Notarized letter as custody agreement? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
bbsc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hello everyone,
I've never introduced myself on this board, but I think it's about time that I did. I'm the mommy of a wonderful three year old boy. We've been on our own since the beginning. Ex and I split up because of the pregnancy. I live in California.

My son has only seen his father once, when he was very young. Ex is just not interested it seems. He also lives across the country from us and is in the military. I have always had a fear in the back of my mind that he might show up and take my ds, though it's probably totally irrational. For my peace of mind, I'd like to make our current custody situation official.

I visited the Family Law Facilitator today, and she mentioned the option of writing up a letter for my ex to sign and have notarized stating that I have sole physical and legal custody, etc. I think he would probably agree to do this, but I think he might drag his feet just to give me a hard time.

I didn't ask her if it would be enforceable though. Do any of you guys know about this? For example, would the cops enforce it if ex showed up and took ds? I could file the custody paperwork, but the cost is pretty high. Filing fees are $320 and I have to pay to get the papers served. I don't get any child support from him, though I have asked for him to help out. He claims to not have enough money whenever I've asked. Right now I'm not interested in pursuing the support issue, just custody.

I would really appreciate any advise on my situation. Thanks so much!
~bb
bbsc is offline  
#2 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 03:31 AM
 
azfiresmbm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd suggest checking with your state custody laws ,,
Go to your states website and the information should be free !!

We've had things signed and notarized , but the police tell us that unless it's something filed with the court system they cannot enforce it ..

Your safe bet is to get something filed so it's enforceable !!!

I think there is a thread here talking about the police not being able to enforce a notarized letter !!!
azfiresmbm is offline  
#3 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 03:35 AM
 
Shiloh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: listening to kriping churckets
Posts: 6,796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Honestly I'd file it all in one shot, but that is me
File for custody and support serving him should be simple if he's in the military.
even if you don't get any financial award you could tap into his benefits, medical policies, for your child. Also just not interested can turn very quickly especially when they remarry. Better to get it iron clad the best thing that could happen is he just doesn't show up (most don't) then the judge will after a while award you what you are asking for - full custody.

Alternatively call him up and say you need something from him signed in regards to custody...and would he return it signed tell him its for registering dc for school and nothing to do with support.

also you couldn't take dc out of the county on vacation, etc without a custody paper if you are not together in most situations.

8 might be enough
Shiloh is offline  
#4 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
bbsc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
azfiresmbm, thank you for your imput. I had a feeling that a notarized letter might not cut it. The Family Law Facilitator seemed like she thought that the letter was a good idea for me. That I could get a passport etc with it.

And Shiloh, thanks for your ideas too! I worry that if I ask for support and custody together he'd try to fight the custody, but if I just ask for custody that he'd agree. And ex does provide medical insurance for ds, free for him I think.

I feel like it would be best to get custody squared away first, then revisit the support issue. And it seems like I better just bite the bullet and file with the court.

Does anyone have experience serving someone out of state? I've heard you can hire the sheriff to do it.

Thanks again!
bbsc is offline  
#5 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 11:56 AM
 
Shiloh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: listening to kriping churckets
Posts: 6,796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
And Shiloh, thanks for your ideas too! I worry that if I ask for support and custody together he'd try to fight the custody, but if I just ask for custody that he'd agree.
but he can always fight for custody, I think you'd have a better chance of getting full final custody now while the little guy is young and he hasn't paid support and hasn't seen the child- it also looks as if you haven't hid the child from him to have it on record- he could and they do go into court when the child is 6 and say you never let him have access, and what record would there be. Also since he lives far away a judge won't send a 3 year old for the summer if he decides he wants visitation...but if your dc was 6 at the time and he does ask you for visitation you might be in the position where you are putting him alone on a plane for the summer (rip my heart out)

I think usually they will just do custody and support at once, its a simple formula as it doesn't sound like you will ask for more than the basic amount and no extra expenses. Mama even if he has to pay you $100 a month that's $100 a month for things for your dc, they always say they are broke...

