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Need some serious help here

Elizabeth's picture

Husband agreed to let SD14 go live with BM. Plan was for her to start new school today (Thursday, 1/24). But SD is still at our house, and there was a notice on our door last night that the sheriff's department is looking for my husband. We think they want to serve him with court papers.

To make a long story short, BM moved an hour away when SD was 11 and left her with us. We have had primary custody for 3y9mo. But BM wouldn't sign any papers to that effect. To be amicable, we didn't pursue child support. Now, if SD is going to live with her, BM wants child support.

1. Has anyone successfully fought child support when custody is joint (equal), as it is now?
2. Can we file for retroactive child support for the past almost 4 years?

I do NOT want to pay child support! We were SD's sole support for all her life (BM wouldn't even pay for school lunches, let alone activities, school supplies, etc.) We have paid for everything, and husband has been out of work for nearly two years during that time.

BM has some nerve! I think she is not taking SD (who is still here and should have started her new school today) because she wants child support.

stepwitch's picture

I'm not a legal advisor, but sounds like to me yall are owed back CS. Know any good attorneys? My hubby had a mutual agreeement with BM at birth (after parental testing was done, of course). We never had to go to court, cause we paid our ransom every mo. and ontime. We even went up and above order, when BM would have her phone/utilities cut off for non-payment. What a LOSER !

When Switch came to live with us (approx 5 yrs), we did not recieve one hot red cent in CS. Hubby took the position, You Can't Get Blood for a Turnip attitude. He just didn't want to DEAL with it. Now, I really wished we would have gotten some type of judgement on her. Just so she could feel a little JAB ! Know what I mean? I'm very resentful.

I think you should call an attorney for some free advise this morning and see what you can find out, let us know how it goes.

Thank you Disney for portraying a positive image on all stepmothers!!!!

gobbism's picture

file for retroactive child support. I know someone who found out he had a 5 year old daughter and he was obligated to pay back those 5 years he didn't even know she existed.

Get a lawyer and find out.

Elizabeth's picture

We just haven't officially been served the papers. My husband took the same attitude, stepwitch. Since BM never paid for ANYTHING for SD, how would we get her to pay child support?

It just pisses me off because we still have to cover medical insurance for SD when husband and I were BOTH out of work and had a 3 month old baby. And husband was out of work for 18 months (got a new job one year ago that pays much less), and BM still refused to pay for anything. It would have made it a lot easier for all of us if we had been getting child support from her, but we let it slide. Now she wants to stick us for it!?

Monica's picture

Yea, I'm pretty sure you can. As long as you have proof that the child has resided with you all that time and you were the primary caregiver, it wouldn't seem like it would be a problem.

My EH had/has to pay his EW excessive amounts of CS because of his arrearages, and FH is doing the same. It also does not look great for her that an arrangement was in place for skid to start at a new school and was pretty much abandoned by her. Proving even more so that the child always has and apparently always will have to rely on you for support.

"It's always darkest before it turns absolutely pitch black."
- Paul Newman

Elizabeth's picture

My husband said she could go and sent her something to that effect in writing. Then we find out last night that she's not going. It looks to me like BM will not take her without child support. She has threatened to bring up all kinds of things from husband's past that have no relevance on the situation at hand. But that scares him.

To me, her actions speak loudly and clearly. If your husband said you could take your daughter to live with you, wouldn't you do that? I would take her that same day, no matter what was going on with child support. I thought you could file for that whenever you wanted, especially if you have custody of the child.

We will need to consult the lawyer, I just know both my husband and I were hoping it wouldn't come to a court battle.

Anne Summers's picture

If you never had a new order drawn up showing that your DH had primary residence and that the CS has changed---Then BM might actually be trying to hit DH up for ALL that back child support, which is court ordered. This could be the reason why the police are looking for him. Usually if a person gets served (most of the time paperwork gets sent to their attorney), they get served by a courier that usually handles specifics such as this. I've never heard of the police serving someone---unless it was with a warrant. So be careful and get your ducks in a row (such as documents, etc) in case the police do haul DH off to jail.

Unfortunately for you guys the order was never changed. I really think your DH should have went to court soon after BM left SD with you guys. You might have been able to prove abandonment, which never looks good for the other parent. This might have granted you full custody with BM having visitation. Plus it would have definitely changed the CS portion. Currently the only legal order that stands is the one that states DH pays CS to BM & that BM has custody---correct? Thus, in the eyes of the law, your DH is WAY behind on CS. Be warned that you might actually have to pay that---it truly depends on the judge. So hide a stash in the exact amount somewhere. If they do haul your DH off to jail, the courts will set a bail for a portion of the back CS owed or DH will have to serve a minumum amount of days in jail. In my state it's usually around 30 days.

However, when you go to court (I would suggest SOON) you must have documentation showing that SD has lived with you, what days (if any) BM visited or contacted SD, payments that you guys made for things. Could be anywhere from medical to bookclubs to lunch money---have any little thing & have everything, paperwork showing any money that BM paid for SD, etc. If you think the judge will award DH custody & CS---including back CS---then you can request all back CS PLUS daily compound interest on the back CS. The DCI usually is easier to get when there has been a court order already establishing the CS going to you.

Good Luck!

"Sometimes you have to test the limits to show you're not a doormat." Smile

Elizabeth's picture

Actually, no one has payed CS before. Husband and BM had joint equal custody 50/50, so courts ordered no CS. We let that stand even when SD lived with us because BM wouldn't sign documents modifying custody. However, husband and BM did go through mediation to arrive at the current schedule (per the divorce decree). I think it doesn't look good that BM let SD live with us for almost four years and didn't pay CS, then as soon as there is the prospect of SD living with her she wants CS.

Anne Summers's picture

I guess I assumed that you guys were ordered to pay CS. Confused. :? Sorry about that one. Smile

If they had joint custody of 50/50 with no CS, then is BM now requesting that BM have sole custody with DH having visitation?

I guess my thing is, even if BM does drag you guys to court---as long as you have your documents---then it would be in favor of your DH to get custody with BM having visitation. The reason I say this is b/c this is the situation that has been occuring. As long as you can show the judge (and BM doesn't trump up some false kidnapping type of charge---you never know with some people) then I feel it would go in DH's favor. Which should grant DH CS from BM. However, I do know men that leave CS out of it altogether for fear the BM will fight them.

This pertains to our case---I know I've said this under other posts, but mediation in our state is a joke if it's not put into a court order. There are actual cases from the state supreme court showing this. And even though an agreement was made in mediation and then BM wants to change her mind---DH can NEVER bring up mediation in court b/c court does not allow it, even though court ordered the mediation in the first place?!?!? Crazy system. Blum 3

"Sometimes you have to test the limits to show you're not a doormat."

stepwitch's picture

Thank you Disney for portraying a positive image on all stepmothers!!!!