Some advice on Custody, Child Support, and Visitation.

Ev - posted on 12/02/2015 ( 97 moms have responded )

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I have read many posts on custody issues, child support issues, and visitation issues. I have also read many posts where the mom wants to be the one to determine the father's role in the life of the child/ren. I know a few other ladies who have also read them too as they have answered a good deal of the same ones I have. I thought it might be wise to post something that might be of help to all who are coming to terms with these issues.

1) The child or children have a right to a relationship to both parents. It is not up to one parent or another to decide when or if the other parents sees the kids. It is called parental alienation if you keep the child or children away. The other parent can take it to court and mom or dad can loose custody to the other parent trying to see the kids.

2) When you find yourself pregnant with a child plan to set custody, child support, and visitation as soon as you can after the birth of the child. This helps to define the roles of both parents and what their obligations are to the child or children, gives the children set times to spend with each parent to establish bonds and relationships, and makes sure all adults are party to the expectations set for them by the court.

3) No piece of paper you and the other parent come up with and have notarized is legal. Its just a bargain you two have made and has no bearing in court unless you do bring it to the judge to sign off on to make it a legal document about the custody etc of the kids. At this point either parent can keep the kids and not give them back. And police will not do anything unless there is a court order involved in the situations.

4) Stick to the court orders. To not do so can land you back in court and getting in trouble with the judge and he or she can make changes they feel are good for the children in their eyes.
5) Visitation and Child Support are separate issues and have to be handled alone. Just because a parent does not meet the child support does not mean the other parent has the rights to withhold the visits for non-payments. Visitation can be something the judge sets in stone or is on a suggested schedule given from the court that lays out the visitation process. In some cases, the parents can alter it to fit their needs due to work or other instances beyond their control or to give each parent more time with kids. In the instance that the judge sets it in stone, you have to abide by it totally.

6) Joint custody--Joint custody as an option is definitely better for the kids. It might be set up as half time with one parent for the month and half time with the other parent the other half of the month and could be done 2 week intervals or 1 week intervals. There are other forms of joint custody where one parent has majority primary care but both parents have legal say in what goes on with the kids. Sometimes legal say is left to one parent. These choices are dependent on the laws, the judge's concerns for the interest of the children and the parents' cooperation. Joint custody does not have to be hard on anyone. In a real sense it could be the easiest of the whole custody setups.

7) Primary custody is not solely given to the mother anymore. I know this for fact. When I divorced back in 2002, the lawyer I had said that dads were starting to gain primary care more and more. Its not because the mother is bad and or unfit. Its because the judges are seeing that fathers do have just as important a role in the child's life as the mother. So ladies who think that the man is not good enough to take care of a kid because she feels he is immature, can not do it or whatever reason for not wanting him to take the kids for even visits; those reasons are unfounded. A mother does not know what a father is capable of. He has to learn to care for a child just as you had to learn the day you gave birth. A mother is not all knowing the moment her child is born. She has to learn to care for a child. If a man wants to father his own child, he can do it. He just needs the chance to learn how and the chance to do it.

8) Moving the kids away. Usually when either parent decides it is time to move and they have kids with someone else, it just can not happen right then and there. The parent wanting to move has to get it cleared through the court and with the other parent. Moving kids away can make the visitation harder for the other parent if they can not afford to make the trips for pickup and drop off of the kids and even other reasons such as not having their scheduled time if the move is several hundreds of miles away. The other parent can contest the move and the judge may just not allow it. Unless the judge deems the reason for the move a good one, most likely it can not happen.

9) Step parents. This does happen all the time. Each parent moves on and sometimes marries again. That is not a bad thing. But what needs to happen is that the step parents and parents be on the same page for the kids' sakes. Its not about the adults and how things fit in their lives and so on but what the kids needs are. All of them should sit down and discuss the visits, vacation times, and holidays and come up with a way to work out getting the kids back and forth, who will do the pickup and drop off, and anything else that pertains to this. In perfect world, it would work all the time but it does not. It is primary work of the parents to decide when, where and how things need to work. Step parents are a support. Also on the subject of step parents, they are now part of the family and should be treated at the least respectfully by the parents. They are not a babysitter. They are not supposed to drop their plans to handle a situation with the kids unless they agree to it. They do have say in their house on how they expect things to be and to be shown respect by the kids. THey should be allowed to attend any and all functions the kids have going on. They should be allowed to voice anything they see as concerns or ideas to the parents and then let the parents make the final choices. They are a support for the families. I am not saying you have to like them, be the best friend types, or anything else: I am saying to be polite and respectful towards them as they are now part of your kids' lives.

10) Girlfriends/Boyfriends. This should have been before the step parents but its here. When a parent starts dating again, they need to keep in mind their kids. Do not start introducing every date to kids. Its not fair to them because they can attach to someone so easy. And then if that person suddenly is not there anymore, they get heartbroken. Wait until you have dated a time before an introduction, 6 months or a year. Give yourself time to get over your previous relationship as well. It is hard for these changes to take place with breaking up the family and so on let alone having a new man or woman in your life.

11) Calling the step parent "mom" or "dad". It is an issue for a lot of people. Calling a step parent mom or dad can be quite upsetting to either parent. If a child is young (under three or four years) they will call anyone mom or dad. If they feel close to this person they will say it. Its is up to parents to talk about this issue and decide ahead of time how the kids will address step parents or even BF or GF. If a child is much older, a first name is good enough. No need to force the issue with them.

