Is there anyone else in my predicament? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-10-2005, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi

I am going to be a dad come this Novemeber. I'm betting it was a planned trap. We had both agreed if this situation was to arise, we wouldnt proceed down this road. I believe it was an attempt to cling to a dwindled, going nowhere relationship. I'm 27 shes 22. I strongly believe she doesnt want to work or further her education .. just have me support her.. After losing my father (one of THE greatest men that ever lived) from brain cancer last year and more trauma than one soul should ever bear.. this was sprung on me as I attempted to terminate the relationship. Now shes 4-5 months along, I know there is no potential for marriage, or long term.. we still are together but NOT.. its confusing but I want to ensure my place/role in the babies life. Our families are VERY different as well.. she more other side of the tracks, and I shouldnt have been treading there. I will step up and have as much positive influence in the childs life and be a good father. She has also tried "I'm getting kicked out of the house .. can I live with you?" I feel aweful but had to say no for fear of some common law scenario developing and having to pay support to her as well as an unexpected baby.
Advise? AND does anyone truly know if I don't write a monthly cheque but supply food/diapers/resources direct to the child when he;s not with me, does this count as child support .. In Canada.
Also looking for a boys name.
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Old 06-10-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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Hi, I am not in your predicament at all but wanted to offer a little bit of advice based on similar situations in my family.

First off, Do all child support stuff through the state, so that you pay the state, and they pay the mother of your child. My niece's boyfriend payed support directly to his ex-wife for about a year. She eventually decided to go to the state to figure out the calculations and see if she could get more money from him. She ended up getting less, but he had to pay for the last year AGAIN, because it was considered back child support and everything he payed directly to ex-wife didn't count. I thought that was crazy but that was how it went. He even had copies of cancelled checks as proof. He used to pay for day care and support on top of that but should have been paying support to the state, then mom paid for daycare cause she was the primary custodian. Of course, you'll probably spend a lot more on the child while they are in your care, on top of support payments.

Also, get a paternity test.

You could post in the single parenting forum, under parenting issues. The moms there should know a lot about this stuff.

Good for you for stepping up. That should be a no-brainer but sadly its probably less common for dad to be so involved in this situation.

I would also recommend getting involved in the pregnancy, go to appointments with her, make sure she is taking good care of herself. I would think once the baby is born, you might only get supervised visits at first cause baby would need to breastfeed and be with mom. I am just assuming that, but take every little chance you can to bond with your child early on. Then once baby can visit with you one on one, you'll be more in tune with their routines and needs. My BIL was not part of his son's life for the first 3 years (freaked out unexpected dad issues). Now his son is 8 and I think it really effects their relationship that they wern't bonding during the baby years. Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2005, 09:58 PM
 
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I'll second KateMary's suggestions about proceeding through the state AND about the paternity test. You want as much documented as possible. Sadly, though, I'm not sure how much oversight the gov't will have as to how the money is going to be spent so even though you're doing the right thing, the mother might not to the child's detriment.

I don't know what the laws in Canada are, but if they're like here in the US and this child is in fact yours, you'll have some visitation rights. Here, it's not unheard of for the father to get more/full custody, but it's not really common.

Hang in there and try to make the best of the situation.

Oh, and as far as the common-law marriage concerns, in the US at least, you have to hold yourselves out to be a married couple or something close to it. If the understanding is that you are just raising a child together, but date other people, have separate lives in every other aspect, it's not a CL marriage. Again, I don't know Canada law (or whether it even exists in Canada) - this is just how it is in the US.
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Old 06-10-2005, 10:07 PM
 
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I am in Canada, and am sure buying food and diapers does not count as child support in Canada. Support is calculated based on your income, provided she has custody of the child more than 40% of the time. You can choose not to supply these things to the baby's mother in addition to paying support, but if you do these things will not be deducted from the support you pay. It is up to the mother what she will do with support you pay her, it is not up to you.

