Child support hearing? your stories?

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

Hello,



I am here to get some stories from other moms about a child support hearing. I've never been to court so I am all over the place and I am so nervous. Here's some background history. I live in Alberta, Canada and I was a teen mother. I had my daughter when I was 17 years old and she is now 14 months and I am almost 19.



Her father and I were never together through out my pregnancy and still to do this day. He's seen her about 6 times and doesn't pay me a penny even when I when I ask for some help. When we seperated when I was 2 months pregnant it went sour and well, our families got into our business and well that didn't turn out to well since I was being called rude names and accused of cheating and they baby wasn't his. I was so stressed and I was hurt. So I said yeah, you know what the baby isn't his. I was so sick of all the drama I wanted to concentrate on my daughter and our future. When she was 3 months old I had told him the truth and 5 months after that we got a dna test which his mother just out of nowhere decided we all would get one and she would pay. It's a non legal dna test from a sketchy dna facility. From then on he seen her 3 times. When her 1st birthday rolled around he wanted to have a party for our daughter and I agreed and asked the time. He said 6pm-9pm and he lives 3 hours south away from us. So I asked if they could change the time and they said no and that we could sleep over But in no way was I going to sleep over after his mom calls me a cunt and a bitch (Excuse my french) and I didn't want my daughter on the highway for 3 hours after 9pm. It was the best intrest for her and they also wanted to keep all her birthday presents for when she went to visit there, and we went there and once and it costs alot of gas money and my daughter hates her car seat.. So I said we weren't coming but him and his family are welcomed anytime to see her.



So he came by the following Sunday and brought her diapers, wipes, milk, her birthday presents and thats pretty much all he has ever bought her, her entire life. Since than I have filed for child support against him bcause he didn't follow our plan on him paying $400.00 a month 2 months ago. I went to a mediator and she did the paper work. ALSO I have raised my daughter since the day I was pregnant alone with no help from her father until this month. But yet I still don't get a dime from him.. until child support comes but who knows not many dads do pay. My question is, whats the process? What do you do when you get to the court house? The ENTIRE process, so anything irrelivant to child support has be to filed? Like vistation or custody? Thats what i want to know and you stories about going throught it. Thank you ladies!

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Iridescent - posted on 04/11/2012

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I'm in the US so it may be slightly different.



Do not bring the baby with to the hearing. Find a sitter somewhere, somehow. It's just distracting and frustrating. When you get there, you check into the courthouse and may need to show ID, and may need to be checked for weapons. This varies by location. When you get there you're shown where to go sit. There should be a representative from the office you filed for child support with there - she's for you (your child), but only for child support. If you want someone else to work with for visitation you'll need to request it and ask for legal aid, and set up a proposed visitation plan.



The judge comes in, you all stand, and he tells you to sit. Then he sits. He introduces everyone for the court then starts with what the motion is (child support). He asks the father if he's the father, and if DNA testing has been done. The child support person will likely have those results and volunteer them. They will discuss both of your incomes, extenuating circumstances, and things that might impact ability to pay or need for more child support than is typical (ex: disabled child instead of healthy). They'll discuss if back child support is owed at all, and what date they'll file back to, and how the plan for repayment will be set.



Next, if there are other related questions, those are addressed. One common one is the child's name. If the father wants the name changed, this is when it's requested. My daughter's did request this - and I objected, and the judge ruled in my favor because my reasons were sound. Judges are reasonable people. Don't be scared, but don't be pushy either. Be respectful. Usually the judge will rule to have the child's name changed though if it's requested.



Visitation is often requested next, and unless you have legal aid they typically go with a standard format. This is typically a few supervised hours for under 1 year, to increase with age, and after that every other weekend, every other holiday, the father's birthday, half of breaks from school (for much older), then later modifications to up to half parenting time are pretty typical. It also should include who provides transportation, where to meet, what time, etc. Work on details with legal aid in advance.



Next, pretty commonly is medical expenses. Who keeps insurance on the child? Does the father (or father and mother) need to pay the deductibles, uncovered expenses for medical supplies, and copays? Who pays premiums, and how long is which parent required to keep insurance on the child? Who owes medical expenses for past medical bills? This is likely not an issue since you're in Canada.



Last, he says he needs to make his ruling. He stands up and you all stand, then he leaves. You'll receive the decisions and ruling in the mail up to about a month later and won't hear anything prior to the ruling unless it was agreed by all parties in court. All done! If you don't agree, you can appeal at that point (it says how in the paperwork mailed to you).

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[deleted account]

Yeah, I am going to show up. Just wanted to ask. I am seeking a lawyer so I can have a second opinion with this whole thing because I've heard it can open more doors for custody and what. I do have full gaurdianship of her because her father and I never lived together after she was born. We broke up when I was 2 months pregnant and hasn't paid me a dime even when we did agree for $400 a month and still saw nothing and he doesn't see her often. I also let him see her whenever he wants for 3 hours with a 24 hour notice, but he's only come around 6 times..

Iridescent - posted on 04/11/2012

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You don't have to show up, but you can't defend yourself if necessary if you don't bother. I'd suggest you at least find out your rights and attend.

[deleted account]

okay, do I need to show up? Some people I've asked didn't have to and the judge only asks about the fathers income. So I don't get it.. should I get a lawyer?

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