12) Living together unmarried. As far as I have heard, in most custody and or visitation orders, parents should not be cohabiting with someone they are not related to or married to. If it is in the orders follow it. It sends a lot of weird messages to the kids. I know that a lot of people disregard this and do it anyway.

13) Talking about the other parent. Talking about the other parent is okay as long as it is not in the negative. The kids do not need to hear this as it upsets them. My kids had to hear it from their dad and step mom about me for example. I had to pick up the pieces and my kids were in their teens and preteens at the time. Its not easy having your parents divorce or split, but it makes it worse when the parents are talked about in a negative way.

14) READ CAREFULLY: This is the most important thing I am going to say here about kids and divorce or split families and custody. THE KIDS SUFFER THE MOST. They never had a say in any of this nor did they ask for it. Its harder on them because they have to do as they are told such as which parent to live with for example and which parent they will see only on weekends and vacation times. Their worlds have been torn apart by the adults in their lives. They have had to maybe move to a new place to live and start over. Their emotions are raw and open wounds. They want their parents together again though it won't happen. They can not understand the reasons why their parents are not together anymore. Keep them in the foremost part of your mind during this time. They need you more than you need a man or woman in your life.

NOTE: This is just advice. Its not legal advice but just a general idea of how things are done and should be done. If you live in one state and the custody is set there do not try to do it in another state to get the kids with you. All states have their own laws on family law especially divorce, custody, visitation and child support. Just work it out in the state the family was in first and go by that state's laws. It is better than a messy case in two states that do not agree on who has the kids and who does not.

ALSO: Kids are not pawns or objects that are owned. If you do not want to parent a child with someone in particular, then do not get married to them or sleep with them for you will be attached via the child for 18 years at the minimum.

I did not do this to attack anyone. I did this to make some points and offer some insight. Kids deserve better than what they do get.

If you feel something has been left out please by all means add to it.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Trista - posted on 12/10/2015

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i agree with most of this. However not all children are hurt because mom and dad are not together. My mom left my father when I was 4 because he beat her he was an alcoholic and raped her which is how my little brother came about. I never gave my father a second thought growing up. I am 29 and I recently saw my father who is sober now. He told me all of the horrible things he had done and how sorry he was. My point is every family is different every situation is definitely not the same. Sometimes a split up is the answer and sometime you don't know at the beginning that is going to happen down the road. There is never a guarantee when you pick someone you think you are going to spend forever with. That said I do see people using there kids as weapons and pawns and it makes me sick on that point you are exactly right. If both parents love that child and provide a stable environment then they should both have rights and they shouldn't be fighting to take those kids away from a parent that loves them. Unfortunately that isn't every situation and it never will be. I also agree you shouldn't drag new men or women into your kids lives or move them in with your kids and yourself that is confusing for them. I have been single since I left my sons father. I don't date my kids are my life they are the men in my life. oh and the whole don't sleep with someone or plan to have kids with someone until you know its who are going to marry. Good advice but that doesn't always mean it is going to work out or that that person won't turn out to be horrible for you down the road. Also kids may be hurt if there parent split up but they can also be hurt by parent who stay together for the kids and fight all the time. Overall great post good point of view there but every situation is different

Ev - posted 5 days ago

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Kristine--While I understand your concerns and worries over your child's well being she has every right to know her father and her father has every right to know her since he has tried in the past to get some sort of relationship going. YOU can not stop it because she asks for it. And you did. You withheld the child from her father off and on in the past and instead of getting this taken care of from the beginning, you took control and decided when or if he saw her when he did make the attempts. He has as much right as you to seek out custody, visitation, child support and so forth. If you had 12 years ago sought all this you would not be in this mess now. Get a lawyer and stop not doing what you should have done. I am not trying to be mean about this but am trying to help you.

Jodi - posted on 02/14/2016

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The child support office doesn't actually rule on things like this. Only the courts do. However, given the age of your son, and the complications with regard to his feeding, his father would generally only win access on small amounts at a time initially. He should be able to have some level of unsupervised access unless there is a danger to the child, but at this age, it may only be a few hours at a time. This will increase as baby needs you less, and you should consider perhaps pumping after each feeding and freezing breastmilk so dad can take baby for longer. Eventually, especially once the child is over 12 months, you will need to step up to some overnight visits. Basically, the visitation should step up as baby becomes more independent.

Jodi - posted on 12/22/2015

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To Pola....who said the men "should" be providers in the first place? To accuse them of reversing roles is not ok. We should all be providers and we should all be carers. The roles should always be based on what works for those involved. To indicate that fathers should be providers is actually unfair and sexist.

Also, a child who comes home from one parent's home with different behaviour patterns is totally normal. Each parent is entitled to different rules in their homes. It isn't always agreeable, but we have to suck it up. If a child is coming home confused about rules, etc, then in the regular home, rules just need to be really consistent and clear, and it won't be a problem. Trust me. I've coparented with an arsehole for 16 years.....and my son is fine (considering he is 18 and testing big boundaries right now, LOL).

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Ev - posted 5 days ago

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I am glad you understand this but if you read this post I wrote here....you would see what should be done right away.

Kristine - posted 6 days ago

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I am very disturbed. As a woman who got to have a childhood with married parents, (50+ years for them now); I fully realize that it is beneficial to have both parents actively involved in a child's life. However, at the time I got pregnant with my daughter, almost 13 years ago, I have to admit that I didn't have the stellar taste in men that my mother did. I never married my daughter's biological father because he couldn't keep his promises to refrain from partying and drug use. Needless to say, his propensity for using left me holding up the financial and emotional end of the relationship in its entirety.