There is more to providing for a child than purchasing food and diapers. Rent usually increases as bigger housing is needed. And if the mama is going to take care of the child full time while you are free to work, she is entitled to having some of her needs met by support too. Parenting full time means she cannot have a job for money, unlike you. Or she will need to pay for childcare.

The tone of your post turns me off - what was your part in this? She couldn't have trapped you if you took responsibility for birth control, unless she poked holes in the condom.

And "wouldn't go down this road" - are you saying you had agreed that she would have an abortion if she got pg? And now she is not? If this is the case, I want to remind you that it is easy to talk about things like this in theory, but once a woman is pregnant she may change her mind about this. And she has every right to. The time for you to control whether you would have a child come from a sexual relationship was before she got pregnant, not now. You need to respect her decision if you want to be respectful of your baby and his mother.

I think it's great you want to ensure your place in your baby's life, and legally I'm sure you will find this is supported. Good luck to you... I hope you find great joy in the birth of your child.

ETA - I co-parent my 19 mos old daughter with a man I am not in a relationship with. I breastfeed, and early on he just took her for a walk almost every day (10-20 minutes). He and I also spent time with the baby together frequently, tho I did most of the direct care. Their relationship has developed over time and now she can spend several hours (up to about 3 hours) with him, and goes with him happily when he comes to pick her up. Frequent, short periods of time are really important in the newborn stage, gradually increasing, with respect for the baby's need to be with his mother.
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Old 06-10-2005, 10:45 PM
 
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So sorry that she "sprung this on you" while you were thinking about calling it off. How could she do this to you???

Food and diapers and other "resources" are not child support. What the other posters said in regards to that.

I don't think I have anything positive to say to you, so I'll stop here.
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Old 06-10-2005, 10:50 PM
 
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So sorry that she "sprung this on you" while you were thinking about calling it off. How could she do this to you???

:

It's not like your sperm magically jumped into her cunt or anything...

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Old 06-10-2005, 11:02 PM
 
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Food and diapers and other "resources" are not child support. What the other posters said in regards to that.

I don't think I have anything positive to say to you,
:

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Old 06-10-2005, 11:31 PM
 
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Oh and fyi, the govt has been increasing the penalties for deadbeat parents including huge fine and 2 years in jail.

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Old 06-11-2005, 12:10 AM
 
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Um, guys? He's here trying to do the right thing and be involved in his childs life. Goody for you if you never had to deal with an unplanned, completely unexpected and absolutely unwanted pregnancy but for some of us it's really difficult. But even so, he's here asking questions about how to do the best he can by this baby. He is not trying to get out of supporting his baby, he wants to make sure the support actually contributes to the childs life and isn't convinced the mom will use it htat way so wants to pay for food and diapers and things so he knows the baby is getting tangible support from him. I don't think that will fly legally, but geez, is it really a reason to be so rude? We have no idea what the actual circumstances were surrounding conception. Maybe he used no protection at all and is 100% to blame. Maybe she really did do it on purpose by stopping bc pills or something. Maybe the damn condom broke. Who cares? They didn't want to have a baby. Now they are having a baby. And he's dealing with it! Trying to find the best way to support his child! Oh, the horror!


OOh, I think this is the first time I've been any kind of adverserial on the boards....I'm frightened. Please be gentle :


Sorry I can't provide any actual help man, hope you get things sorted out.
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Old 06-11-2005, 12:13 AM
 
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So... you got a girl from "the wrong side of the tracks" pregnant, and you are looking for sympathy? Sorry, if I had any to give it would be to the poor girl who has to deal with you as the babydaddy.

It takes two for something like this to happen. Unless it's some sort of immaculate conception, it sounds like you were the one "springing" something on her, and without protection. You helped make a baby, you are cemented into a relationship with the baby's mama whether you want to be or not. Getting pregnant is just one of those hazards of sex, even if you were looking to end the relationship.

If you really want to be a positive influence in this child's life, be a man and step up to the plate. Don't be searching for ways NOT to support this baby (and his mama) before he's even born. Being a daddy is more than buying a pack of diapers.

