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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new here, but I have this question that is really bugging me and I want to get as much information as I can get, b/c my son's dad wants custody and I'm scared.<br><br>
Ok Here's the Situation:<br><br>
My ex and I have never been married and I moved out almost a year ago, I filed for child support last september and just now we have that finished and he now has to pay. However, now that he has to pay, he wants to have my boys every other week so he doesn't have to pay anymore b/c he can't buy his house because it shows he pays child support. He is the father of one of my son's, but not the other. However, he does act like the father to my other one and also takes him when he has visitation. I gladly want to let him take them every other weekend, but now he wants to start getting them every other week so he doesn't have to pay. I have never been away from my son since he was born, and just a few weeks ago I let him take them for 4 days and it was horrible for me because I was afraid he wouldn't bring them home because he has threatened to take them.<br><br>
He lives with 3 other people in his 2 bedroom trailer, and I live at my mom's one bedroom house. The boys sleep in the room and I sleep on the couch. I am looking for a house here, and one should be ready in about a month. I don't have a job yet, but that's in the works also. I'm just scared that he'll be able to get them b/c he does have a job and I don't.<br><br>
Sorry for the long post when I'm new here, but if any of you can help me at all, please do <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> this is stressing me out.<br><br>
Thank you
 

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I'd talk to a lawyer, if you're low income you should be able to get assistance through legal aid.<br><br>
Whether you have a job or not is immaterial, physical placement should be based on what is best for the children, not for their parents, and include a strong concern for their psychological and physical needs. How old are your children? Did they handle the four day separation well? Who are the other people he lives with (is it a safe/stable place)? There are so many factors, and each area is different.<br><br>
Good luck!<br>
Jennifer
 

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I agree about talking to a lawyer. I know the courts take threats about taking off with kids pretty seriously. You definitely need to get something in place so he can't do that or he'll have the cops all over him.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I have never been away from my son since he was born, and just a few weeks ago I let him take them for 4 days and it was horrible for me because I was afraid he wouldn't bring them home because he has threatened to take them.</div>
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For me, that would be reason alone to not give him *any* custody. Wish I was the one on the bench. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I hate hate hate children being used as pawns, and it's very clear that their best interest is not what he is focused on. Something tells me that that's not the first nasty thing he has said or done. Document it all, including the fact that you know he only wants custody to avoid paying support. If worse comes to worst and he does get 50/50 (and there's no way it should come to that if you have even a halfway decent lawyer) you should be able to get a clause that the kids come back to you rather being left in the care of someone else while he works - so essentially, they'd be with you anyways. If you can afford it, I would go for background checks on the roommates too. Anything you can dig up on them to show it's not a good environment for children would be helpful.
 

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The courts know when a custody battle comes because of child support. If he did not ask for this before the CS judgement he may just be SOL.<br><br>
But just in case, get an attorney.
 

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okay, this may be differenet in other states, if so i apologize but here goes my rant.....<br>
SHARED CUSTODY DOES NOT MEAN NO CHILD SUPPORT!!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
Okay. This is a huge misconception. The way shared custody works is this......they figure out how much you would owe him, if he had custody and you paid support..if you have no/little income, it will be very little...like say the minimum of $50 per week. Then, they f=igure out how much he would owe you if you had full custody....if he has more income, lets say it is $100 per week. Then, they subtract, and the difference is paid to the person making less...in this scenario, you. So, instead of him having to pay $100 per week, it would go down to $50..BUT..then he would also be liable for 50% of all daily expenses.......when one parent has primarty custody, they usually have to pay all expenses out of the child support..weith shared custody, the parents have to share. So, it could work out he'd have to pay more...for example, in this scenario, his actual "child support" check mount would go down to $50 from $100, BUT...he's now liable for daily expenses..this is money for clothes, shoes, camp, school fees, books, medical bills, etc.......in the long run, it could end up being MORE for him to pay.......<br><br>
If you can get ANY evidence he has threatened to not return them....(tapes, voice mails, letters), this is HUGE...Custody can be completely revoked for this type of behavior!!! Be aggressive, get an attorney....get the best one HE can afford...they will generally sue the father for the lawyer bills!!!!! Go do a few consults.....Make your own presonal behavior ABOVE reproach!!!<br><br>
best wishes
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well, he lives with his ex gf and her boyfriend, and his brother lives there also. His brother, was in rehab for being a crack addict, and I think he watches the boys when my ex is at work. I think I should get it to where he can't watch them. Also, we live 2 hrs apart, so I couldn't have them while he was at work.<br><br>
The boys are okay while they're away, and I love them being able to see their side of the family, however, they do miss me a great deal. Last time David said to me "mommy I dont wanna go with daddy"<br><br>
Is it okay if I just now start documenting things? Because I havn't up to this point. How do I go about getting legal aid? I do have some money saved but that's for a house and car. However, I will use it for a lawyer if I have to. I am going to call the prosecuting attorney tomorrow, the one who worked w/me for child support, so hopefully she can help me out.<br><br>
Again, thank you!
 