I left for good when my daughter was two months old.

Her biological father was too preoccupied with maintaining his lifestyle to bother with any sort of support and or visitation so my parents and I created a sound support system and even though We have not ever lived with them, they are a very important part of her life and her weekly routine. (As are they a large part of mine)

When my daughter was eight months old, I met the man I chose to be better the her father and my husband. We dated for some time and were married. Devastatingly, he was killed in an accident at work only 10 months later.

Thinking my four year old needed a father figure besides her Papa, I allowed her biological father to see her Friday nights to Saturday mornings. (By this time he was also married to a woman I liked and trusted; they had twins and were pregnant with their second pair.)

As my child turned about six, she began to dread her weekly visits with her dad, the crying would begin on Tuesday with "Do I have to go to my dad's this weekend"? It was devastating and I began to distrust his promises that he would allow her to call me if she was having emotional difficulties while in his care. At seven, one weekend I sent a trac (prepaid) phone with her because he was not letting her call me. She phoned Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. And beseeched me to pick her up, which I did, immediately.

Upon waking and realizing that she was leaving, he became enraged and started to pound on my vehicle, scaring both my daughter and I. I instructed her to shut the door and I locked the car, as he was out of control with rage. I rolled down my window a bit to try and calm him, but he reached in and attempted to pull me from the vehicle. It was truly disturbing and I ended up with some lovely bruises, but they were nothing compared to the emotional trauma my daughter experienced.

At that point, I refused to have contact with him and I made arrangements with my parents that he could visit her at their house, but not remove her from their residence.
So he disappeared for 4 years.

Last year, he asked to see her on Father's Day. I acquiesced and drove her to his apartment complex so that she could spend time with him and her siblings. She is one of six of his biological children from four different mothers, and two step children that he raises that were his wife's. My previous worries were soothed by his new girlfriend, who really seemed to have it together...so when he has reached out to visit her these past 18 months, I ask her straight out if she wants to see her dad and co. And if she says yes, I will absolutely allow her to visit, just not spend the night.

Then Sunday, out of the blue, he demands regular visitation. Regular documented visitation. My daughter is beside herself fearing he will ask for joint custody, and when she attempted to communicate her worries to him about his temper and the reason she prefers to use "mom" as a buffer rather than give him her own phone number... He stated that she was 12, she was his kid too, and that she didn't have any say in the matter.

I realize he might have been bluffing about court, because getting a court order for visitation would include getting a court order for child support- which he has never paid.

I don't know if I should find an attorney or just see if it calms down.

Any advice would be wholeheartedly welcomed.

Thank you.

Lynda - posted on 09/22/2016

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I have been but every time the lawyer gets something going he moves changes his number and everything.

Sarah - posted on 09/22/2016

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If you were not stripped of your rights, then you have every right to see and parent her as he does. Why did you not fight this 3 years ago?

Ev - posted on 09/22/2016

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Then you can still go for custody of her. You just need to get a lawyer to help you. You do not say if you live in the same area or different places but you do need to get a lawyer. We can not tell you the legal things you need to know. As I have said in that post it is just a over view of what to expect.

Lynda - posted on 09/22/2016

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My mom let me talk to her a while back when my mom got to see her and I was told that he spanked her with a belt for talking to me. And I was never served with papers all I got was a child support order no custody papers at all.

Ev - posted on 09/22/2016

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Then re-read the OP here and get a lawyer. Just keeping in contact is not enough. You need to be proactive. If he had custody papers done up you should have been served. Also you should keep a journal of every time you tried to connect with her and see her and what happened as a result with the information of times, dates, what was said if at all, and results. You could prove parental alienation.

Lynda - posted on 09/22/2016

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I've been trying to keep in contact with him he keeps changing his number moving or something. He told me He had custody papers done. But I found out from his gf that he hasn't. I'm trying to get a lawyer . I don't mind paying child support cause she is My child but I do think I deserve some rights to her.

Lynda - posted on 09/21/2016

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I am going thru custody issues with my daughter's father. When I had her something happened and I needed his help. So he came to get her and after that he has been keeping her from me going on three years . and I did nothing wrong just asked for help. He tells her I am dead this is. 6 year old child we are talking about. Making me pay for child support won't let me see or talk to her . I don't know what to do

Kassie - posted on 09/19/2016

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I appreciate the info . I would have to agree . It does sound like bull . We will surely be looking further into this before any monies are paid

Sarah - posted on 09/19/2016

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I would ask for a specific bill, outlining the cost of the night guard and the treatment plan. As a nurse, this sounds like a load of BS. Maybe LMCBW can shed some light, but bruxism (teething grinding), is not scientifically linked to bed-wetting.
If she took him to a gypsy and had a spell cast upon him to stop the wetting, would dad be liable for half the cost?
If any treatment need to be split, it should be agreed upon beforehand and have clinical merit.

