More Visitaion/Custody - Mothering Forums
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Blended and Step Family Parenting > More Visitaion/Custody
hairstylist's Avatar hairstylist 02:49 PM 11-03-2006
What would be the reasons a parent could go for more custody/visitation?

My DH wants to get more visitation with DD, maybe even full custody. She does not work, sits on her butt all day waiting on the check from child support and lives with her mom and off of the government. We do not feel it is fair that he has to pay her money when she does not even support the DD herself. Know what I mean?

She would rather get his paycheck and him never see the DD again.

I need some advice!

*caitlinsmom*'s Avatar *caitlinsmom* 03:09 PM 11-03-2006
Hairstylist, PM me.
Flor's Avatar Flor 07:29 PM 11-03-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by hairstylist View Post
What would be the reasons a parent could go for more custody/visitation?

My DH wants to get more visitation with DD, maybe even full custody. She does not work, sits on her butt all day waiting on the check from child support and lives with her mom and off of the government. We do not feel it is fair that he has to pay her money when she does not even support the DD herself. Know what I mean?

She would rather get his paycheck and him never see the DD again.

I need some advice!
Any reason. Do you need a reason other than want more time with DD? Our last custody agreement specifically says "either party can return to court at anytime" etc.
MissSavannahsMommy's Avatar MissSavannahsMommy 06:43 PM 11-05-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by hairstylist View Post
What would be the reasons a parent could go for more custody/visitation?
I'm sure getting more visitation wouldn't be a problem, but why do you think you have grounds for being granted full custody? I thought that the allegations had to be pretty severe (i.e. physical abuse) before one could remove a child from their custodian?

I'm not saying it's not a good idea at all, but I don't think being lazy and mooching off the government are grounds for removal KWIM?

s good luck with everything!
Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom 03:19 AM 11-07-2006
There is no reason you cannot file for more custody/visitation.
Jster's Avatar Jster 08:37 AM 11-07-2006
I think filing for more visitation or filing for custody merely because you resent paying child support is a pretty lousy idea. Especially if you're the step mom, you really have no business in there...you married this man knowing he had an obligation to a previous child. His previous child, his previous wife, on the other hand, came into his life without any knowledge of a future step mother who would resent them.

I say this as a single mother and as the child of a single mother. Both my dad and my ex were always trying to pay less or pay very minimal child support amounts, and trust me, in the end you'll just be frustrated and lose the respect of the child.

I'm pretty surprised you could say you want custody just for monetary purposes and only one person question it. It is not good for the CHILD to lose their relationship with the mother...and the child should come first. It might not be good for the child to have a change in visitation, either, and the child should again come first. Monetary problems are adult issues. But trust me, resentment will just eat you up and you'll never get past it. Also, put yourself in the mother's shoes. She doesn't get the child support for any reason other than that she's caring for a child your h helped create. The fact that he chose to have another child is his own business and his own problem, if money's tight for him, he should have considered that before starting a second family.
mmace's Avatar mmace 10:54 AM 11-07-2006
Okay, I might get crucified for saying this, but this part really bothered me:

Quote:
She does not work, sits on her butt all day
Why is she different than any other stay at home mom? (NOTE: I am not saying that of stay at home moms, just questioning the OPs words!) Why, just because she is a single mom, does she have to be working?

I am a single stay at home mom. My ex-MIL asks me every single time she calls if I have gotten a job yet. She resents every single penny my ex gives me, although I have no idea why. He gives me the minimum amount possible for three kids on the salary he makes. He would be giving me the same amount even if I were working. I am able to stretch that, and combined with the income I get from a rental property, I am able to stay at home with my little girl (my older two are in school full-time). In a couple of years when she is in school full-time I will start job hunting, but for now I believe there is no more important job for me than staying home with/for my kids.

My ex and I made the decision together that I would be a stay at home mom. I worked and supported him while he finished school, we both worked full-time for a year when our oldest was a baby, and we decided together when times got better that I should stay at home and raise our kids. Why should that change just because he decided he was no longer happy here?