8 might be enough
Shiloh is offline  
#6 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 01:00 PM
 
mamamoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 12,722
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes! What Shiloh said, and if you are low income or have hardships you might be able to petion for a fee waiver for the filing fees.

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
mamamoo is offline  
#7 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 01:13 PM
 
cycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would hire an attorney and have him write up the papers - this is what I did. It wasn't too expensive, he wrote up everything and since he is an attorney he of course knew everything to include and it was formatted for the court. Once complete he sent it to ex who had it signed and notarized and sent it back. My attorney went to the court and filed it and it was made an order of the court. I now have sole legal and physical custody of ds.

If I were you I would take care of custody first though because if you do custody and child support you may get less cooperation from him because you are asking for money. I would be silent about the child support until custody is official, and it needs to be filed in the court for it to be official.

My costs in my state ended up being about 700.00 for everything, attorney and filing fees. If you would like more specifics on what my agreement says please feel free to pm me.
cycle is offline  
#8 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 01:50 PM
 
WatermelonSnow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would go with cycle's approach. A notarized letter is not enforceable.
WatermelonSnow is offline  
#9 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 02:18 PM
 
Oliver'sMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 823
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Since he's in the military, he has zero excuse for not paying child support. I work pay in the military, and members are given extra allotments to their pay just for child support reasons. If your son is receiving health care from him (which is totally free) then your son is already entered into the system as his dependant. I'm sure there must be some dishonesty on some level on his part if he entered your son as a dependant but is not paying you any child support. I would file for custody and support all in one shot. It could be very likely that you would get back pay. It's worth a shot. The military has TONS of experience with this. Your ex may be broke, but his basic needs will always be met.

Enjoying life with DH since 05/04 and our two boys Oliver 02/07 and Theodore 07/10 
        
Oliver'sMom is offline  
#10 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 04:50 PM
 
AlwaysByMySide's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chattanooga
Posts: 1,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver'sMom View Post
Since he's in the military, he has zero excuse for not paying child support. I work pay in the military, and members are given extra allotments to their pay just for child support reasons. If your son is receiving health care from him (which is totally free) then your son is already entered into the system as his dependant. I'm sure there must be some dishonesty on some level on his part if he entered your son as a dependant but is not paying you any child support. I would file for custody and support all in one shot. It could be very likely that you would get back pay. It's worth a shot. The military has TONS of experience with this. Your ex may be broke, but his basic needs will always be met.
Not a Single Parent, but came across this thread, and wanted to echo Oliver'sMom. If he is in the military, his pay can easily be garnished and an allotment set up to go to you automatically. His commanding officer, I'm sure, would be none too happy to find out that he has refused to pay child support for one of his dependents. (In fact, there is a regulation that gives a guideline as to the amount of support that should be provided for dependents in the event that there is not a court order. It is a guideline though, and he cannot be forced to pay that particular amount to you. Any court order would garnish his wages.)

Because he has your son listed as a dependent (and thus provides medical insurance for him), he has acknowledged him as a dependent, and cannot just say, "oops, don't have any money." Also, if he is receiving BAH at a "with dependents" rate, and does not have dependents residing with him, he is committing fraud against the government if a portion of that BAH is not going to your son.

Having him served on a base is as easy as calling the sheriff's department. They will drop the paperwork off with the MPs on his base, who will then serve your husband.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
AlwaysByMySide is offline  
#11 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 05:10 PM
 
cycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysByMySide View Post
Not a Single Parent, but came across this thread, and wanted to echo Oliver'sMom. If he is in the military, his pay can easily be garnished and an allotment set up to go to you automatically. His commanding officer, I'm sure, would be none too happy to find out that he has refused to pay child support for one of his dependents. (In fact, there is a regulation that gives a guideline as to the amount of support that should be provided for dependents in the event that there is not a court order. It is a guideline though, and he cannot be forced to pay that particular amount to you. Any court order would garnish his wages.)

Because he has your son listed as a dependent (and thus provides medical insurance for him), he has acknowledged him as a dependent, and cannot just say, "oops, don't have any money." Also, if he is receiving BAH at a "with dependents" rate, and does not have dependents residing with him, he is committing fraud against the government if a portion of that BAH is not going to your son.