Kassie - posted on 09/19/2016

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We did not attend the appointment . She advised us of an appointment said she wasn't sure how much was covered . She told us it was a night guard and it in fact a program related to a night guard . It was not something deemed necessary by his doctor . It was simply a recommendation by the dentist to try and help with the bed wetting . She told us after the appointment the cost ect . We then contacted the dentist to confirm the cost . It's in their court agreement that all major issues concerning the parents must be discussed and agreed upon , in which she did not consult us about this . She spent our money without our concent & is demanding payment back Immedietly . We did get a second opinion from another dentist my bio son sees and he told me h has never heard of such a thing and wouldn't recommend anything like that for a 7 year old . We don't have money to go to court Over this, but just giving her th money which is a bg expensive doesn't seem fair either

Ev - posted on 09/19/2016

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Mom should have conducted a discussion with dad about the appointment and what it was for. She should have also had the cost of the appointments as well available to him so he would know why the child was going and what was being done. I never heard of a dentist being the one that had a reason why a child wet the bed as a dentist tends to teeth and dental issues not bed wetting or pediactric issues. If this goes to court be prepared to answer about the knowledge of the visit you had and so forth. Ask for paperwork from mom and bills showing what the $1000 was for and what the next $500 is for. She is required to hand you copies of dentist/doctor bills. If not you do not pay it until you see it.

Kassie - posted on 09/18/2016

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Hey ladies ,

So I'm new to the group , just had a few questions as me and my common law partner have a difficult situation on our hands with his ex partner . They share 2 children together I have one child from a previous relationship & we just had a baby . His ex wife is constantly trying to control our household from her end . We have 50/50 custody . So no child support is paid , they split daycare and school expenses down the middle . There was a situation with a dentist appointment that occurred . We were advised she was taking the youngest boy to the dentist. Dentist had a potential solution to help our youngest to stop wetting the bed . She told us she wasn't sure how much the coverage would cover . My husband was out of town the day of the appointment , when he got home he had gotten a text saying the appointment was 1000$ and he was deemed to pay her back half Immedietly & the next appointment would cost us $500 . we were complelty caught of guard as we had no idea this appointment would be of this expensive & it was not something she consulted with us first . It's in the court agreement that all mahout dental and doctors appointments are to be discussed by both parents previously . She is now threatening court and small claims cuz it's been 4 weeks and we have not paid her back ? Does anybody have any light they can shed on this situation ? I don't feel we are in the wrong , but who knows ?

Rebecca - posted on 09/16/2016

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This is a horrific subject for me! I have been on every side of the coin regarding child support, child visitation, child custody, you name it I've been through it. It's not a pretty place to be.

Ev - posted on 08/12/2016

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In my visitation orders, it was stated that cohabitation was not allowed while children were in the house unless married to a new partner or the opposite sex was a relation to the parent. Some places have that automatically in that and some people request it but I personally think it should be there anyhow.

Addition:

"12) Living together unmarried. As far as I have heard, in most custody and or visitation orders, parents should not be cohabiting with someone they are not related to or married to. If it is in the orders follow it. It sends a lot of weird messages to the kids. I know that a lot of people disregard this and do it anyway."

If you read it clearly enough I said in my post I have quoted that section here. I said that in most custody or visitation orders parents should not be living with someone who they are not related or married to. I did not say all. It is not a good idea to do that. It not only sends the wrong messages to kids but it can be confusing as well. If the parent and their BF or GF break up and the kids had gotten close to that BF or GF it can cause a lot of stress and upset for the kids to go through all over again. That is why parents need to be in a relationship for a long time and one that is going to be solid enough before living with someone or even getting married. Kids are hurt enough when their parents split and so forth. They do not have a choice in this and they get no say either. They have to do what the parents tell them to do. They have to go to visitation on the orders of the court and still have no say in the matter. They are merely pawns most of the time when parents are going at each other.

Crystall - posted on 08/12/2016

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Just curious, you mentioned that cohabiting is basically frowned upon in court and visitation orders. I have a parenting plan established with the father of my child and it was signed by a judge but nowhere does it mention the cohabiting aspect. Is this something you have to request? Thanks.

Ev - posted on 08/04/2016

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{My husband is military and is out of country 9 mos out of the year. I am allowed to get the kids once a month while he's gone. He begged her to stay in the same house the kids were born in even went as far as offering to pay for it on top of child support but she opted to move 2 1/2 hrs away}
-----It is her choice to stay in that same house or move to another one. No one can force her to stay where she does not want to do so. This is the arrangement that happened for them and one they seem to be doing alright with. If he wanted to really change things he would have. This is the choice THEY have and get to deal with. Unless one of them wants to change things...nothing will happen.

{We but then clothes, they're never seen again. The kids have learned anything they really like needs to stay here, if it goes to mommy's it gets "lost". I understand that certain laws have been out in place for the "deadbeat" dads out there.}
-----I am going to add one thing to this...there are also "deadbeat" moms out there too. Do not think they do not exist. But if there is great concern as to the condition the kids are in when they come to you guys, Dad needs to address that with mom and see what is going on or if you both suspect neglect on her part, call her in to family services to get an investigation going. Other than the "ratty clothes and shoes" what is their general condition other wise? Do they see to be getting enough to eat? How is their behavior? Those things i would be very concerned with as well....because frankly if the clothing is rough looking that may be just what she has them wear because she does not want them to ruin the good clothing they do have at her house? I mean you guys are not there and see what it is like day to day. As for the dental issue of cavities, has he requested to find out if they made it to the dentist or not?

{ There should really be laws out in place to protect the good ones, $54,000.00 a year in child support plus health and dental care for the kids should equal better than what they're getting. She makes at least $50,000.00 per her job based on the financial affidavits submitted.}
What is your husband's rank in the military that he is paying $54 thousand in child support to her for those kids? He would have to be a very high ranking officer to get enough to pay that much in child support. If he is not making as much money as he was when this started he needs to go to court and ask for a hearing to reduce the child support if his income is not what it was. That is just assuming he is not making enough to pay that much out.