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I would definitely start actively documenting things now. And when you have a chance, sit down and document as much as you can recall from the past with as specific a timeline you can recall. It could be very helpful if you end up in court because when emotions are high, you may forget something, not be sure of the dates, etc. but you (and your attorney should have a copy) will have that to refer to. If you seek help at a shelter, give them a copy too. BTW, the shelter I stayed at was AWESOME and they have their OWN ATTORNEY!!! Not to mention a nearly-full-time childcare provider who watches the kids at the shelter while mom does court dates, looks for work or a place to live, etc. Because I stayed there, I can use their legal counsel in the future if I ever need it too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WELL, I just got him to say on my instant messenger that he is going for the custody thing b/c he doesn't want to pay child support. I also got him to say he'd stop threatening to take the boys from me if I dropped the child support order. (which I can't anyways, but I made him think I could) I have all of our conversations saved. I don't know if it'd work in court, but hey, it's something. I am going to talk to a few people who helped me w/the child support tomorrow and I am going to see what all I can do.<br><br>
BTW... lol he's being realllllyyy nice to me right now. I think he must have tried to see if he could get it and they told him we'd have to agree to it. I talked to a guy who does have the 50/50 custody arrangement and he said it was really hard and basically you have to agree on it, or they won't give it to the dad.
 

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That's great to have that evidence. Make sure you get it printed out and preferrably have a date...if you had to bring it up in court you'd have to establish when, where, under what circumstances you had the conversation.<br><br>
Hope it works out well for you and your kiddos!
 

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If you live 2 hours apart that will definitely work in your favor. I'm not sure how old your kids are, but if they are 2 hours apart, that means they will need 2 completely different school systems. The courts don't want people to keep coming back to change their orders, so it's unlikely a judge would rule to have chidlren be in 2 different school systems....too distruptive for the kids.
 

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I would also - until there is something in court ordered writing - offer him visitation in your home. He could very well take off with his child and not bring him back - and you'd have to file to even see the child again. I would NOT allow the 4 day thing again - for the reason stated, for the reason that it shows that 50/50 custody may be status quo (and judges LOVE status quo!) and because your children should NOT be in the care of someone fresh from coke rehab - if he has to work during those days, then he doesn't need to have the kids there unless he is willing to bring them to you during his work hours. If he isn't, then no-go.
 

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I just want to second what Jess said. My sister just went through this and is now going back to court for the support becasue her ex makes more more money now.<br>
Good luck!
 

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50/50 is very hard to get especially if you live 2 hours away. I don't know how old your son is and if he will be in school but the court would factor that in. How is he to go to school living in 2 different homes, and or if you homeschool, etc. he would need something consistant. Is he going to homeschool him too? So I would bring that up as a factor. I doubt he will get 50/50 and as far as full custody it is also very hard, especially if there is proof about his brothers background, etc. Definitely speak to an attorney but I wouldn't worry too much.
 
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