Having him served on a base is as easy as calling the sheriff's department. They will drop the paperwork off with the MPs on his base, who will then serve your husband.
I don't think this is the case, Oliver'sMom asked the question but I don't think the OP's son is listed as a dependent of her ex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver'sMom View Post
Since he's in the military, he has zero excuse for not paying child support. I work pay in the military, and members are given extra allotments to their pay just for child support reasons. If your son is receiving health care from him (which is totally free) then your son is already entered into the system as his dependant. I'm sure there must be some dishonesty on some level on his part if he entered your son as a dependant but is not paying you any child support. I would file for custody and support all in one shot. It could be very likely that you would get back pay. It's worth a shot. The military has TONS of experience with this. Your ex may be broke, but his basic needs will always be met.
OP - its great that since he is in the military it will be easy to get child support started - however I would first handle custody and get that official and filed with the court. If you do custody and child support at the same time I can pretty much guarantee that your ex will be much less cooperative on custody. Once you get custody in order then file for child support, it sounds like you will get all of the back support that is owed.
cycle is offline  
#12 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
bbsc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is so nice to have a wonderful group moms to get ideas from. My son is listed as a dependent of my ex, he has a little dependent id card and everything. The only issue with the health insurance is that they won't answer questions when I call, but the receptionist at the dr office can call for me. Works out fine, but it's sort of annoying.

So it sounds like I could hire an attorney that would draft up an agreement to have ex sign and get notarized, then the attorney could file that agreement with the court.

After all that is finalized I could file for child support through the child support enforcement agency. If my ex wanted to change the custody agreement at that point it would be up to him to bring me to court, right?

Thanks again everybody!
bbsc is offline  
#13 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 07:28 PM
 
Oliver'sMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 823
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsc View Post
It is so nice to have a wonderful group moms to get ideas from. My son is listed as a dependent of my ex, he has a little dependent id card and everything. The only issue with the health insurance is that they won't answer questions when I call, but the receptionist at the dr office can call for me. Works out fine, but it's sort of annoying.
If I were you, I'd try to contact your ex's unit and speak with his commanding officer. If your son has a dependent id then your ex is MOST CERTAINLY getting BAH-DIFF which the military pays him for the sole purpose of child support. It really sounds like he is not being honest with you or his employer, and that is a huge no no in his situation.

Enjoying life with DH since 05/04 and our two boys Oliver 02/07 and Theodore 07/10 
        
Oliver'sMom is offline  
#14 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 07:41 PM
 
Still_Snarky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: californ.i.a.
Posts: 3,228
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamoo View Post
Yes! What Shiloh said, and if you are low income or have hardships you might be able to petion for a fee waiver for the filing fees.
: i also am in california and got all my fees waived no problem.
Still_Snarky is offline  
#15 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 07:59 PM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
I would hire an attorney and have him write up the papers - this is what I did. It wasn't too expensive, he wrote up everything and since he is an attorney he of course knew everything to include and it was formatted for the court. Once complete he sent it to ex who had it signed and notarized and sent it back. My attorney went to the court and filed it and it was made an order of the court. I now have sole legal and physical custody of ds.

If I were you I would take care of custody first though because if you do custody and child support you may get less cooperation from him because you are asking for money. I would be silent about the child support until custody is official, and it needs to be filed in the court for it to be official.

My costs in my state ended up being about 700.00 for everything, attorney and filing fees. If you would like more specifics on what my agreement says please feel free to pm me.
I agree 100%. You need to sort out custody for real (not just a letter), and then as soon as that's done it should be trivial to get a child support order, since he's already paying medical that means he admits it's his kid, and the military, like everyone is saying, is very good about dealing with these situations. Don't let him off the hook for support. It's disgraceful that he's not taking care of his child yet, but it's easy for you to force the issue.

violet_ is offline  
#16 of 28 Old 01-10-2008, 08:24 PM
 
Shiloh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: listening to kriping churckets
Posts: 6,796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
File it all at once, like the mama said he might be getting more benefits for having dependants and keeping them to himself.....