{ Not to mention that she spent the last 6 mos living in 1 bedroom with all three kids at her parents home stockpiling money for whatever claiming to not be able to find anything until he finally threatened to call protective services.}
And what happened when he threatened to call protective services after he dound out she was in one bedroom at her folks with the kids?

{ I'm just saying someone should hold the mom's accountable when they clearly misuse the child support they are trusted with.}
-----I understand the frustration you seem to have. But there is no guidelines that I know of anywhere that the parent who gets the child support has to prove how it is used. Its not just mom's who get it. Some dad's have it given to them. And as I said before you can not know what she really uses it for if you are not there. And she can not be forced to show proof of its use for the kids to anyone unless a judge says it has to be done. And you have no legal say in the matter.

I think this boils down to what is bothering you the most. It is driving you nuts because you have no control or say in the situation. As long as your husband is not going to do anything to change this, there is not much you can say about it. It is between him and her about those kids.

Ev - posted on 08/03/2016

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Again, Tracey, this is something your husband is going to have to deal with and take to court to get rectified.

Tracy - posted on 08/03/2016

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My husband is military and is out of country 9 mos out of the year. I am allowed to get the kids once a month while he's gone. He begged her to stay in the same house the kids were born in even went as far as offering to pay for it on top of child support but she opted to move 2 1/2 hrs away. We but then clothes, they're never seen again. The kids have learned anything they really like needs to stay here, if it goes to mommy's it gets "lost". I understand that certain laws have been out in place for the "deadbeat" dads out there. There should really be laws out in place to protect the good ones, $54,000.00 a year in child support plus health and dental care for the kids should equal better than what they're getting. She makes at least $50,000.00 per her job based on the financial affidavits submitted. Not to mention that she spent the last 6 mos living in 1 bedroom with all three kids at her parents home stockpiling money for whatever claiming to not be able to find anything until he finally threatened to call protective services. I'm just saying someone should hold the mom's accountable when they clearly misuse the child support they are trusted with.

Ev - posted on 08/03/2016

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{{It's infuriating to me that my husband pays $2776.00 A month in child support for 3 children and they all have ratty shoes and clothes. The child support clearly isn't going to the kids!! I think my husband should be able to request a financial statement with receipts each month.}
-----I combined some of these comments that were through the post together because they covered your questioning the child support issue. First, you cannot dictate how the mother spends the money or what it is spent on. Usually, child support is spent on clothing, food, shelter, utilities, expenses for school, gas to take kids places they need to go, activities and so on. Second, there is no requirement that I know of that the custodial parent has to provide statements to prove what is spend and how it is spent of the child support. Three, legally you, the step mom, cannot do anything about it. If he feels the child support is too much, he has to take it back to court. Fourth, you do not know what she actually spends it on and cannot point fingers to her not using it for the kids. Regardless of her working, she may not be making enough to support the kids on less. As for the ratty clothes and shoes, he needs to address this issue with her himself.
{He provides 100% dental care/healthcare and they have visible cavities.}
-----Instead of complaining about the kids having cavitites and so on, why do you guys not offer to take the kids to the dentist. By law he has to supply the dental/health care because he is ordered to do so.
{ The mother also works. The bio mom ships them off to my husbands mother for 3 months during the summer and we still pay child support plus WE send his mother money, the bio mother gives her nothing.}
------This may be something to readdress in court so that mom is obligated to send support to the grandmother while the kids are with her if they stay the whole summer break with her. Why are they not with you guys during summer?
{Is there anything that can be done? We live in Florida, }
-----HE has to be willing to take this back to court to address the issues and I do not know Florida law nor am I a lawyer. Mostly, child support is based on the income level and percentage set by the state. If your husband is making a lot of money then what he is paying is what he has to pay based on Florida law. But to make the mother show every last receipt for what she buys the kids is not to my knowledge a requirement for child support. And you as the wife have no say in how all this takes place.

Tracy - posted on 08/02/2016

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It's infuriating to me that my husband pays $2776.00 A month in child support for 3 children and they all have ratty shoes and clothes. He provides 100% dental care/healthcare and they have visible cavities. The mother also works. The bio mom ships them off to my husbands mother for 3 months during the summer and we still pay child support plus WE send his mother money, the bio mother gives her nothing. Is there anything that can be done? We live in Florida, I think my husband should be able to request a financial statement with receipts each month. The child support clearly isn't going to the kids!!

