#9 of 10 Old 03-06-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have a court order, though....but am wondering now if I should make one and request that 0 be exchanged, or something. I don't know. I'd really love to hear from some people who have opted to not use the court system/FOC/etc.


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#10 of 10 Old 03-06-2012, 08:17 PM
 
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If you dont' have a court order then you have nothing to worry about.


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