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Old 06-11-2005, 12:16 AM
 
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OOh, I think this is the first time I've been any kind of adverserial on the boards....I'm frightened. Please be gentle :
You know what? It was the "wrong side of the tracks" comments, as well as his making it sound like she did this as some sort of last ditch effort to keep him in her life that makes me lack sympathy. Read his post carefully. The underlying tone is really acusatory.

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Old 06-11-2005, 12:16 AM
 
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SarahNH,

It is not about being scared. I've been there. If he posted about being scared and asked questions, I would have been fine. He started going on about the wrong side of teh tracks, gettinig trapped, being really rude and judgmental to his (kinda together) gf. That is unacceptable to me.

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Old 06-11-2005, 12:40 AM
 
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Oh, I definitely see what you all are saying-it hit me weird that way too. I guess I just saw someone completely clueless asking questions in a really clumsy way. Clearly the current relationship between babydaddy and babymama is not good, and he sounds bitter about hte whole thing. I think it was the deadbeat dad comment that really irked me, because he's not trying ot get out of supporting the baby. He seemed to be hoping to go about it in a different way and to us it's really obvious that it wouldn't work but I can see why someone in his situation would think of it. I also noticed that all of htis came about right around the time he lost his father to brain cancer, that's certainly a traumatic event that might be skewing his attitude.

ANyway I'm not saying lando2000 is my new best buddy or anything(sorry lando) I guess I just thought it was odd to see him getting flamed, after a post like that, for stuff that didn't even seem to be happening :LOL There was enough to get offended about and inform him about and in the end, in his own adverserial way, he is trying ot do the right thing.


Or, there is also the possibility my bleeding heart liberalism is finally turning my brain to mush.
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Old 06-11-2005, 12:43 AM
 
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ANyway I'm not saying lando2000 is my new best buddy or anything(sorry lando) I guess I just thought it was odd to see him getting flamed, after a post like that, for stuff that didn't even seem to be happening :LOL There was enough to get offended about and inform him about and in the end, in his own adverserial way, he is trying ot do the right thing.


Or, there is also the possibility my bleeding heart liberalism is finally turning my brain to mush.
:LOL It's cool. Speaking only for myself, this whole thing just really rubbed me the wrong way. It seems like an odd sort of first post, and an even odder place for someone in his predicament to come to for advice.

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Old 06-11-2005, 12:46 AM
 
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I'll try to stay out of my natural tendency to judge (it takes two to tango last time I checked).... my advice is to absolutely break it off and to seek formal visitation and support through the courts. A dear friend of ours had a child with his ex GF and has never spent more than 1-2 nights with his now 10 year old because he never formalized things with the courts. HUGE mistake. His son (DH's godson) thinks of his step father (ex GF married soon afterward) as his dad, and our friend is in the cold.
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Old 06-11-2005, 12:54 AM
 
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CountryMom2e, I don't think it's possible that a father can get screwed out of decent visitation with his kid just because he doesn't formalize it in time. Any time a father wants to seek more visitation with his child, he can, and the courts seek to encourage that unless there is a major reason why it's not a good idea. I don't know your friend's whole story, but I'm thinking perhaps he just didn't pursue more visitation?
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by the_lissa
SarahNH,

It is not about being scared. I've been there. If he posted about being scared and asked questions, I would have been fine. He started going on about the wrong side of teh tracks, gettinig trapped, being really rude and judgmental to his (kinda together) gf. That is unacceptable to me.
Yup this bugs me too. She was good enough to screw with and have a relationship with until he was done with her but not good enough to have a baby with. Well either don't have sex with her or use protection.

My mom warned me, don't have sex with anyone you can't see yourself parenting with, I didn't listen. How do you think I got dh? :LOL

And unless you have a formal support order drawn up that states something about buying necessities as a portion of the support it won't fly. Even then it might not, usually you pay cash support to also cover heating, roof over your childs head, water to bathe with etc.
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Old 06-11-2005, 04:08 AM
 
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Huh.

BTDT. About 10 years ago or so. We failed to use protection. Baby ensued. Daddy didn't want baby.