Ev - posted on 07/21/2016

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Alix
{{I NEED ADVICE!!! I'm a first time mom, 5 months pregnant, I will be 18 in 2 weeks (I know I'm young, please don't judge, I'm already graduated and had the same job for 2 steady years) my boyfriend constantly smokes weed, talks to other girls, I have caught him cheating on me with three girls and three different times, and once caught him lying and doing pills with his friend that made him stay up for days at a time. he thinks he is going to take my to court and get custody of my son because he has a better job than me, keep in mind we both still live with our parents but hes going on 21 years old.}}
~~~~~Congrats on the new baby. I am not going to judge you but yes, I agree you are young. But what is done is done and you have a baby on the way. I am glad that you have a job and have support of your parents. As for your boyfriend or the father of the child—he can go to court to file for custody if he so wishes to get some sort of custody of his child just as much as you can go and do the same. But the judge is not going to look at just being able to support a child but other factors as well—responsible with the child, care of child, stable home life for child…etc. Keep in mind his cheating on you does not have anything to do with you two co-parenting that baby. But his taking pills and smoking weed might have an impact on his getting custody if you have actual proof of his drug usage.
{{he wants to get an apartment for us and our son, but I cant trust him enough to ever want to move in with him. he works at a pawn store and makes like $12 an hour. he says since I live with my mom and he plans to get his own place, he has a better chance at custody.}}
~~~~~You do not have to live with him to co-parent this baby. But just because he works in a pawn shop making 12 bucks an hour does not mean he is going to be considered a better parent nor the fact he plans to get his own place and it does not mean he has a better chance for custody. The judge looks at the character of the parents, the stable life of each parent, how well the parents can provide for the child and so on in making his or her decision. Living with your parents may not even make a difference as long as the home is stable.
{{ive never done drugs in my life. I have screenshots of him admitting to smoking weed a lot, and its all over his social media pages, which I also have screenshots of.}}
~~~~~You would have to ask a lawyer about the screen shots being admissible in court. I can not help you with that legally.
{{ about 2 years ago he got into a really bad wreck and was under the influence of alcohol and 2 separate types of drugs (I don't know the names of them) he ended up getting sent to lauralwood which is the region’s largest private, not-for-profit, free-standing hospital dedicated to the stabilization and treatment of individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse; instead of jail time.}}
~~~~~If you can get documentation of this to show how he was using drugs at that time and can get say arrest or judgement of his alcohol use and drug use it can be admitted as evidence he could be a danger to the child. You can also ask for a drug test done but keep in mind you might have to do it too.

{{ I planned to start college at the college I was accepted into this august but found out I was pregnant and decided to wait a year so I can focus on my pregnancy. I graduated with a 100% clean record and straight A's. he is saying he will stop drugs long enough to pass a test and get our son, his moms house is a little bigger than mine, but I know id actually care for our son, and take time to take him to the doctor and everything a mother should. I also plan to brestfeed, which cant happen if he get custody.}}
~~~~~If you do breast feed the child right after birth then dad might have to let you have custody because of that. I do not know for sure how it works where you live. But it is he said she said kind of thing unless you can prove he is not fit for more than supervised visits.

{{ I'm absolutely terrified. I know I haven't don't anything wrong but this is my first child and I have absolutely no idea how these things work. we have only been together about 8 months (again, please don't judge) and we aren't even engaged, I'm looking for anyone who has been through this or something like this to PLEASE help me. I truly don't know what to do.}}
~~~~~Did you read the whole OP I placed here? That is the advice that you need. I can not tell you that the judge will give you full custody or him partial custody or none at all. It depends on the evidence that is presented, how you and he present yourself to the judge and so on.

Alix - posted on 07/21/2016

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I NEED ADVICE!!! I'm a first time mom, 5 months pregnant, I will be 18 in 2 weeks (I know I'm young, please don't judge, I'm already graduated and had the same job for 2 steady years) my boyfriend constantly smokes weed, talks to other girls, I have caught him cheating on me with three girls and three different times, and once caught him lying and doing pills with his friend that made him stay up for days at a time. he thinks he is going to take my to court and get custody of my son because he has a better job than me, keep in mind we both still live with our parents but hes going on 21 years old. he wants to get an apartment for us and our son, but I cant trust him enough to ever want to move in with him. he works at a pawn store and makes like $12 an hour. he says since I live with my mom and he plans to get his own place, he has a better chance at custody. ive never done drugs in my life. I have screenshots of him admitting to smoking weed a lot, and its all over his social media pages, which I also have screenshots of. about 2 years ago he got into a really bad wreck and was under the influence of alcohol and 2 separate types of drugs (I don't know the names of them) he ended up getting sent to lauralwood which is the region’s largest private, not-for-profit, free-standing hospital dedicated to the stabilization and treatment of individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse; instead of jail time. I planned to start college at the college I was accepted into this august but found out I was pregnant and decided to wait a year so I can focus on my pregnancy. I graduated with a 100% clean record and straight A's. he is saying he will stop drugs long enough to pass a test and get our son, his moms house is a little bigger than mine, but I know id actually care for our son, and take time to take him to the doctor and everything a mother should. I also plan to brestfeed, which cant happen if he get custody. I'm absolutely terrified. I know I haven't don't anything wrong but this is my first child and I have absolutely no idea how these things work. we have only been together about 8 months (again, please don't judge) and we aren't even engaged, I'm looking for anyone who has been through this or something like this to PLEASE help me. I truly don't know what to do.

Sofia - posted on 06/30/2016

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I read it and responded...it truly is the bonding between parent and child that matters throughout their lives. Giving the gift of a strong bond and attachment is the only thing a parent can give to a child- really!

Ev - posted on 06/30/2016

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I felt that people needed to know. So many seem to think they can just have full say over kids, some just do not know what to expect and others still need to be reminded about things. I also have posted a post about what a child of divorce thinks about things when speaking to the one parent they felt did not step up to being the type of parent they should have been. This is the link if any are interested:

http://www.circleofmoms.com/welcome-circ...

Have a look see and let me know what you think?

Ev - posted on 06/27/2016

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Ace--This post was made to offer some advice on what to look for or do for custody. I have no relation to TOR whatever that is. I am no lawyer and if you read it through carefully you would know this. I have never heard of TOR. So I am not sure what questions you do have?

[deleted account]

Jade Conwell - family court laws are pretty state and county-specific, however I do know a mother whose ex did the same thing with harassing phone calls. Calling continuously over and over until she answered, screaming at her and belittling her, 100+ texts a day; if it is excessive like that you CAN get it stopped, because it IS detrimental to the child when YOU have that much tension coming from the father, and it is also really just not acceptable.

