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Main Forums => Custody Issues => Topic started by: single_Mommy on Jun 25, 2015, 09:16:02 PM

Title: one stressed out mommy
Post by: single_Mommy on Jun 25, 2015, 09:16:02 PM
About a year ago I found out my husband was seeing another women. I begged him to call it off, to consider our children, our vows, the 12 years we had been together. He refused, he said that he felt that we were just friends going through stuff together. To make it worse he said that he never really wanted another baby, he just thought that it would make me happy, our youngest was 6 months old at the time. It was devastating to say the least. So I told him that I was going to leave and move to back home to my parents house in NY. We lived in FL.

My brother was coming to help and I wanted to give at least 2 weeks notice to my job. We stayed for another 3 weeks. Those 3 weeks were the worse weeks of my life. He would come home, take his dinner in the room and watch TV, while I took care of the kids, feed, bathed them, read stories and put them to bed. Did all the dishes and got things ready for the next day. Then before the girls would go to bed he would shower, changed, put on a ton of colon and all but skip out the door. he took the car seats out of his car. He had no intention of taking or picking the kids up from daycare or doing anything with them. Last fathers day he blew us off, he wanted to go take his girlfriend somewhere for her birthday, he couldn't even go to breakfast with them for Father's day.

We left in the beginning of July last year. Less then 3 weeks after we left he moved his girlfriend into our house. Shortly after he did that, he called me and said that he missed me and the girls and wanted to move the NY with us. I wanted to forgive him, I wanted to make it work. I told him it needed to be over with her. He said she didn't have anywhere to go, but she was mad and was going to move out soon. Basically he just made me the other women. I second guessed my decision to try and work it out over and over again. Finally one day he called me, he'd been drinking and told me he couldn't break it off with her and he wasn't going to move with up to NY.

Since we left he has not seen the girls, he has not been up to visit them. He Skypes occasionally. It used to be about once every 3-4 weeks. My kids are very young 1 and 3. The older one does recognize him, but she doesn't ask for him or ask were he is anymore.

He filed for Divorce including a parenting plan in FL in January. He told me about it after he did it. I asked him then to back off and let me file custody in NY, Jurisdiction falls to NY we had been here for 6 months, I asked how could he do that, he refused the answer me he said it was in the agreement. I just got the agreement at the beginning of June and he's rushing me to sign it or make a few changes and "get it over with". The agreement if all to benefit him. basically it looks like he went into the lawyers office and said "I want a divorce, but I don't what to pay child support". I told him a few things that I didn't like and he said "I didn't know it was in there" .....

I've been so stressed out about this, I've read the agreement several times, tried to come up with a response and changes that we both can live with ... you know do the right thing. And he hadn't even ready it... or he's lying. Either way, it makes me feel like he has wasted my time and his, and also that he couldn't even put enough thought into it to make sure it was something we could work with. I did take it to my lawyer and he said this is a "packet of crap". He said it would have to be totally redone to make it work.

He asked for a list of everything that I had an issue with and I made him one. He immediately flipped out and told me that everything I had a problem with was ridiculous and he told me that if we couldn't come to an agreement it would become a contested divorce and the girls and I would have to move back to FL. Again we've been here for a year, technically NY has jurisdiction and he shouldn't have filed custody in the first place. My kids are happy here, I'm a far better person here with my family. He knows that. I took it as a threat. He tried to tell me that it's the law, again he's either lying or has truly bad information.

After all this and his attitude I just don't know how I could ever send my kids to be with him. He had no interest in them before I left and has made no effort to see them, he hasn't bought one pair shows, one diaper, not one shred of clothing nor provided one meal. When we talked about money he said that he was going to walk away from the house and let it go in to foreclosure. He wants it in the agreement that he gets them every spring break, summer vacation (2 days after school lets out until 7 days before school is back) and every other Thanks Giving and Christmas. That doesn't seem to be outrageous but he can't tell me what he would do for Childcare (he's only making minimum wage), he just tells me "I'll take care of it" ..... I don't know how I would ever survive sending them to be with him. I'm worried about how much time he get to take them. I've read what a regular long distance visitation is, but in those situations, things seem to be good between the parents and the children have a relationship with the father. My kids don't have that.
Title: Re: one stressed out mommy
Post by: ocean on Jun 26, 2015, 04:30:15 AM
Ok few things...
1. FLA has jurisdiction as you were married there, house there, and you moved. You are going to have to get a lawyer to fight that you want NY to take over but that may not happen since he still lives there and filed. He talked to a good lawyer and filed early. Did your lawyer try to change venue yet?

