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Need guidence on child support, its long but WE NEED HELP

hbromann's picture

I have a stepdaughter who is turning seven this month, her father, my husband, and her mother have joint custody and have been divorced for 6 1/2 years. At the time of divorce, mother agreed to not have child support. So, husband has not had to pay child support but has certainly paid for things upon request of mother and for extra with no questions asked. My concern is that mother is planning to take my husband back to court to request child support payments. I have many concerns about this the first being that she has treated my husband with disrespect and treats him as if he is not entitled to the same parental rights and responsibilities as she. She repeatedly states that she,"lets him be in his daughter's life," and certainly makes sure he doesn't ever get extra time with daughter without punishment. THe other is over the the last four years I have been invovled, mother has had two boyfriends one who lived in who mysteriously moved out after getting her pregnant and stole money from her, the other who physically abused her and prompted her to flee with daughter without notifying her father she had taken out of school and 3 hrs away. Among other issues such as step-daughter broke her arm twice in mother's care and crawled out on the roof of their townhome through her second story bedroom window. Point is what do we do? Child's mother lives much better than we newer car, two flat screen tv, nicer clothes, better furniture, nicer home. This is all great for step daughter but what are we to do? What are my husband's rights as a father? It would be preferred that if she is struggling financially that perhaps we have more time at our house to counter balance the finicial strain on the mother. But, as this makes since it often is not the likely result. We would love more time with stepdaughter and feel it is father's right to spend time with daughter. We cannot help that mother's spending habits are poor and she has all along and is currently making more than us put together. What do we do to protect ourselves and yet do what is right for step daughter. The other should and when this happens how do we remain pleasent with her mother it is already a very strained and often un pleasent relationship.


hbromann's picture

I guess I don't know, I have been going on what DH has said. We should check? DH is avoiding and hoping that BM does not demand chaild support.

mumzy79's picture

There are just soo many variables. If I knew that I could better guide what could or could not happen. What custody agreement is set up? Shared? Full Custody? Is itt in the agreement that she doesn't get CS but he pays extras?

Rags's picture

Support and Visitation are not linked. Lifestyle of either BioParent is not a consideration that Family Courts usually decide. Child Support is determined purely from the perspective of making resources available to provide for the child.

Most State CS formulas and calculations consider 1. Total income earned by the two BioParents. 2. Number of Joint Bio Children between the BioParents. 3. Number of non Joint Bio Children each of the BioParents may have with another partner/spouse. 4. Parenting time that each parent has with the Child that is subject to the CS order.

I would recommend that you Google Child Support Calculators for your State. They are a good tool for determining a likely range of CS you may either receive or be obligated to pay if the BM follows through on her threat to file for CS.

If she does file for CS then you can bring forward information and evidence of her life style choice issues, any negative impact they may have on the Child, and any other information you believe to be pertinent.

If BM files for CS your DH can counter claim for custody, increased visitation time, CS from BM, etc....

So, your concerns about BioMom's life choices are likely not going to be something that will have impact on CS levels. If BM files for an amendment she will likely get CS.

There is no need for your DH to be intimidated by a threat by BM to file for CS. I recommend that he gets his ducks in a row and put together a contingency plan based on a worst case situation of what BM may do. That way you/he are prepared to counter any move BM makes.

Information is the key to driving as much fairness in to the process as possible. Injuries to the child while in BM's care, BM's obviously lacking judgment in choosing partners, denial of visitation between your DH and his Daughter, etc....... can all have some impact on the Court's decisions when it comes to Custody and Visitation time.

Just my layman's opinion of course.

Best regards,

Success is rarely final. Failure is rarely fatal. It is character, courage and consistency of effort that count. Vince Lombardi (with some minor Rags modifications) To each according to their performance, screw Karl Marx. (Rags)

hbromann's picture

A sincerest of thanks and I will have my DH read your response! Its amazing the difference is of just having people on your side! Thanks, really.

Gmama's picture

I agree with stepma

thats exactly what happened in our case. EVERYTHING was
agreed upon verbally, support and visitation, she took the kid, moved out of state, doesn't have a job, and came after him legally for support, 9 years later,9.... and yes we had to get a lawyer in HER state to establish pareting time, because the court wouldn't do the parenting time adjusmet on CS without a court order for parenting time,,, HUGE MESS,LOTS OF MONEY,and VERY STRESSFUL,, just be prepared is all i'm saying, my husband didn't think his EX would go after him,,but she NAILED us good,and caught us off guard, and came out on top.....

stepmom2one's picture

Yes she is right! You need it on a CO. Meditation can get that filed with the court....even if you go just to get it on paper--do it!

kidsaplenty's picture

I think you near to be wary of coming in with a laundry list of the bad things about bm right at the same time as the cs issue because it is going to look retaliatory that it is being brought up just when she asks for c.s. So while there may be some legitimate concerns I could see the judge questioning where was the concern for this child before you were brought up for c.s. and maybe not taking the concerns as seriously (even if they should be, just saying I could see how it might look like that). I think the best thing to do is to just see a lawyer and get a realistic idea of what c.s. may be ordered and plan financially for worse case scenario. Also, I would definitely recommend whatever arrangments he might be able to make directly with the bm out of court and maybe have that be their order she might go for that to avoid the expense and stress of court and he could very well end up paying less (after meeting with the lawyer he should have an idea what c.s might come out to and know if they can agree to an amount that might be more affordable for him). I know she agreed to no c.s. for 6 years and he paid some other things but to the judge it could look like he has gotten off for 6 years from what most others have to do and he/she may show little mercy. So if bm/bd can work something out it might be better for you/him.

melis070179's picture

If you guys have SD 1/2 the time and she makes more, she'd likely be paying your husband child support, not the other way around. Is there any court order about custody and visitation?

"I child proofed my whole house, but they STILL get in!"