It was an uphill battle; she had to spend months turning in phone records showing him calling repeatedly, save abusive texts, and eventually recorded some of his calls to her to prove that he just started verbally bashing her as soon as she answered the phone. However, eventually the judge put in an order that he is only allowed ONE phone call per day, at a certain time in the evening, he is only allowed to talk to their daughter after the initial answer, and the moment he starts becoming aggressive to her she is allowed to hang up. Anything more and he will be in contempt of court.

HOWEVER, the catch to this is two-fold:1) if she ever doesn't answer, she can get into trouble for parental alienation, which is a BIG deal, and 2) it makes it very difficult to have conversations with the father about the child, which you may not wish to have now, but really are in the child's best interest.

On another note, a judge eventually ordered that my parents were only allowed to communicate via snail mail simply due to the amount of verbal bashing that went on, but as a child in that situation I can tell you it was a pain for me, and frustrating because they often attempted to use us kids as a go-between. So be careful not to put your child in the middle; kids don't see the other parent the way you do.

You do not have to put up with verbal abuse, but the burden of proof is on you. Be careful to never come across as trying to alienate the other parent; it's not healthy for your child and judges REALLY do not like it.

As far as his mother living with him and helping raise your child....sadly you have no say in that situation. I know it's frustrating (my ex ONLY takes visitation when his mother is in town bc for some reason he refuses to take our daughter when he is alone, and his mother is not my favorite person and does not respect my input about our child), however it could be much worse. As horrid as they may be to you (hopefully they never speak ill about you in front of your child, this is a BIG NO NO!), in theory they love that child and are kind to her, so at the very least you don't have to worry about her getting left with a girlfriend who doesn't care or a substandard day care center or something.

My advice if anyone but him calls you in regards to the child: if it's not a medical emergency related to the child, hang up.

Ev - posted on 05/22/2016

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You need to provide proof of that such as arrest records, court records, and other things. Ask for a drug test in court but be prepared to take it too.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/21/2016

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What if a parent has a history of drug use and the other parent is concerned that it is still happening? What then?

Jacqueline - posted on 05/18/2016

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So what about step mom's posting your child's photos ask over social media?.

Here's my personal issue: I love the fact that my son has a great step mom, but there are several things that are really getting to me. 1. After my son's dad and step mom got married, she dyed her hair blonde to look more like my son's mom when they are out in public. She doesn't correct anyone when they say "what a beautiful son you have". 2. She has continually posted photos of my son, over what is considered "normal" (a photo here and there) of my son. I have asked her not to do that anymore, and she has disregarded my request. Everyone thinks she's his mom. Our mutual friends thought he was hers until they saw me with my son, and asked what I was doing with her kid?!. And 3. They won't let me trim my own sons hair. I feel as if my moments of having a son are taken away. If I say anything, they somehow with quiet voices and kind words make me come across like I'm being abrasive, but I think I'm only requesting to have the same authority of my son that I'm giving to them. Ultimately, it's about my son's happiness, so I don't make a fuss or express more than an uncomfortable feeling here and there. Am I wrong in my feelings or requests, or should I just let this go?. We share 50/50 custody (if anyone was curious).

She's now pregnant with her first child, and I'm happy for her. But still overdoing it with photos of my son in everything! Publishing videos, talking about my son's first and last day of school, how big he's getting... Just really weirding me out inside.

Please advise.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2016

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You just said abusive calls in the first post so I was not sure what you actually meant by it. I see this kind of post all the time and some have explained further and it was not verbal abuse at all. That is why I asked about what kind of harassment. As I said you should be addressing any and all concerns with dad ever, his mother has no say in things at all. As for being petty, I never said you were being petty but things like this might be considered nit-picking in a judges eyes. Unless there is actual harm to the child or it is deter-mental to her and you can prove it without doubt, the judge is not going to go for it. All a judge is going to do is think of the best interest of the child. And since you have not said anything about them being harmful to her or anything I do not see how a judge is going to change up the custody situation over the fact that dad is gone a lot and grandma is with her instead because you do not like the situation at his place. And for the part of shared custody where its grandma doing the care and he is gone, it his time and he can do things how he thinks they should be done.
You and this guy created a child together. I do not know what happened to end this but you made him the choice of your life at the time. You are going to have to learn to deal with it because you have another 13 years tied to this man to raise this girl.
All I am saying is that you need to prove this arrangement is not good for her to get her back with you more than shared time. But she also deserves both her parents and not on one parent's terms or the others.

Jade - posted on 04/21/2016

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I work aswell ever since she was 2yr old I have worked, studied and raise a child all on my own. so I would never expect someone to quit their job that's going a bit over board.. all I'm asking here is advise on how to handle the situation at hand. In my eyes a child shouldn't be taken away from her mother to be handed over to a grandma to do the job her father should be doing. If doesn't want the responsibility then I would gladly have her back in my Care full time... and as for harassment.. I consider getting multiple phone calls one after another until I answer and be called everything under the sun and told how worthless I am and what a terrible mother I am, I'm weak I'm turning our daughter into a weakling just like me is verbal abuse...

I'm sorry if you think I'm being petty. But being in my shoes and dealing with the crap that I have to put up with is bloody hard hence why I am seeking advise.

