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Messages - FLMom

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21
Child Support Issues / RE: What does
« on: Nov 11, 2004, 09:13:18 PM »
"In kind" payment are payments that are made by purchasing a necessary item for a child.

In my case I kept every receipt for everything I bought for our children. Some things, like meals out and travel expenses are not allowed, but things such as clothes, shoes, haircuts, classroom expenses, etc are. You should check with your lawyer to see what is allowed and what is not.

If you choose this route instead of a direct support payment you should be prepared to show every receipt, no matter how small, of everything you have taken care of.

BTW, consider yourself OHHHHH so lucky that you live in a state that allows this kind of payment into consideration!


22
Child Support Issues / RE: CS Question
« on: Nov 11, 2004, 08:42:46 AM »
Thanks guys!

Well, this was a modification after 4 years of divorce, so it wouldn't be retroactive to anything. Ex tried for retroactive support to the tune of 10k but I was able to produce receipts of payment and 'in kind' payments of care of our kids so both lawyers agreed retro was a moot point. Started from zero.

Payments were agreed upon on a monthly basis. In court neither side said anything about making payments before the garnishment went into effect. Ex's lawyer was adamant about it coming directly from my check and not from me, so I thought I was supposed to wait for the order to go through. Ex's atty is responsible for the IDO. When the waiting became so long of a time period was when I called the clerk of court. It's a good thing I did too. Even if ex ad written me out a receipt the clerk said that ex could have said it was for bubble gum and claimed I hadn't paid. That's why I did the money orders and the signed paper.

No one said anything in court about when CS would start, I just assumed it was the court date. I guess I should just consider the start of that month as the beginning of the payment schedules. That'll still leave me two months behind when we go for the hearing but it's better than five.

Thanks again for your posts.

23
Child Support Issues / CS Question
« on: Nov 10, 2004, 03:24:50 PM »
CS question in Florida folks. . . maybe someone here can answer a question for me?

Here's the deal:

Ex and I settled in court prior to the judge hearing our case and making a ruling. I agreed to pay CS and ex agreed to a joint schedule.

Court case was July 15. Judge wrote out what the two of us had agreed upon, and ordered the lawyers to both write up and present this new agreement and submit it to him. Also requested ex's lawyer to file a "motion to deviate" for the CS amount being less than state guidelines.

Lawyers now claim they have been playing phone tag for the last 4 months. Neither has submitted the agreement, and ex's lawyer has not submitted motion to deviate. Meanwhile, I know my ex needs this money but as his lawyer has not filed anything (or mine to be fair), my company won't accept the garnishment without an order in place.

After calling the local clerk of courts for instructions, about 6 weeks ago I started giving my ex the monthly amount every two weeks so that when this all finally is settled I won't be in arrears. All is WELL documented. Money orders and notorized statements.

So here's my question. Let's say it's November 15 and court was July 15. I've paid him three monthly payments now. Should I now consider myself current through September 15 or October 15? Would the first payment be due July 15 or August 15? If it's August then I'm on schedule, but if it's July I'm still behind.

I've searched the SPARC site and my state's statutues and I still can't find an answer. This is really important right now as my ex's lawyer has filed to find me in contempt for non-payment!---says I haven't paid ex a dime.

I'm well documented on what I have paid, but I'd really love to be able to say that I'm current when this hearing comes up at the end of this month.

Any input? Thanks!!

24
Child Support Issues / RE: Opinions.....
« on: Oct 28, 2004, 10:01:39 AM »
I think it's all up to the individual situation.

In my case I am the NCP. I have no problems giving my ex CS--because I'm not giving it to my ex, I'm giving to our kids. Before there was an order in place I did "in kind" payments--- in other words I took care of all of the things he didn't. Yes, ex makes about 5 times what I do.

When the kids needed clothes, school supplies, moneys for special trips--I could go on and on--- I took care of all of that. My ex wanted to receive that money instead, but with that he also took on the added responsibility that all of those items were now 50/50. It's not that I don't WANT to give my oldest $20 to go to the mall with her friends, now it's that I CAN'T. That was the choice her father made, but to tell you the truth I have NEVER told her to go ask her father for the money. Our change jar is now rather sparse.