I see no reason that single stay at home moms should be looked down upon.
meowee's Avatar meowee 02:21 PM 11-07-2006
I do not understand either why the mom being unemployed should be a reason for you to want custody?

I believe having a mom at home is a great thing.

I mean if she doesn't feed, bath, love, or dress the child, then I could understand your position.

Maybe she lives with her mom because her support payments from the dad are not enough, and she can't afford a place of her own?
Flor's Avatar Flor 07:28 PM 11-07-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmace View Post
Okay, I might get crucified for saying this, but this part really bothered me:



Why is she different than any other stay at home mom? (NOTE: I am not saying that of stay at home moms, just questioning the OPs words!) Why, just because she is a single mom, does she have to be working?

I am a single stay at home mom. My ex-MIL asks me every single time she calls if I have gotten a job yet. She resents every single penny my ex gives me, although I have no idea why. He gives me the minimum amount possible for three kids on the salary he makes. He would be giving me the same amount even if I were working. I am able to stretch that, and combined with the income I get from a rental property, I am able to stay at home with my little girl (my older two are in school full-time). In a couple of years when she is in school full-time I will start job hunting, but for now I believe there is no more important job for me than staying home with/for my kids.

My ex and I made the decision together that I would be a stay at home mom. I worked and supported him while he finished school, we both worked full-time for a year when our oldest was a baby, and we decided together when times got better that I should stay at home and raise our kids. Why should that change just because he decided he was no longer happy here?

I see no reason that single stay at home moms should be looked down upon.
Well, in my state cs is based on income of both parents (as I understand) so if you worked, you'd get less support. I guess I saw the OP say two things. 1. her dh wanted more vistation (great.)
and
2. the mom is lazy, etc.

I didn't read those as connected. I thought she was just justifing, looking for reasons for more visitation. I think dads should have more vistations, but not BECAUSE mom does/doesnt work, just regardless. Re-reading it, she seems to connect them (we shouldn't pay her if she doesn't work) but maybe thoes are separate still : dad wants visitation and is annoyed that mom doesn't work (not because?) I don't know. OP?
mmace's Avatar mmace 10:24 PM 11-07-2006
My ex is paying the minimum he would pay for three kids, based on his income. Even though I don't work, the state says that I *could* earn a certain amount, based on my education and experience, so that also goes into consideration. So basically, even though I don't work, the state figures his payment based on what I could earn.

I've been called lazy for being a single stay at home mom. I receive no assistance, other than reduced energy bills, but I would receive the same amount for that even if his income were taken into consideration. I stretch every single dollar he gives me, and I stretch every single dollar I get from my rental income. I can make it work and still stay home. I don't see why that makes me any "lazier" than any other stay at home mom, just because I'm single.
Jster's Avatar Jster 04:24 AM 11-08-2006
In some states (like WI, where my divorce took place) cs is based merely on the payor's income, at a base percentage. So my ex pays 25% regardless of what I make. If we were in FL, where they take my income into consideration, which is practically nil because I'm a single mama/full time student, he'd pay almost double. So I think it balances out and each state's calculations have to be considered separately. HTH for the understanding part, but I guess I wouldn't agree that all fathers should automatically get more visitation, any more than I would agree that all mothers should automatically get less visitation. I think it should be proven in each case that it would be in the best interest of the child in that case.
gamecaco4's Avatar gamecaco4 11:38 AM 11-08-2006
We would jump at the chance to get dsd more or have full custody. We already get her all summer, during breaks during the school year and on weekends where bio mom doesnt already have plans with her. She lives about 2 hours away which isnt much, really.

I agree with the others about needing a really good reason for trying to get full custody. Even though my dsd is allowed to stay up as late as she wants, doesnt have a healthy diet, is taken to bars and parties and isnt parented as much as befriended by her mom, we have nothing for the courts to grant us full custody. She has a roof, food, clothing...all of her basic needs are being met. Just because her moms and our parenting styles differ, doesnt mean that one way is better than the other in the eyes of the state/court/judge.