it would be easier to ask for basic support at the same time as custody and save some money. If you are below a certain income level most places have programmes to help get support and enforce it.

besides the money isn't for you remember its for his son and might go a long way to your child growing up and having some basic respect for his donor daddy knowing he paid a little for him instead of nothing regardless if you had to put in paperwork to get it.

its a common misconception that support and visitation are tied together with some men they think if they see the kids they'll pay...,

that little extra is so small in comparision to the fact you've paid for EVERYTHING and done EVERYTHING... also he might feel better about himself knowing he's 'meeting his obligations' and not abandoning them.. It might be a source of healing for him...also some men especially alpha males (I am sure a military man is an alpha) have a hard time giving things sometimes they need to be told by someone in authority.

that extra money will mean a better something for your child whether thats organic fruits and veggies or saving for education - no one gets rich on child support...well unless you get knocked up by some NBA player...

8 might be enough
Shiloh is offline  
#17 of 28 Old 01-11-2008, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
bbsc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am pretty sure he gets his BAH with dependents. He has a teenage duaghter from a prior relationship that he pays support for, I think she's 17 or 18. I don't want to get him in trouble with his CO, I'd like to give him a chance to do the right thing first. I guess three years is a kind of a long time though. I have the number for his command ombudsman, I'll have to think about this.

I feel like the custody issue is more important to me than support, so I will most likely deal with that first. I will talk to my family about hiring an attorney. I did pick up a fee waiver form from the courthouse, so I think that I will qualify for that.

I did go by the child support agency a few months ago. They provide their services for free, but they won't help with custody issues. I figure I can go to them after I get the custody issue sorted out.
bbsc is offline  
#18 of 28 Old 01-11-2008, 07:58 PM
 
Shiloh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: listening to kriping churckets
Posts: 6,796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
He has a teenage duaghter from a prior relationship that he pays support for, I think she's 17 or 18.
grr he pays support for his other child....nice

Quote:
I don't want to get him in trouble with his CO, I'd like to give him a chance to do the right thing first. I guess three years is a kind of a long time though. I have the number for his command ombudsman, I'll have to think about this.
then write him a letter say listen I need to get the paper work sorted out for our child in terms of the basics can we draw something up by the books without going through court or your CO? Look up the tables if you have them for how much support at about what you think his payscale is and ask for full custody plus support...send the tables with the letter.

Seriously for a deadbeat, no show kind of dad you don't need a lawyer its simple paperwork. Unless there's a fight they will just go by the books.

8 might be enough
Shiloh is offline  
#19 of 28 Old 01-12-2008, 03:35 PM
 
RoadWorkAhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,053
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I('d definitely get a cusotdy agreement in place. Get it signed off on by him and the judge. Then, a week alter, file for CS. When he tries to come back for custody the judge will see right through that crap. Legally, you can't sign away your DC's right to CS so even if you tell ex that you won't file for CS, its not legally enforcable b/c it "goes against pubilc interest" (Legal jargon for, THe state doesn't wanna pick up the tab for him being a deadbeat). I'd definitely do custody first, CS second, and I would do them both!
RoadWorkAhead is offline  
#20 of 28 Old 01-12-2008, 06:37 PM
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,004
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A notarized letter doesn't conform to most state's custody order requirements, so it's not enforceable.

What it may be enforceable as is a contract: It's a contract to put those terms into an enforceable order. (Check your state; it varies.) So you can't necessarily be bound to the terms of the letter if that's all there is, you can be bound to include the terms of the letter in a custody agreement. (Hope that makes sense.)

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#21 of 28 Old 01-15-2008, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
bbsc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good news - ex is willing to sign off on whatever I want for custody! Now I just need to figure out the legal side of things. Thanks for your help everyone.
bbsc is offline  
#22 of 28 Old 01-15-2008, 12:40 PM
 
cycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsc View Post
Good news - ex is willing to sign off on whatever I want for custody! Now I just need to figure out the legal side of things. Thanks for your help everyone.
That is great news! I just emailed you the custody agreement with personal stuff taken out of course, that I came up with - all ex had to do was sign it and have it notarized. He mailed it back to my attorney and with my signature my attorney filed it with the court. The court signed off and it is now a legal order of the court. It really was very easy once ex signed it - he tortured me and threatened me for a while before signing it...
cycle is offline  
#23 of 28 Old 01-15-2008, 12:48 PM
 
Shiloh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: listening to kriping churckets
Posts: 6,796
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
awesome.

now the money honey.