I'd also like to show the other side of the coin as far as letting children decide who they want to live with. My ex decided after he remarried that I didn't need to be in our children's lives. After 3 years of 50/50 I was suddenly stuck with EOW, despite our custody agreement. It took a year to get to court, when our oldest said that she wanted to be with BOTH of us---50/50.

As far as the particulars in THIS situation, if a mother allowed her significant other to abuse the children and turned a blind eye, then I'd consider her just as guilty. Forget the aunt, I'd tell her she could see them during their family counseling sessions only, until she got her head on straight.

25
Moms Without Custody / RE: AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
« on: Feb 21, 2005, 05:53:01 PM »
The reason I said it was the son's fault is that:

1) He's seen his sister do this to his mom, and she drops everything and helps. This is learned behavior.

2) He's old enough that he knows what his own social agenda is. Like her daughter did before, he waited to call mom until the last minute, even though he of course knew what time he was supposed to be at the party. It's a safer bet that he's going to the party if he calls mom at the last minute, than if he asks his dad way ahead of time.

I've read your posts before, and your children are well aware of what's going on between you and your ex. Not only do they know it, but they play both sides when it suits them. I do not feel that putting a child in the middle is the best bet, BUT when this has happened before, and is a known pattern of behavior on behalf of the children AND the ex then she needs to put her foot down. Her ex has taught their children to play this game well, and it isn't going to stop unless ground rules are set down.

And you were supposed to buy a present for this party too? If your son knew he had to buy a present, it meant that the ex knew he needed to buy a present. And didn't. And left you hung out to dry yet again. Knowing their father's feelings for you the kids in this situation need to learn to communicate with mom more. It's not that she doesn't want to help, it's that she's tired of being thrown into it at the last moment.

Ex's can be civil when need be. I kept our kids on his time this past week when all three were sick. I missed work, my husband missed work, and the ex only missed one day. Ex was peaches and cream when he needed help, but was an a## the week before. He acted this way because he knew he needed to be "normal" to gain my assistance. I got "normal" for a week while they were sick, but it'll revert and I don't care anymore. My kids get disappointed when they wait til the last minute with me, and they know it. I don't have that problem now. In a true emergency when they're ill, then yes I'll drop what I'm doing to help, but a dance or a party is not an emergency.

When your kids start holding EX accountable instead of YOU, then you'll know you're making strides in the right direction. It's not that you want them peeved at him, it's that you want them to grow to be mature adults and they NEED to see your ex do the same. For their own sake--when they're parents.

Somehow you're going to have to retrain your ex to pick up the phone and call you. And since you have such a poor relationship with him (more like he does with you, but we both know how THAT goes), the kids will have to modify how they handle things until the ex can act like the adult he should be. Hence, your son knows better by now.

FLMom


26
Moms Without Custody / RE: AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
« on: Feb 21, 2005, 01:53:55 PM »
I totally disagree. This IS your son't fault.

Here is what I would have said:

"Son, part of the choice that your father made when he wanted to have you guys with him most of the time was that he would be there for you when you had things come up with your friends. If you want to go do something and you want me to be the one to take you to do it, then you have to give me at least a day of planning time to make it happen. We've been through this before, and although I love you and will always be there for you, I do have my own life when you guys aren't around. From now on I expect you to let me know about things ahead of time, and if you don't, DO NOT expect me to drop everything I'm doing to take you."

I would make sure your daughter was in on this too. I remember you telling us about the party incident where the same thing happened. Your son knew better, just as she did then.

Tell them this, and stick by it, even it if means that they miss out on an event. LET them miss out on an event. You aren't their limo service, you're their mother.

You have to lie down to be a doormat. Your kids are old enough to know that it's better to pi@@ you off than it is their father. So who's gonna keep getting 10 calls in a few hour period? Not your ex, guaranteed.

FLMom

27
Moms Without Custody / RE: ah ok
« on: Jan 17, 2005, 04:39:17 PM »
You SOOOO got played.

Let me tell you about my New Year's Eve this past year.