It's a tough row to hoe, my friend, but deal with it. Pregnancy is the natural point of sex. Even condoms fail. Birth control pills fail. The only way to prevent pregnancy is not to have sex.

Thus.
She didn't trap you into anything. You need to have a paternity test done. You need to get things formalized by the courts with legal papers and all the accoutrements.

But, above all, BE THERE FOR YOUR CHILD. And, as best as you can, be there for your childs' mother. My son's father was there for me. Not as a boyfriend or husband, but, as a friend. And my child has reaped those benefits.

Good luck.
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:54 PM
 
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Whatever you think of the baby's mother, don't let that get in the way of what you think of the child...this is your son, yes 1/2 her, but also 1/2 you! It's easy to let ill feelings get in the way, but this baby deserves your time and love, which I am glad that you seem to be willing to provide. So many guys just leave...

You've already gotten a lot of good advice here, but also another reason to get a paternity test is that since you are not married, you legally have no rights to the child until you have a paternity test and hearing in court. That means she could take the kids, skip town and you wouldn't be able to do a thing to see your son...get her to agree to the paternity hearing and then a child support hearing...

But most of all be there for the baby in whatever way you can. What will happen if she doesn't want to be the primary care giver for him? Would you be willing to have him live with you?

Good luck to you, her, and the precious new son you are about to have.
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Old 06-15-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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See the above post by GOODWILLHUNTER. That about says it all.

Do the right thing by being there for the mom and baby. Your lifes journey is now unfolding. Some people chase delusions or seek entertainment, drugs and alcohol, or comfort. The real purpose of life is in the difficult journey. Congratulations.

Women earn much less then men, even with comparable educations and job experience. You chose a 22 year old women who is gonna be dedicating her life to a new baby. She will not have the energy or time to upgrade job skills or get an education, at least in the beginning. Since your side of the tracks provided you the better life you can now give back to her and your baby. Most women in this situation end up in poverty cause they can't work and earn enough and end up on the dole. It could be a very hard life for her and the baby. Be their greatest support. Work hard and diligently and always pursue the right path. Don't squander your money nor energy. Remain focused.

Sounds like you are MAD at this gal for the predicament. She should be mad at you cause you were the older adult and failed to protect her from becoming pregnant. Don't be paranoid about her trying to scam you. She is only trying to protect her and the baby's lives. Take a deeeep breath and everything will be okay as long as you accept these new responsibilities.

Good luck. It really does sound like you want to do the right thing. This is great. The world needs this.

PS my friend was in a similar situation 16 years ago. He failed to do the right thing in the begining but did straighten out and now has an incredible relationship w/his 16 y/o son. It's been a tough journey for them, but they are in great shape today. Peace.
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Old 06-15-2005, 03:38 PM
 
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You know what? It was the "wrong side of the tracks" comments, as well as his making it sound like she did this as some sort of last ditch effort to keep him in her life that makes me lack sympathy. Read his post carefully. The underlying tone is really acusatory.
I don't like the tone of his post, either. But, that doesn't mean he's wrong. I agree that he should have used a condom if he really didn't want kids. But, if she, for example, lied about being on the pill, I can't blame him for being pissed off. This is a pretty major responsibility to lay on someone without their consent...and it does happen. I know of at least three cases of it in my own family. In every case, the woman told me "I know he'll come around once he knows I'm pregnant". The wrong side of the tracks remark was obnoxious and ignorant...good enough to lay, but not good enough to bring home to mom? Charming...

Anyway...to the point of the OP. Talk to a lawyer. The Canadian laws around child support and confusing and weird. Make sure you know exactly what's required, and talk to the lawyer about the food and diapers aspect of it. I had a friend who only brought his ex food and diapers, before he finally got custody of the kids, because he knew she was blowing the money he brought over on heroin. I don't know of anybody here who's had to repay old child support if it was paid directly to the mom - as long as he could prove that he'd paid it.