2. You moved, so you will pay for most travel for visits.

3. That schedule he sent you is for older children (more school age).  You can make a gradual visitation plan since he has not seen kids and their age. This year he can have a week in the summer, maybe a NY visit first.

Courts are not going to care about all that other stuff. He is making min wage and you took kids to NY. Get a child support order in place and they will garnish his check. You can ask for daycare to be added to order too. If you have an exact number each month for daycare they can garnish that too so this will no longer be an issue. There is a way that a lawyer can ask the judge to order child support while you fight out the rest of the divorce but your first BIG issue will be if FLA releases case to NY.

Don't sign any agreement you do not feel comfortable with. This first set of papers are what the judges go by for future court dates. What you have in those papers will follow you until kids are 18. It is hard to change orders and since the kids are so young, you have to think about school age. By the way, spring break is no longer a full week in most school districts in NY anymore. They split it with Easter and Passover so that may be a potential issue. You need everything in those papers : Who pays for travel, who picks the airlines, can you meet half way driving, exact dates and times for travel, can there be a layover, money (half of daycare? half of out of pocket medical expenses? half of educational costs? half of activities costs? camps?), birthdays, fathers day weekend? ...

Look up some plans online and long distance plans with little kids. Many people make it work but if he is unwilling or unable due to finances to make the trip to you then you can only do so much.

He is ruining your credit if your name is on the house. Any other bills in your name? Change all bills to him or close the accounts. If your name in on house, you can call them and see what has been paid so far.

Going to be months and months of court. Usually takes a year or more in contested cases and you are going to be dealing with 2 states for custody and then the garnishment for child support will be two states. Going to be a while to straighten in all out. Ask questions as they come up. Good luck!
Title: Re: one stressed out mommy
Post by: single_Mommy on Jun 26, 2015, 11:14:35 AM
In the paperwork, they stated that jurisdiction fell to FL because the kids and I relocated to NY on a temporary basis. However both lawyers in NY and in FL said that Jurisdiction falls to NY state since we had been living here for over 6 months (it was over 6 months when he filed), the divorce would absolutely have to be handled in FL, but Custody should be NY. He was planning on this be an uncontested divorce, they wanted me to sign a paper saying that i would not hire an attorney also, it appears that they are trying to get as much as they can for him with no consideration of the children. I can prove my residency and the children as well, they've have insurance, they've been to the doctor, enrolled in daycare.

The kids have medicaid so there is not typically medical costs, also I get assistance with daycare so there is minimal cost there as well. My attorney said that if that changes the formula would be re-figured, I assume that is a process.

I have to fight this. He may have gotten something started with the lawyer before I did, and that's my fault, I was trying to be in a good position to fight him on the divorce, because i didn't know how he was going to react. Now I have someone here and I have someone in FL, and I did give him a chance to come up with something we could work from and he gave me a bunch of crap, which he either didn't read or he lied to me about, but either way, I'm done waiting for him to do the right thing, I don't think he will.
Title: Re: one stressed out mommy
Post by: ocean on Jun 26, 2015, 11:30:44 AM
Is there any open court cases in FLA or NY now?

Custody will be decided within your divorce papers. Obviously you will have primary but most of this will be dealt with in FLA. Custody, visitation, child support, splitting assets (house) all will be in the divorce papers. Sometimes they can merge orders if you were to get a custody order from family court in NY but most likely NY family court will put it back to the Fla courts. This can get very ugly and long process if you both can not come up to an agreement. And paying both lawyers will cost you a fortune once this gets started.

Also, NY can go  after both parents if they can afford part of medicaid and day care subsidy.  So the father could be liable to pay back the state/fed program.
Title: Re: one stressed out mommy
Post by: single_Mommy on Jun 26, 2015, 12:30:55 PM
I don't believe that there is any open cases. My lawyer said this is a proposal, technically i could throw it in the garbage. She told me to get a petition for custody in NY started and in the event that they do have me served we would write a response showing residency of me and the children and family court would immediately throw it out. Once custody is settled we can do the divorce, if I have been a resident of NY for over 2 years at that point, I can file for divorce in NY as well.
Title: Re: one stressed out mommy
Post by: MixedBag on Jun 26, 2015, 01:58:48 PM
I respectfully disagree -- because DAD is still in Florida.