OD wanted to spend the afternoon and early evening at her boyfriend's house, which is near my ex's home--about a 40 minute drive away. Plans originally were that ex would come by and pick up YD and DS, but due to my flu bug the "nightlife" was out. I talked to him and told him that I would keep the younger two, since he was just going to drop them off at 7 am on New Years Day anyhow--he had plans that day.

JUST finished a wonderful meal in a nice resteraunt with my DH and the two younger ones. My cell phone rings--it's about 11pm. Seems that now that my ex is off the hook with the two younger ones, he took his wife out. OD calls his cell, and he says he'll go get her---until stepmom has a fit. He then tells her "call your mother". MY husband didn't hesitate--"Let's go get her."

I spent the stroke of midnight on the way back from the boondocks.

Yes, daughter know she can depend on us. But she used us because she hadn't worked out all the arrangements with ex and knew I'd do what I had to do to make sure she got home.

Ex wormed his way out of his responsibilities, even though he's the CP and the boyfriend's house is around the corner from his house.

What did I learn? Next time I'll leave my cell at home and take a bunch of DayQuil and go out dancing anyway.

You have to let yourself be walked on. I would go to the ends of the earth for my daughter, but her father should also. Next time when she pulls the last minute plans on her father's time it'll be her father's responsibility to live up to her irresponsibility.

FLMom

28
Moms Without Custody / RE: ah ok
« on: Jan 17, 2005, 04:39:17 PM »
You SOOOO got played.

Let me tell you about my New Year's Eve this past year.

OD wanted to spend the afternoon and early evening at her boyfriend's house, which is near my ex's home--about a 40 minute drive away. Plans originally were that ex would come by and pick up YD and DS, but due to my flu bug the "nightlife" was out. I talked to him and told him that I would keep the younger two, since he was just going to drop them off at 7 am on New Years Day anyhow--he had plans that day.

JUST finished a wonderful meal in a nice resteraunt with my DH and the two younger ones. My cell phone rings--it's about 11pm. Seems that now that my ex is off the hook with the two younger ones, he took his wife out. OD calls his cell, and he says he'll go get her---until stepmom has a fit. He then tells her "call your mother". MY husband didn't hesitate--"Let's go get her."

I spent the stroke of midnight on the way back from the boondocks.

Yes, daughter know she can depend on us. But she used us because she hadn't worked out all the arrangements with ex and knew I'd do what I had to do to make sure she got home.

Ex wormed his way out of his responsibilities, even though he's the CP and the boyfriend's house is around the corner from his house.

What did I learn? Next time I'll leave my cell at home and take a bunch of DayQuil and go out dancing anyway.

You have to let yourself be walked on. I would go to the ends of the earth for my daughter, but her father should also. Next time when she pulls the last minute plans on her father's time it'll be her father's responsibility to live up to her irresponsibility.

FLMom

29
Moms Without Custody / RE: New question
« on: Nov 06, 2004, 04:36:21 PM »
Being the NCP you're in a position where you have a choice to make---whether to let things slide or stand your ground on all of these little issues. With a controlling CP I think you are going to have to stand hard on the little issues also. This is the only way that he is going to realize that you are going to be an involved parent in your children's lives.

I would not have agreed to allow the SM to drive your daughter to the appointment in the first place. Ex agreed and then backed down. There's still time over the weekend. I would call him and tell him that you will be at his house at XX o'clock to pick up your daughter as previously agreed upon, than get there about 10 minutes early. This isn't about him, it's about what's best for your daughter, and it will be important to your daughter to see that you did try to abide by her wishes.

Assuming this doesn't work and SM takes daughter to the appointment I would not mince words in the slightest. As your daughter is signed in I would hand the receptionist a copy of the order and state that you have joint custody and that your daughter has requested that you be the only one in the room. No name calling, no dirty looks---you are only going by the letter of the order. This is what your ex is doing, right? He's using the order as a club to beat you over the head with when the situation suits him. This is not to appease him, it's to ensure that your daughter is comfortable in being seen by a physician.

