Deciding on Visitation and Child Support. HELP!

Nikki - posted on 03/23/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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After 6 months of being split up, I'm finally taking my daughters father to court for custody and child support. Since we've been broken up, we've only had a verbal agreement on where she would live and who would see her when.
Friday nights her grandparents have her, because her father works, he has her Saturdays and Sundays, and Mondays her grandmother brings her to daycare, picks her up, and watches her till I get home from my night-class. I then will have her till the following Friday.

Her father is convinced that I am trying to take days away from him by taking this to court, however that's not the case. I'm happy with what we have worked out, however, I would feel more comfortable if it were a legal court order. He wants to get a written agreement and get it notarized, however from the research I've done, that wouldn't hold up in court God forbid anything were to happen.

Another issue is money, and has been for awhile. He only contributes to paying for her daycare every other week, and the costs he has for her when she's with him. He claims he has her the same amount of time as I do, though I don't believe that's true. He only spends Saturdays and Sundays with him, Fridays and Mondays, all though his grandparents live in the same house as him, are simply a means of babysitting since he doesn't see her due to work on those days, and wouldn't be any different had they lived somewhere else.
I myself can only work the weekends, part-time, as a waitress. I work a total of 20 hours, while he works at a very respectable paying job monday-friday. I don't believe there's no reason he can't help out more than just every other week for daycare. Though he's still fighting with me on this whole taking it to court. He wants to do more research and see if there's an alternate option...Thoughts??

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Courtney - posted on 03/23/2011

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I was silly. After 9 months of being split, i took my daughter's dad for support, then dropped it. We had a verbal agreement. Things changed and 4 months later, he dropped from contributing $400 a month (her daycare alone is $700) to $50 a month. And barely saw her. So, a yr later, i took him back. He's fought it twice, and my thought was, i don't want this to be me asking him for $, i think a third party should tell him the amount he should contribute. He buys nothing else for her, and barely sees her, so it's what i had to do. You are correct in that time with his grandparents or parents is not time spent with him, although it could be spun that way. I am now currently attempting to go for custody, just so there is legal paperwork. Right now, he could take her and not give her back and I have nothing to back it up. I don't think he WOULD, but it's possible. I also got tired of tracking what he was supposed to contribute and when, and if he didn't, there was nothing I could do about it. When I finally took him for support, he owed me over $2K in back support, which I will never see. So, my personal opinion, make it less between u and him, and make it legal... I know I feel more comfortable having someone else determine what he owes, and there are ramifications if he doesn't pay. I would like to get a visitation schedule set up, but idk if that'll happen.

And, if he is adamant that it should be between u two, YOU can set the support amount and visitation schedules, and the county will just enforce it, track it, etc. Our first meeting, I didn't even have them run the numbers because we'd agreed on a figure for support. And if u have a visitation schedule figured out, it just becomes a legal agreement then, rather than a "handshake" kinda deal.

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