Ev - posted on 04/21/2016

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You could try to take it back to court and fight it and as you said its he said/she said basically. Unless you could prove that they are harming her, not taking proper care of her, or abusing her in any shape or form then you might be getting told that the shared custody is going to stay put. But only a judge can tell you what is what. It is actually his time with her and there is nothing that you can say about it and what he does with it. Yes, the time is provided him for access to his child and he has his mommy taking care of her but if he works, is he supposed to quit to take care of his child. At least she is with grandma. He could pawn her off on some unknown person and you would not know who had her. I think this is a bit overboard really. I think that if you just got this shared custody arrangement, you need to give it a chance. You should be glad though it is his mother and not some stranger caring for your kid. Going back and forth over little things with the court over time is also not going to gain you any brownie points with the judge if you find another thing you do not like. I would say give it some time and see how it goes.

So what do you call harassment when they contact you? The only one you should be dealing with is dad about the child only and nothing else.

Jade - posted on 04/21/2016

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My Daughter is 5yr old and in February this year our lives change drastically.. her father was granted shared custody after a 3year long split.. so it was just me and her for the past 3years and she saw her dad during the weekends.. but now she's with him week about.. but the catch is that it isn't him that's actually raising my daughter, it's His Mother! If it wasn't for his mother pushing him into fighting for shared custody I know he would never have gone for it.. since he has been granted shared custody his mother has moved into his place and is "helping" him raise my daughter.. mind you this man is nearly 30yr old.... I get abusive phone calls from both of them on a daily basis and treated like I'm no longer her mother so I should just accept that his mother is doing a better job than I ever could.
I honestly feel like my life has been ripped away from me and I have no idea what to do! Can I go back to court and fight this? It's my word against theirs. I feel so lost and I feel so terribly horrible that my daughter is being treated like a pawn in their sick little game they are playing.. I know for a fact though, I will not give up on her.

Ev - posted on 02/22/2016

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To Deleted Account-- Your step child's concerns about where she lives and who has her full time is something that her PARENTS need to take to the court and talk about. You have no say in making these changes you posted. Only a JUDGE can say if those changes are in the child's best interests or not.

[deleted account]

So I have an 8 year old step daughter and we have a 50/50 custody week on week off. My partner and I are looking to move 30 minutes away from our town and are considering having (child's name) full time as we have successfully enrolled her in dancing singing and piano in the last two year which her mum had taken her to a handful of times and she often misses mass amounts of school when in her mums care otherwise she's almost always late to school... She recently had to take an extra class to catch up on reading skills... So my question is she doesn't want to move in with us full time as she doesn't want to disappoint any one but is it wrong to ask her to make a decision where she lives? Or should we just make the decision for her...? Obviously her mum isn't giving her what she needs in the basic sense :/

Bacon - posted on 02/13/2016

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Hello my son is 2 months old and I go back to the child support office Wednesday and I wanted to know what are the odds that I get supervised visitation for the first year. I am exclusively breast feeding and our son doesn't take formula at all because of his GERD. I also would feel more comfortable letting him go stay with his father once he is a little more independent and his dad has really made an effort to build a bond.

Sarah - posted on 01/25/2016

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Stormie- you acknowledge he is the father, get the BC amended. It isn't fair to your child to have an inaccurate document

Sarah - posted on 01/25/2016

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Stormie- you acknowledge he is the father, get the BC amended. It isn't fair to your child to have an inaccurate document

Ev - posted on 01/25/2016

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Stormie--Same advice above holds out. You have had plenty of time to get custody, child support and visitation set up for him knowing what you know about him and his jail time. Was he in jail for hitting your son? Did you report him to family services over it? He may still have some rights to supervised visits if you can prove he is a danger to the child with arrest and conviction records and/or family services cases against him for the same thing. If you do not have proof he is a danger then only a judge can do that. If he is not on the BC he can go to a lawyer and find out what he has to do to get visitation to see his son alone. I can understand that he has not been there for most of this child's life so maybe some supervised visits until the baby gets used to him and then over nights. That is how some get that done. But you are doing well encouraging him to see his son and apparently it is working because he is 'involved' even this small amount. It really is not up to you to decide if he is good enough to be around the child, that is a judge's job. It is also the right of the child and father to have a relationship too and if you begin to withhold that visitation he could take you to court for parental alienation and you could loose your custody to your son. Did you read the whole post I placed here carefully?

[deleted account]

My 2 y/o dad was in jail for the last year... And in ans out the first due to partying and other women while we were together, i left him for hitting me constantly and whwn he hit my son the first time bow hes out of jail and no lisense house job.. Doesnt make sense to juat allow him to waltz back into my sons life and assume he has juat as many rights as i do, hes not on the birth certificate .. I allow him to see our son twice a week but its hard because my LO and i both go to school and i work full time and am 6mths pregnant, ans i also have a life and relationship.. I dont trust him alone for more than an hour so definately no overnights so basically im stuck sitting in a park or at his brothers house( where hes staying) so they can have time.. I feel like im very generous and i do what i can... Any advice in the situation..

Ev - posted on 12/28/2015

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As long as your boyfriend is meeting his end of things in the custody, child support, and visitation, then you should have nothing to worry about. As to the visitation, he needs to write down dates, times, and what happens when he is forced to wait to get his child or does not get her at all on his weekends and other appointed visits. He needs to look at the orders and see if there is a section stating he has to get anything extra like the school clothes and other things beyond the child support (sometimes this is added in as the parents splitting school things and other things in half and sometimes it is not in there at all). If there is nothing added that he has to buy for the child beyond child support, then he is not obligated to do so unless he just wants to. Child support is his portion of taking care of the child financially. If he is having a list of troubles with his child's mother he needs to address it to her or take it to court.

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