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Old 06-15-2005, 03:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by papapoochie
Don't be paranoid about her trying to scam you.
Why does everybody think he's being paranoid? Do you all think this is something made up by deadbeat dads?

Okay - when you have sex, you take the chance on a baby happening, no matter what birth control you use - granted. The OP is 27, and should know that - granted. But, let's stop assuming that the g/f has her baby's best interests at heart. If she did deliberately get pregnant without telling the OP she was doing so, she created this baby as part of a deception. What her reasons are doesn't even matter to me. She set out to use a defenceless baby to hook someone. IF this is the situation (I don't know, obviously - I've never met her or the OP), then why is everyone jumping on the OP? And, why is everyone bringing up the "cash" aspect with comments about rent, heat, etc.? The OP knows this girl - we don't. How would you feel if you were forced to pay cash child support that you either knew or suspected wasn't making it to the child in any way?

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Old 06-15-2005, 04:07 PM
 
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My personal opinion- if you're going to have sex, there is a chance that you are going to have a baby. If you are not willing to accept the remotest chance that you might have a baby, you, male or female, shouldn't be having sex.

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Old 06-15-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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What she said.

And the whole "I'm not going to pay you support, I'm buying diapers, or shoes, or whatever" is OLD. I've heard it a zillion times from non-custodial fathers. It's about control - he gets to decide what the money is spent on.

The fact is, if she lives INDOORS with the baby and FEEDS the baby, the support is being spent on the baby.
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:28 PM
 
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My personal opinion- if you're going to have sex, there is a chance that you are going to have a baby. If you are not willing to accept the remotest chance that you might have a baby, you, male or female, shouldn't be having sex.
I'm not arguing - but I don't think that makes it okay for one partner to decide to up the odds of that happening without discussing it with the other. The general tone of a lot of the posts here is that the girl only wants what's best for her baby, and that the OP is being paranoid in acting as though he's been trapped. All I'm saying is that we don't know - and it's entirely possible that he has been trapped and that the welfare of her baby is nowhere near the top of this girl's priority list. I've met more than a few women who play the "but what about my baby" card when they're trying to make someone (b/f, spouse, friend, whatever) do something for them. Men have no exclusive hold on selfishness.

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Old 06-15-2005, 04:31 PM
 
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Is the welfare of the baby at the top of his priority list? He's not providing a roof for the pregnant mama of his baby. Maybe there's a good reason why not. He's upset that she didn't have an abortion, coz this is what they "agreed." He isn't offering to provide childcare or even cash to support the baby when it's born, he is in fact trying to get *out* of paying cash by buying diapers.
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
And the whole "I'm not going to pay you support, I'm buying diapers, or shoes, or whatever" is OLD. I've heard it a zillion times from non-custodial fathers. It's about control - he gets to decide what the money is spent on.

The fact is, if she lives INDOORS with the baby and FEEDS the baby, the support is being spent on the baby.
Ah...what if she lives in the same size space as she would have without the baby? What if she doesn't feed the baby? If you ladies have never seen this happen, I'm happy for you. But, I've seen plenty of women blow their "much needed" child support on cigarettes, coffee, beer, drugs, bingo - you name it...while their kids aren't getting enough to eat. The kids don't get a penny of it - directly or otherwise. If the baby needs diapers or clothes, how does it cost the mom anything for them to be bought directly?

That may not be the situation here...but the OP obviously knows this girl better than we do. (I will admit it's possible he's just a jerk...his "wrong side of the tracks" comment is pretty obnoxious.) Should he be forced to shell out hundreds of dollars a month while his child still isn't looked after properly?

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:33 PM
 
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If she lives in the same size space, she cannot work if she is parenting full time, so the support will go to pay rent that she could have otherwise paid with income from employment.

And if she starves the baby he can get custody.
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:34 PM
 
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Then he should call child services and turn her butt in. But when someone seems to be trying to wriggle out of supporting a baby who hasn't even been born yet, it turns on some warning bells for me.

Notice Prince Charming hasn't returned.

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Old 06-15-2005, 04:36 PM
 
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