SPARC Forums

Main Forums => Custody Issues => Topic started by: meatpopsicle on Nov 13, 2011, 09:06:18 PM

Title: Fair shared custody
Post by: meatpopsicle on Nov 13, 2011, 09:06:18 PM
I currently only have shared legal custody in Nebraska, my ex has full physical custody.

The original arrangements were that I have the children every other weekend, every other holiday and Mon, Wed and every other Thursday with no overnights during the week. I discussed this with several attorneys and they said I would be fortunate with those arrangements and they were already better than Wilson v. Wilson and without my ex being a drug addict that I would probably not get any better even if I fought it all the way to the state supreme court.

I pay full child support but now also have my children overnight during the week. I've been doing this for over 1 1/2 years and the previous arrangement (no overnights during the week) only lasted about a year following the divorce.

Do you know if this current arrangement where I have 50% care of the children is sufficient impetus in Nebraska to have the custody changed to shared custody? Or should I simply be happy that they did not completely take away all of my rights to my children for no reason and that my ex is benevolent enough to allow me 50% of their time while accepting full child support payments?
Title: Re: Fair shared custody
Post by: Kitty C. on Nov 14, 2011, 08:19:01 AM
It's not so much the terminology used as the 'status quo' that's important.  You want to keep what you're currently getting, because as of right now, your ex could pull the rug out from under it at any time and you'd be stuck with only what's CO'd.
You need LOTS of documentation to back up your claim and, if you file anything, it would be for the court to recognize what has been going on for the past year and a half.  I would NOT use the term 'shared custody' or anything else that sounds like could very easily put your ex on the defensive.  Now, if the court brings it up, that's a different story.
You want to keep the time you've been getting with the kids...having it recognized and added to the current CO by the court is the only way to achieve that.
Title: Re: Fair shared custody
Post by: meatpopsicle on Nov 14, 2011, 10:26:29 AM
What type of documentation should I establish?

I have not only had the kids on the schedule that I stated, there have been multiple times that she was unable to have them because of her personal plans (concerts, out of town for the weekend). What types of documentation can I establish that will be more binding than what I am able to state?

Yes, I am interested in eliminating the possiblity that she can take them away again on a whim. Been there, done that.

I had spoken to an attorney last year and he basically restated that even if I had been having them 50% of the time that the court would still probably not change the custody arrangements and that if I brought it up or brought it to court she would probably yank the kids away.

Needless to say I was not impressed with that lawyer's response although in all liklihood it is true here in Sarpy County, Nebraska and is most certainly true with my ex.

Title: Re: Fair shared custody
Post by: ocean on Nov 14, 2011, 02:04:45 PM
Document and keep track of when you have kids in a spreadsheet or calendar online. Make you have a color and ex have a color. Then once a year goes by, put it all one one sheet small color coordinated and add the days for each at bottom. Keep emails/ texts for each switch she asks for. Just send her an email after you talk "this is to confirm that I will be picking up kids on saturday xx date and keeping them to xx date.

I would just keep documenting for a while longer. Let the kids get older (how old are they now?). Go to their activities, take pictures with time stamps, take the to dr appts and dentist appt each year and have the dr write that you brought them on their chart and ask for a note on prescription pad that "xx (you) brought child xx to this dr office on xx as child was sick" something like that (you can say it is for your job.

If this is about child support, then only fill out that paperwork for modification for child support. The reason "father has had children for xx days the past two years and father would like for child support to represent the actual time the children are with each parent. The child support was set xx years ago, when the father had children xx days per year and the new xx days has been in agreement and working since xx date."

Really, have you tried to talk or email your ex about all of this. If it is about getting the visitation on paper only, ask her "since we have had this schedule since xx and it has been working, could we both sign paperwork stating this new visitation schedule we have been using the past xx months? It will not cost you anything and we will sign a paper in front of a notary and put it in with the courts.

or if it does have to do with money,
As you know when child support was first calculated it was when i was seeing the kids xx days a month. I am now seeing kids xx days a month and have to feed/clothes/ and meet their basic needs on my parenting days. I would like to discuss a partial decrease in child support to help with these costs. We will always split the big things, school trips, activities, and out of pocket expenses but the weekly child support needs to reflect how often the kids are in each house, sleeping and eating. Then get into what you propose?

If you are court ordered now, you can not just come up with another number and switch it so it would have to go to court anyway but maybe you can be on the same page.

Bottom line is what is important to you. Can you survive paying the child support and being able to see kids? If yes, leave it alone for now...If you really need the money, ask for her to send clothes, bathroom supplies with them since she has the child support money. You must go to court to deal with the child support. If you file for that, then she will either pull visitation from you and file a counter motion or you go to child support court and prove your case. (with the calendars and pictures of when you had children the last year...).
Title: Re: Fair shared custody
Post by: meatpopsicle on Nov 14, 2011, 03:22:52 PM
This is about

1. I should have had shared custody from the beginning
2. There is no reason I should have to pay her for full support if she does not have the children full time

I don't suspect that she will be receptive of any change because I have a hard enough time getting her to pay her share of medical expenses. This is not because she can't afford it, she is able to afford many other thingsool including trips to see her old high school boyfriend that she was e-mailing the last 8 years of our 14 year marriage.

I have already been the only one taking the kids to the doctor/dentist. It really ticks me off that I have to _prove_ that I'm their father in order to get what I should have been given from the beginning.
Title: Re: Fair shared custody
Post by: ocean on Nov 14, 2011, 03:33:07 PM
Family court is not fair as you know so....go see another lawyer and see what your family court judges have been given out.
Having physical custody on paper really does not do have it without going to court, you go to dr, school activities and have them half time or more. So? leave it alone until she threatens to pull it from you then you can go in with your nice calendars showing all the time you have been doing.

Child support, again, if it will cause ex to pull the time with the kids and then you get less or no time until court, you have to ask if it is worth it. If you say yes, then file in family court, modification of child support papers with the reason below and she will have to fight it but be prepared for the phone call that now you can only have kids on your court ordered time. If that happens then you file another motion to modify visitation papers to what the children have been doing for the past xx months. You can file them both together if you want and deal with both.
If you are ready to do this, I would do it after the holidays so she does not interfere with all that. Then maybe give her an email heads up on your plans and give her a week to come up with a solution or you will take it to court.

Most of us here fight for the time, I get you think it is unfair but it is better to have the time now with your kids then her to take that away from you for the next year as you fight it out in court.
Title: Re: Fair shared custody
Post by: Davy on Nov 15, 2011, 02:01:01 PM
This is for your consideration.
 Research Neb. statues for the recusal process .... some states only allow a judge to recuse themselves while others can be recused by a participant in the a matter (ie for bias and prejudice).
If the latter is available, then phone the Neb State Bar to see if they have a referral process then ask for a referral in a neighboring jurisdiction for a "rule of law type non-custody" attorney.  They will less likely to maintain a judges status quo cause they are not one of the good ole boys and will not be back in front of the court the next day.  They may even be cheaper and having more fun because they are actually "lawyering" -- what they are trained to do rather than kissing somebody's rearend. 
At very least, it is usually favorable to interview/manage legal counsel in this fashion.
Hopefully the children and you wil begin to be treated fairly.