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Messages - Tennessee Dad

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Child Support Issues / RE: Child Support Enforcement/modifications
« on: Jan 15, 2007, 09:04:03 AM »
Yes, it can happen.  When I was given custody of our daughter (Sept. 2004), our Judge also ordered no support (in Tennessee) as Mother was not working.  However, BM's disability was finally approved (Oct. 2006), and now I receive a check each month from Social Security for the benefit of daughter.  

Needless to say, BM is livid, and says I am taking "her" money.  According to SSA, benefits are for daughter, and even if I refused them BM would not get them.  

Sorry, don't know anything about interstate jurisdictions (thankfully!).

We muddle through as best we can.  I am just thankful I have daughter safe and sound, and never asked for any support.  Needless to say, the disability was an unexpected blessing (not to say I couldn't use the money, and DO use it strictly for daughter).  

My best to you; this is hard, even in the best of circumstances!

Child Support Issues / Experience with NCP on disability
« on: Jul 17, 2005, 02:52:38 PM »
Last September, I was awarded custody of my 7yo daughter.  BM had not worked in several years, and the Judge awarded no child support.  Since then, we have "heard through the grapevine" that BM is receiving disability benefits.  She has never told me this, but then again she probably wouldn't admit it to me.  

My question is should I be able to file for benefits for our daughter based on BM receiving disabiliiity benefits?  I have been told sometimes a portion of benefits can be paid to the custodial parent, in lieu of child support.  If so I would like to have it, for daughter's sake; but I know BM will go ballistic if I apply for daughter, and they reduce BM's benefits.  

Just wondering if anyone had any experience with a similar situation.  

I answer completely, with all due respect.

I am the Father of a 7yo daughter; I (as of September 17th) now have primary custody.  This is after a several month court wait, and 3 days in court battle.  

BM has not worked in over 2 years; in the last year, she has lost her house (foreclosure) and her car (bankruptcy).  I have kept our daughter the majority of the time for the last 3 years.  I had records showing approximately 70% of the overnights.  I originally asked just to make legal the arrangment we were living by; BM refused.  I offered joint custody and continue to pay child support; BM refused.  I begged for negotiation; BM refused.  I asked for mediation; BM refused.  Her only reason "I am her Mother", and "if I give up custody, I lose my money", meaning child support AND government benefits.  

So, I took it to court, and the Judge saw through a BM that simply could not handle being a parent.  Within a few days after getting the signed court order, BM was asking for changes.  Why wasn't she willing to give a little BEFORE I spent thousands of dollars having to fight for more time with my daughter, legally?  She wanted it all, and wound up with very little.  For those who feel they have been taken advantage up by the system, I am truly sorry.  I paid for my own attorney; BM had two attorneys through Legal Aid, so actually I helped pay for them too.

BTW, I did not ask for, nor receive child support.  It's NOT about the money; it's all about taking care of our daughter.  

Dear Socrateaser / RE: Listening in on phone conversations
« on: Mar 19, 2007, 01:41:17 PM »
Can't help but laugh.

Again, via Websters, interfere means "to enter into the affairs of others".  Thought that's what we were talking about.  And according to my attorney, I let her talk without listening in or butting in or interjecting my opinion.  That is, she is allowed to have a "private" conversation with her Mother.  I'm done.  

On another note:  I just wish the REAL Soc was here; he was an immense help to a lot of us, and would not have stood for me messing around on "his" Board.  I guess I am in "withdrawal"; although I rarely post anymore, I do tend to "check-in", and throw in a word of encouragement every now and then.  His wisdom (and wit) are sorely missed.