NOW, to head this off at the pass in the future, I would suggest that you and your attorney file to add a stipulation to your custody order that states that either you or your ex are to handle medical matters--not a spouse of either parent. This ensures several things. One, you won't have to do this again next time. Two, it reduces stress on the child when going to the doctor or dentist because they know if another one of the party is going to be there there's going to be a free for all. Three, there's less chance of getting the third party version of medical results because this way there are only two people that are involved instead of three or four. Four, this is your right by your custody agreement to be jointly involved in all medical matters. JOINT means between two parents, not a plethora of whomever the father decides should take her.
And fifth, at age 13 your daughter is perfectly capable of testifying in court that at her age it's important for her to have her mother with her.

In your phone call to your ex you could also use this. I think if matters are as you state and your daughter has made it clear to him that she would prefer to be with you, the LAST thing the ex would want is your daughter talking to a judge. He wouldn't want to open up that can of worms, would he?






30
Moms Without Custody / Fair Warning re: after school
« on: Nov 01, 2004, 11:40:05 AM »
Your ex and mine could be twins!

I wanted to give ya a reality check on this from someone who's been there and done that. It's calm for now, but this last year was bleech.

It sounds like your ex is a control freak with anger management problems. No matter how logical it may be according to the court order, he will fight it tooth and nail. .  if not in court then by messing with your kids' heads. It matters not in the least if something is best for the kids, it's about him getting his way. You cannot fight this on his level because if you're like me and you finally hear his explainations later down the road you'll be just as confused as you are now.

Your saviour in this is that schools do not like to TOUCH custody matters. If it's in writting then that's what they're gonna do----PERIOD. For example, I called my kids' new school after their dad had moved to see when classes started and what day the open house was. They refused to tell me anything. Turns out ex had left me off of all of the paperwork, as if I didn't even exist. The line that said "mother" was literally left blank. (BTW, be sure that the school has your emergency numbers and other info or else you'll never see a report card or progress report). Anyhoo, I went in there the next day with the court order--you should have seen their faces. Had the kids hang off to the side while they took all of the court documents and copied them to the kids' files, and also gave me copies of the papers the ex had filled out.

Now, for a big fair warning here. Do not be suprised in the least if you spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours getting ready for court and then your daughter wants to remain living with her dad after telling you different. I had the EOW and a few hours on Wednesday, and boy do I hear ya when you say how precious those hours are. I only had until 7 pm, and those nights when I dropped them off and knew I wasn't going to see them until the following Wednesday---I just cried the forty-five minutes all the way home. My kids felt the same way, but the oldest knew something and protected her siblings----If I choose for us to live with mom dad will hate me and never speak to us again, but I know if I choose dad I can have both of them. The judge wasn't a dummy. She got both, BUT with a judge in the near past the ex doesn't pull anything like he used to.

In cynical hindsight, here's what I would have done. Not once would I have cowtowwed to his outbursts. I would have shown up every minute the original order said--every minute--and documented everything with police reports. Every time that he pulled his ridiculousness I would have documented it then after three or four times filed for contempt. Over and over, week after week, as many times as it would have taken. At that point I would have requested a GAL meet with our daughter on a regular basis so when she started to be threatened and intimidated I wouldn't have had to stand on the sidelines and let it happen.

Kids SOOOO deserve to have both parents as an influence in their lives. I guess that's why I get into a rant like this. You got a raw deal. Hate to go against advice here, but I wouldn't have sent a letter. It's almost as if you have to beg for what's rightfully yours, that precious time. The judge may have done his damage already, but your ex is really stepping in it if he alters the new verdict. Stand hard and tough. I don't know where you are, but here in FL there is a state minimum on visitation time which is EOW and one afternoon a week. Minimum being the keyword. Found out after the fact that THAT was the reason the ex did that after three years of 50/50--cause his lawyer told him that was the least time he could give me and not get arrested for it. If you're getting less than state minimum, then that's another contempt.

Sorry for the long post, but I just get so frustrated that ANY parent, man or woman, would do this to their kids. It's unreal.

Best of Luck and Be Strong!
FLMom

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