If you think that you do have grounds for a custodial change, I would talk to a lawyer about it. I dont know about anywhere else, but here, we have to have a lawyer to advise us for court is we were to try to get custody or change the agreement. A lawyer would know all about the laws and the chances of a custodial change for your situation.

I know its frustrating. There are so many other things I could tell you, but they dont mean anything in this circumstance. If you want to talk, PM me.
Flor's Avatar Flor 01:21 PM 11-08-2006
I guess after 6 years in a blended family I am leaning closer to the idea the parents should have more equal custody unless there is a danger to the child. I used to believe that the "better" parent should have more custody (us! and we do) but my dss has shown me that his mom doesn't have to be better than us, just there. She just has to be good enough (not a danger) and even though we think she X, Y, and Z dss doesn't care. It's been a weird song and dance to always show we are "better" while married couples don't have to be better than each other. I don't say ds should be with me more than his dad because I am the better parent because we are married, but if we get divorced, that should change? A parent who is good enough when married is suddenly not good enough when they are divorced. Equalizing the custody to a place that comfortable for both parents and the child shouldn't happen suddenly, but I think all parties should work towards that.

Anyway, that's where I'm coming from. I don't know about this dad, of course. I just assume he's not dangerous and has a relationship with the child.
Selesai's Avatar Selesai 02:50 PM 11-08-2006
I agree with gamecaco4.
Usually you have to have really good reasons to get full custody, because the court will try to maintain the status quo. We've been told it's basically impossible. It's about as impossible to get joint physical, too. I have many thoughts on this, but will reserve them!

As for single stay at home moms.
In my state CS is calculated based on both parties' income. If one party does not work, the state will impute to them a proper income.
I would be frustrated if the CS recipient (custodial parent) did not work because they would obviously not be contributing that money each month to the child. It doesn't seem fair for the n/c parent to be contributing while the custodial parent does not.
In some circumstances that may still be equitable, but then, if the custodial parent buys low quality clothes, refuses to buy new shoes when needed, complains that the non-custodial parent doesn't pay enough, etc., it's especially unfair. And some will say they "have to work because n/c parent doesn't support the child enough". That's annoying too-- because when parents are divorced, they both have to financially support the child. It's just another part of the unsatisfactory custody/cs system.

I realize that may not be totally relevant to the conversation, but I am understanding where pp are coming from.

Incidently, CS is a crappy reason to change custody.
hairstylist's Avatar hairstylist 06:03 PM 11-08-2006
I am not saying he is trying to get out of paying child support. I am not saying that at all. He just does not think its fair for him to have to pay her child support when she does not have anything to contribute to the child. We could give that child a more stable home than she is in now. No doubt about it.

Although this has nothing to do with our situation, she did have her first child taken away for abuse. The father was awarded full custody. She took him back to court here recently and got joint custody. So it is proven that she has been abusive in the past.