8 might be enough
Shiloh is offline  
#24 of 28 Old 01-15-2008, 08:37 PM
 
Bad Mama Jama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locale so Secret that I Don't Know
Posts: 4,972
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would file. Then you and your child are protected by the court. A notarized letter doesn't hold up quite the same as a legal filing. Good luck, mama and may your child get whatever is coming to him as far as benefits go.

Former dreads.gifwearing, treehugger.gifing, pole dancing, read.gifpushing, ribbonpurple.gifsurvivor & single mama extraordinaire to energy.gif.  

Now that's a mouthful!!! computergeek2.gif & follow it!   

 

Bad Mama Jama is offline  
#25 of 28 Old 01-25-2008, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
bbsc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This legal stuff is so confusing for me! I just went to see the Family Law Facilitator again today and it was upsetting for me. Apparently I misunderstood the forms she told me to use last time and she wouldn't even look at the custody agreement I brought in. I used the one cycle gave me as a template and actually spent a fair amount of time on it.
She said that the judge won't sign a custody agreement unless it's just the court forms where you check boxes, etc. At first she said you need a lawyer to file an agreement like the one I wrote, but then she back peddled and said even a lawyer wouldn't file something like that.
So now I guess I need to look over the new forms she gave me, and try to fit the things I want in the agreement onto them. Her opinion seemed to be I should just leave everything as it is, and that by filing for custody I was giving my ex more rights. Then she said I should consider terminating his parental rights.
I feel so confused. She said I need to open a case, and since I'm not married I should file to establish a parental relationship. I thought that since ex and I agreed we could just file our agreement. And he already signed a paternity declaration after ds was born. And we both have to pay the $320 filing fee.
Does all of this make sense to anybody? How about if you do mediation? How does that work? Do you still need to file a lawsuit? I could really use any advise or sympathy you might have for me. I feel really overwhelmed and want to give up.
bbsc is offline  
#26 of 28 Old 01-26-2008, 02:02 AM
 
whatta_mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Wonderland
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am in Calif as well and VERY interested in this thread.
Sorry you are confused with the process. I myself know nothing of it, but
got to googling for our state as I would like something more legal with the father of my dd as well. We are not married but he did sign declaration of parentage at the hospital.

This site has been extremely informative... check it out, has all the forms too.

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp...tm#bestprocess

This part I found very helpful -

What is the process for getting a custody and visitation court order?

In most cases, parents can make their own agreements for custody and visitation. If you and the other parent agree on custody, the judge will probably approve your agreement and it will become a court order. After the judge signs your agreement, file it with the court clerk.
Click here
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp...ing/inplan.htm
for more help on writing up a custody and visitation agreement or parenting plan.

If you cannot agree, the judge will send you to mediation and a mediator from Family Court Services will help you. If you still cannot agree, you and the other parent will meet with the judge. Generally, the judge will then decide your custody and visitation schedule.

In some cases, the judge may appoint an evaluator to do a custody evaluation and recommend a parenting plan. A parent can also ask for an evaluation, but the request may not be granted. Parents may have to pay for an evaluation.

The judge also may appoint lawyers for children in custody cases. The judge will also decide who will pay for the child’s lawyer’s fees.


Hope this helps... I will be checking into it further myself.

ETA: Cycle , I would like the information you have if you could pm me....? Thanks in advance.

~Single Working Mama of two
whatta_mama is offline  
#27 of 28 Old 01-26-2008, 05:05 AM
 
AJsMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey ladies,

I haven't posted yet, but feel the need to share my knowledge (what little it may be) on this topic. I do not know the particulars with regards to being unmarried with a dependent of a military, as I am married to ds's father. That said, I know that for most things, you can be your child's chaparone onto military bases, as they are not able to go themselves. If your child is still a baby, you might even be able to talk to Navy/Marine/Army/etc. legal. If there is a military base near you, I would suggest googling for the # to their legal services office and asking if they will speak to you on behalf of your son with regards to your custody battle. It might be a stretch, but it doesn't hurt to ask them, and their services are free and VERY helpful.