I "won" this specific argument in a WV court....

BUT I will say this -- because this board is filled with so many different people and different cases, I've read where one judge said THIS and another said THAT.

Let me also suggest this -- on the Child Support End, it will be easier for the court system to reach out to DAD if he decides NOT to pay child support.  If you push for NY, then you'll have to ask NY to enforce the order and they'll go to FL and FL has personal jurisdiction to reach out to Dad.  YES, this gets dorked up and takes time all the time.  Meanwhile you're wondering how to pay the bills and raise the children.

When two parents live in a state, jurisdiction only follows the children when BOTH parties leave the original jurisdiction (where the marital home WAS).....and yeppers, won that argument because I wanted the fat folder to stay as history in WV inspite of the fact that I was in AL and our son moved to me.  And that fat folder was a good thing to have on the judges desk down the road.

Is it gonna cost you MONEY to go back to FL everytime there's court?  YES, but FL can reach out and touch him.  Where as NY has to go THROUGH FL and ask them to do that.

Got another example....EX#3 and his EX started in OH.  She fled to NV, he moved to OH, jurisdiction moved to NV with the kids because they both left.  He had to fly to NV everytime there was court....yep, and he went quite often, sometimes twice a year she was such a great parent.

Strategically, if you even THINK dad will be uncooperative -- like NOT return the kids -- you want jurisdiction to be where it's NEAR him and they can reach out and touch him.
Title: Re: one stressed out mommy
Post by: ocean on Jun 26, 2015, 02:13:56 PM
I agree MB. Maybe go and talk to a different NY lawyer for a free consultation or pay for an hour visit. The NY lawyer should not be promising to get jurisdiction especially in some parts of NY where they are very strict with this. Father could say you moved to NY to get child support until 21 (child support shopping) which is why the courts will not allow it to follow the child in most cases. Also, call up FLA courts yourself (or look online) and see if anything has been filed by ex. It can be an open case without a current court date. NY has the cases online. Really ask the lawyer tough questions like how often have you seen judges in this area allow xyz.

If nothing has been filed in FLA, then go down to family court in NY and file custody and child support paperwork. But court papers going back and forth with lawyers involved already shows this is an "open" case.  You may want to see a bankruptcy lawyer about the house.

Title: Re: one stressed out mommy
Post by: Davy on Jun 26, 2015, 06:36:58 PM
Even though you have explained the wrongness you have endured you have made wrong choices for yourself and especially your children.  The legal documents you may receive will claim you have dirty hands for abscounding with the children across state lines in order to remove the children from the left-behind parent and gain favorable rulings in a foriegn forum of your choosing.
By doing so you have put you family case under the control of a National Act known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
(UCCJEA originally the UCCJA; 1069) along with the a Federal act known as the Parental Kidnapping Preventiion Act (PKPA; 1981).   Please search the archives on this site or Google the internet.
I know it may appear ridiculous for the FL atty/counselor to request you not hire an attorney but it was the most rational item you posted.  Please consider working together with the Dad thru one FL atty because
BTW, FL (the home state) will have jurisdiction over ALL matters as long as the left behind parent remains a resident of FL .  In my case the home state judge divided our property in the foreign (abscounded to state) much to their amazement. 
Title: Re: one stressed out mommy
Post by: MixedBag on Jun 27, 2015, 05:59:07 AM
Good luck with this.

I knew there was someone who had another state take over and make decisions.....thanks for sharing your experience Davy.

There are others where this happened too.

But think (well, IMHO -- and you get to have an opinion) think strategically.  When EX#3 abscounded with his kids, he didn't speak with them for 3 years because she hid them in NV.  Sure he knew that they were living with her parents, but (dumbass EX#3) he didn't have her parents' address.  They had an unlisted phone number.  She never answered her attorney (nor did she fire him, or pay him, but he still kept representing her in OH and was hoping to rack up a bill EX#3 would owe)....and OH was powerless to reach out and touch her so that Dad could even TALK to his kids.

Just sharing experiences.....(of the hell we went through) that you can see what might happen...  If Dad hangs on to them in FL, you want the courts to reach out and touch him.