And I do feel it is my business. No, she is not my daughter but she does come into my household, therefore, I believe it should be my business. He was not married to her mother nor did he date her. It was one of those things. But at least he is taking care of dd.
Flor's Avatar Flor 01:20 AM 11-09-2006
I agree it is your business. I think your original post can be read to say that he should get more custody because he pays to much child support. If he wants more custody for other reasons, that's great. I think you sparked some interesting discussions around here.
annarbor931's Avatar annarbor931 01:47 PM 11-09-2006
I am so sick of hearing people complain about paying c/s. Really, I am tired of the X and his new wife ranting about how Mom is misusing c/s and milking the system because she is lazy and neglects the child blah blah blah. This story is just so hackneyed. Raising a child is expensive no matter the circumstance, and having a child in your home isn't going to save money compared to the child support. Such an argument just doesn't make sense. I hope the child doesn't suffer because all of the nonsense with the money.
fuzzycat's Avatar fuzzycat 02:05 PM 11-09-2006
Annarbor,
I think you are jumping to conclusions. I understand that hairstylist's original post is poorly worded i.e. it sounded like the only reason they want custody was to avoid paying cs and she came down hard on BM for not working, but if you look a little deeper and read some of her other posts there is more to this story than what is in the original post.
BM has a history of child abuse and lost custody of one child at some point.
She is interferes with the father's visitation.
She acts inappropriatly; yelling at them (I am assuming in front the the dsd which is a big no-no) and talking trash behind their back to mutual acquaintances.
I think it is very admirable to the father to want more time with his daughter. OP clearly cares about her SD and feels she can provide a safe, stable home compared to the mother. This isn't about the money it's about BM treatment/care of DSD
FC
gamecaco4's Avatar gamecaco4 11:48 PM 11-09-2006
I would pay the same amount that dh pays in c/s each week just to have my dsd with us. It would be worth it to get her into a family environment.
bczmama's Avatar bczmama 01:13 PM 11-10-2006
I can understand the resentment towards the mother not working where she is using child support as alimony rather than child support. In other words -- child support is supposed to go towards the expenses of the child. If the mother does not have other income (from any other source), that means she is using child support to support herself, and I can see the father having a problem with that.

And before you start talking about her care-taking...she is supposed to contribute 50% of the child's support. Since she has no income, we can assume (though whether or not that is correct is unclear) that her work in providing child-care is her 50% of the child's support. In my mind, that would still not entitle her to be "paid" from the child's support for her child-care work.
Jster's Avatar Jster 01:28 PM 11-10-2006
If she lives with her mother, she is being supported in other ways. It isn't the non-cp's business how the mother's finances are handled as long as the child is provided for. I was a SAH single mom for a year after my youngest was born, living with my mom, and if my ex had even dared question my child's right to have a stay at home parent I would have been outraged. Why is it that the children of single parents should be forced into daycare? You think that does anyone any good? Why is it that so many step parents lose sight of the child's right to stability, attachment, support, care, nurturing, etc? The treatment of children as property to be traded and fought over is NOT in the child's best interest.
Shenjall's Avatar Shenjall 01:38 PM 11-10-2006
Op, yes, go back to court to get more visitation. I'm with Flor, the more time a child spends with both parents (all parents,including step) the better off the child will be.

Your feelings of resentment of c/s are valid.

Until anyone has had to pay c/s, please dont be so judgemental to those who can get frustrated from time to time.

ETA:
Quote:
Why is it that so many step parents lose sight of the child's right to stability, attachment, support, care, nurturing, etc?
The same could be said of custodial parents refusing to let non-custodial parents receive more visitation.
hairstylist's Avatar hairstylist 02:29 PM 11-10-2006
I really do appreciate everyones opinion on this subject.

I am have no resentment towards the sdd but I do feel it is our business how child support is spent
hairstylist's Avatar hairstylist 02:31 PM 11-10-2006
If it is being spent other ways than on the child, then its not right. We dont necessarily want to take dsd away from her mother, we would just like more time with her. She is not around us enough as it is.
Shenjall's Avatar Shenjall 02:35 PM 11-10-2006
Weeeel, yes and no. Its such a fine line. I'd hate to be told to spend c/s only on grade A beef or whatever, but at the same time, if I'm using it for myself, than ya, yell away.

I've been on sooo many sides of the c/s thing, I get it all. And it can be very hard to work hard, go without, hand over a ck w/o any say whatsoever on how its spent. Especially when its your kid too! So, I feel your pain there.