If that doesn't work, here's the information I know:
- As mentioned, if you are low income you will likely qualify for a fee waiver and will not have to pay court costs
- Your son's father will not have to pay court costs if he submits a military waiver...as the party being sued he can qualify to have legal fees waived as long as he does not contest the matter (this is so with a divorce, I'm assuming it's the same with custody). If he does contest it and it goes before a judge, he will be billed for the court costs.
- Your ex is receiving $ for your son, and you are legally entitled to some of it. Support guidelines are 1/6th of his pay (base pay and BAH, before taxes, and without a court order) for one child. This is usually much less than California will order, but it doesn't require going to court over. I would suggest contacting the ombudsman and introducing yourself and letting her know that your ex is not properly supporting your son. She will contact the Command Master Chief (if he's enlisted) to have them counsel him about proper support. They cannot order him to pay you. But after such a "counseling" session, it's likely he'll start sending checks. I would also suggest googling military pay rates and BAH rates (based on where he lives) to figure out what the 1/6th is so that he does not try to give you less...especially if he has given nothing thus far.
- My understanding is that the courts in California are lenient with military...even if he has never tried to see your son, it is likely he will not be found guilty of abandonment because he can play the "I'm in the military and it was impossible" card and they will sympathize. So you definatley need some sort of a court order in place. If a few years down the line he has not utilized ANY of the visitation he is granted, you can go back to court.
- My further understanding is that it's really hard to get full physical and legal custody. CA courts don't like canceling one parent's rights (which is what giving legal custody does), even when that parent signs something.
- You can download all the CA forms from courtinfo.ca.gov...they're a pain to fill out and you can't save them, but at least you'll have the proper forms. Careful...some of the forms the court reporter will only take on green paper (and I don't know which ones). You'll have to ask them in advance and copy the white onto the green.
- My understanding with mediation (we're doing it for the divorce) is that your agreement is basically that. So you file a lawsuit, then you file the agreement you made with the court and it closes the lawsuit. I think the reasoning is that in case you don't end up agreeing, you've already started the process to seeing a judge. If you agree, then it stops things before then.

One more thing...don't worry about getting him in trouble with his command. You're being too nice. Overall, things like this don't make too much of a difference (unless he's married already and was commiting adultery with you). In fact, my stbx told me that people with spotless records don't usually get promoted...almost as if they're too good to be true? I would definately talk to the ombudsman, if nothing else. You can tell her when you first get on the phone that you are hesitant about any of this getting to the command, but you need help. That's what she's there for...and everything you say is confidential. She will only inform his command if you ask her to, give her permission to, or if it is a safety issue (you're being beaten, he's going to commit suicide, etc.).

Good luck! Hopefully the military legal services will talk to you. It can be a long wait, but if they will, it's worth it!
AJsMama is offline  
#28 of 28 Old 01-27-2008, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
bbsc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cyn_S, that is the website the family law facilitator referred me too. I wish I could fill them out to print, but I don't have a printer at home and the library computers don't seem to allow it. So I can only print the blank versions to fill out by hand. I wonder if kinko's or some place like that could work out. Library costs just $0.15 per page though, I bet kinko's would cost more.

I think the forms I need are FL-200, FL-341, FL-355
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/fl200.pdf to establish parental relationship
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/fl341.pdf custody and visitation attachment
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/fl355.pdf stipulation for custody/visitation

plus the fee waiver FW-001
http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/fillable/fw001.pdf

I'm not sure what to put in terms of days/times for visits. He's only seen his son once, and I'd like to be around for any of the visits to help ds get to know his dad. That is, if ex even wants to see his kid.

AJsMama, thanks for telling me about the military side of it. Ex is an officer, so I'm not sure who'd counsel him, the XO I guess. I'll think about notifying his command.

Thanks for reading about my drama you guys!
bbsc is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off