Should I have to pay child support?

Ellen - posted on 04/24/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I was with my ex over 20 years but we were never married. Our children are now 19 and 12. He left over 2 years ago for another woman and left the kids with me in the house we bought together over 10 years ago. However, the house was put into his name because I had a couple of marks on my credit report at the time. I eventually took him to court for emotional/verbal/mental abuse and had a temporary order of protection against him. I then started dating. He brainwashed the kids into thinking I was the abuser and my daughter even told the Court that I was abusing and neglecting her and my son. The Court, without any investigation, took the kids and placed them temporarily with my ex's sister. My lawyer told me that because of my daughter's age, she could choose who she lives with and my son would go wherever she went because the Judge would not separate the kids. So I was basically forced to turn physical custody over to my ex who NEVER took an active role as a parent, not even while he was not living with us. He never went to the movies with us, he never went to see Santa Claus with us, he never went out to dinner with us, he never took the kids to the doctor, he never spoke to the schools other than the yearly parent/teacher conference, etc. He took everything that we had worked for our whole 20 years together. He makes almost twice what I make, he got the house, he has a car, a boat, his hunting equipment, fishing equipment, skiing equipment, a historic motorcycle, and he even bought a snowmobile after he left. My credit is ruined and I have the paycheck I get every other week. Now he expects me to pay him child support when the only reason he took custody was so he would not have to pay me child support. He doesn't let me see my son when I want to outside of the visitation schedule. He doesn't ask me to buy them anything and when I offer to buy them anything they tell me their father is going to. I was going to take my son to get his haircut a few months ago but he wanted to wait for his friend's mother to do it. I couldn't get a hold of his friend's mother. The next time I picked him up his hair was cut and not by his friend's mother. It is not that I don't want to support my kids. I have ALWAYS supported my kids. I continue to support them in every way that I can. My ex is an addict and I told the court this. They say I am lying because I have not shown any proof. I gave up everything for my kids so they could go home and their father would stop brainwashing them. He continues to play games with me and now I may be going to jail because I cannot afford to pay what the Court has ordered me to pay. So if it were you, would you pay the child support (whether you could afford to or not) or go to jail?

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Stephanie - posted on 04/26/2010

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You can file a motion of/for relief... My ex does it all the time to get out of paying his support. You can also go to the courts and ask that a guardian ad litem be appointed.... this is basically a person who is certified by the courts and will work for the best interest of the kids. You can also ask for a home study to be done. as well as request that surprise drug tests be done and have the children be put into counselling to be sure that they are not being manipulated by you ex. These are all reasonable requests and you should also check your state laws on custody and visitation, the more information you have the more you will feel in control. Stay strong and talk with your child support case worker...they might not be able to do much but if you show that your at least making an attempt to comply they might work with you and jail time could be avoided.

I wish you the best of luck

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JoAnn - posted on 04/29/2010

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If its at all possible, you need to find positive outlets for your stress. Exercise is best, but I know I couldn't get into it. Believe it or not, volunteering in something you like can be uplifting and helpful to all involved.

I volunteered at my place of worship to watch preschoolers on Sundays. After a couple months, the parents were so appreciative and it just felt so good to me to see others happy and smiling because of me.

The courts, can be very stressful, and its hard to hide our emotions from our kids. Talking to a good friend or counselor, can allow you to be the mom you want to be. Then you dont have to talk to your kids about it, and a counselor can give you ideas on how to handle actions taken by your ex. There are sliding-scale state-counseling services. Also, your counselor can actually be a witness for you when you go to court. Judges look favorably at parents who go the extra, to make it better for their kids. I wish you luck.

Stephanie - posted on 04/28/2010

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I'm sorry you had such an awful experience with the law guardian. I know a couple of people who have used them and all had very positive dealings. I think you got a bad one. I'd talk to the court clerks and see if there is any way to get a new one and file a complaint against the one you had. The purpose of the law Guardian is to keep the kids best interests in mind, not do what the kids want. Yes it should be taken into consideration but sometimes what they want and what is best for them are two different things. I think you got a bad deal all around. I'd ask for a new judge and a new guardian. My only suggestion is to do your research (I'm doing mine to get ready for my next court date in May with my ex). if you go into the court room prepared and knowing the laws it's gonna work out better than just going in and hoping for the best. I wish you all the best.

Ellen - posted on 04/27/2010

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Thank you Stephanie. Your suggestions are very helpful. The only one I would disagree with is the guardian ad litem aka law guardian. My kids had one and she told me in no uncertain terms that it was not her job to do what is in the best interest of the kids, it is her job to do what they want. My kids are older which makes my case harder because their decisions carry a lot of weight, even tho their decisions are not what is best for them.

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