Good luck and all the best to you in getting more time with sdd! Its what she needs.
Ninakitty's Avatar Ninakitty 02:47 PM 11-10-2006
As a sm to a dss, and a child of a single mom myself, I have no problem with dh paying cs. none at all. assuming it supports the child. however when X randomly goes out and purchases extremely expensive gas guzzling vehicle, and complains that she has no furniture or clothing for dss, I get annoyed. Not only do I get annoyed, but I worry about where priorities are. dss should be #1 priority and I feel that $ should be used for his care, welfare and good quality daycare. btw X works and leaves dss at her parents (bad, bad, bad household). And not exactly related to our situation, but she has 2 dau from previous relationships, where she made no effort to received cs...why I wonder? I don't know...but it's curious.
Anywho, to wrap it up. CS should be paid, no issues about it. However it should go towards CHILD.
Flor's Avatar Flor 03:51 PM 11-10-2006
It's hard. You want it to go toward child, but of course there aren't many expenses that are labeled "child only" ie. clothes are for the child, but utilities, food, etc. are for everyone though of course cs should go that way too. It is irritated to hear that their isn't enough cs being paid when the parent has the most expenisve cable plan (or whatever) it's hard to not see that your money is paying for HBO, but I know it is not supposed to be anybody's business where the money goes as long as the child does have food and clothes, etc. Go for more visitation if that is what the dh wants.
bczmama's Avatar bczmama 11:09 PM 11-10-2006
"It isn't the non-cp's business how the mother's finances are handled as long
as the child is provided for."

I'm afraid I don't agree with this. As a parent, if I'm cutting checks that in their amount should equal appropriate housing in a safe neighborhood, nice clothes, afterschool activities and good, healthy food for my child I think I should have a right to be pissed when the child is wearing hand me downs, having no enrichment activities and eating McDonalds. I think the reason the courts don't monitor this sort of thing is not based on some sort of principle, but rather because the reality of doing so is impossible. Instead, they make the general assumption that most custodial parents will use the money wisely. While I agree that is generally the case, there are always some exceptions to the rule and those are always frustrating.
annarbor931's Avatar annarbor931 12:41 AM 11-11-2006
Ummmm. C/s is to care for the child (clothes, toys, activities), including a portion of shared expenses like housing, utilities (including cable), gas, phone, etc. The only reason I would have concerns about where c/s was being spent was if my child is doing without, clearly. Otherwise, I don't think it is anyone's business how the custodial parent is spending money. Also, if family is willing to help out with children by giving the custodial parent money, housing, food, clothing or whatever then that is considered the contribution of the custodial parent albeit indirectly. It doesn't matter where it comes from, even if non-custodial parents are resentful of having to work while the other parent is at home. I really don't see why it matters.

I think anyone who works hard to support a child feels resentful when it appears that another parent isn't doing their part. I get that, but I don't think it is right to be able to control someone's life because a portion of your income goes to their household each month because that is where a shared child resides.
mmace's Avatar mmace 12:01 PM 11-11-2006
Quote:
And before you start talking about her care-taking...she is supposed to contribute 50% of the child's support. Since she has no income, we can assume (though whether or not that is correct is unclear) that her work in providing child-care is her 50% of the child's support. In my mind, that would still not entitle her to be "paid" from the child's support for her child-care work.
Okay, in that regard, what about every other stay at home mom in the world?

I'm lucky. My ex does not question the fact that I stay home. His family does, but he does not. Daycare is expensive. After school care is expensive. I quit college and worked my butt off for two years so he could finish school. We both worked full-time for a year when our oldest was a baby, and we decided together that we didn't want that. Why should I now be punished or looked down upon for doing what we agreed would be best for our kids. What he gives me is about 2/3 of our household monthly income, and it is less than 1/3 of his. I stretch those dollars as far as I possibly can, but my kids do without nothing. Are there things they would like to have that they don't? Absolutely! Are there things that they need to have that they don't? Absolutely not! They're each involved in extracurricular activities, they're each dressed very nicely (in lots of hand-me-downs - but I'm thrilled about that fact, I don't look down on it like some people here seem to!), they have full bellies and warm beds. They have lots of things they want and everything they need. And most importantly, they have two parents who both agree that for at least another two years the most important place in the world for me to be is at home with them. I hope and pray that if another woman enters the picture, she doesn't come on here and badmouth me for that decision.
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