Dear Socrateaser / RE: Listening in on phone conversations
« on: Mar 18, 2007, 04:09:36 PM »
Well, Webster's definition says impede means "interfere with" thus unimpeded would generally mean not interfered with.  Listening in and then calling to rebut would be interferring to me .  JMHO

Dear Socrateaser / RE: Listening in on phone conversations
« on: Mar 17, 2007, 10:11:35 AM »
This is included in all custody orders in our state:  
 36-6-110. Rights of non-custodial parents. —
 (a)  Except when the juvenile court or other appropriate court finds it not to be in the best interests of the affected child, upon petition by a non-custodial, biological parent for whom parental rights have not been terminated, the court shall grant the following parental rights:
      (1)  The right to unimpeded telephone conversations with the child at least twice a week at reasonable times and for reasonable durations;

To me "unimpeded" means "not interferred with".  Check your orders and/or state law.  If they include similar rules, then point it out to BM, then simply hang up the phone.  Or suggest that from now on, you will be recording her when she calls you to "discuss" what has been said to son.  That ought to stop her; it works in our case, anyway.  

Dear Socrateaser / RE: income tax questions
« on: Feb 03, 2007, 06:41:09 PM »
Appreciate your offer to help, but our orders didn't address anything beyond when the child turned 18.  So, at this point, I guess we're on our on.  I think she meets the dependency exemption test according to IRS, i.e., birth child, full time-student, lived with me the full year except for college absences, provide more than half her support, not filing joint with another person.  I just feel ex- is trying to take advantage of the situation.  

Or, is the convoluted part regarding the scholarship income; that seems real confusing!

Dear Socrateaser / income tax questions
« on: Feb 03, 2007, 05:28:01 PM »
First of all, thank you for all your information and advice to me and others.

Background:  Ex- and I divorced in 1996, and she had custody of our youngest daughter, who turned 18 in August.  Daughter is now in college.  Mom had custody (on paper), but daughter had lived with me and my wife for past 4 years (since May, 2002).  We had alternated claiming as a dependent on taxes, although I had paid the majority of her expenses for this time (just didn't want the fight).  I think it is only fair to claim daughter this year; she had lived with us the entire year, and we had paid her living expenses, a car repair bill of $1,000, plus my wife's job provided tuition assistance of over $2,000.   But, ex- says no, it's her year to claim.  

Next, daughter has scholarships and tuition assistance to pay her college expenses quite a bit above her "qualified" expenses.  If I understand correctly, she will have to pay taxes on the amount over the "qualified" expenses.  She has earned income of about $800 that she will have to report also.  


1.  Should I legally claim daughter as a dependent on my return?

2.  Does daughter need to file her own return based on earned income and the amount of scholarships over her "qualified" expenses?

Thanks, again, for all your help!

Dear Socrateaser / What does "primary custody" really mean?
« on: Jul 01, 2006, 04:09:30 PM »
This has been a subject of question since my orders were received in 2004.  

Background:  My orders state "that the Order (i.e., MDA from 1997) be modified such that primary custody be with the petitioner father, my name."  The original MDA stated Mother should have "custody and control" of our then 3 month old daughter.   (It was an agreed order, as I didn't think I had any chance of getting custody of an infant from the Mother.  Then, when things got bad enough, I filed and received custody of our then 6yo.)   I assumed under the original order that Mother had "sole" custody, and did as she pleased (she consulted me only when she wanted to).  Now, I assumed, I had "sole" custody, but have been told by some that is incorrect.  Order does not say full or joint anything, and does not address residential or legal,  only says "primary".

Now, questions:

1.  What exactly, in your opinion, does "primary custody" mean?  

2.  Am I correct that all parts of the original order not addressed in new order remain the same, i.e., medical expenses split equally, etc.?  

Thanks for your opinion; you have been a great source of information and help to me and many others!

Dear Socrateaser / Thanks for your response
« on: Jun 01, 2004, 11:36:43 AM »
I'm just getting very anxious for this all to be over.  I want my daughter safe, and stable, and I don't think BM can provide that right now.  I am just asking to make legal what I have had for the past 3 years, unofficially.  

Thanks again, your help is invaluable.  

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