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Author Topic: Going to court vs. taking her offer  (Read 3793 times)

djwhite

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Going to court vs. taking her offer
« on: May 02, 2004, 02:30:08 PM »
I currently share joint custody of my 2 kids.  I filed for full custody in March when I found out their mother had been on drugs (crack) and smoked marijuana in front of my daughter.  Right after I filed, she entered a 21 day drug rehab program and has now been clean for 45 days.  About 4 years ago she went through a span of admitted suicidal tendancies and outpatient psychiatric care.  Through all of this time, including the present, she has been living with her parents and they are the ones who actually support my kids financially when they are with her.  She has had no job except for working off and on for her father in his business.  The visitation in our divorce decree is every other weekend for me, but for this school year the kids have been alternating full weeks with me to satisfy school district residency requirements.  Her parents initially told me all about her drug habits, that she was stealing from them, and they had kicked her out of their house about a week before she entered the rehab.  So I filed for custody, and they said they would be on my side for the sake of the kids.  Now they have switched positions and are even paying her attorney fees.  I was told that if I do not drop the case she was going to ask in a counter motion for an increase in child support.  She said if I drop the case she would continue with the every other week arrangement and keep my support the same, and be willing to put this in writing through an attorney.  So my dilemma is do I take her offer or take my chances in court knowing that if I lose my child support could increase from $595 to $935 a month???  Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.


janM

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RE: Going to court vs. taking her offer
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2004, 02:51:57 PM »
If she puts that in writing through an attorney, you would need to both sign it and file it with the court with the judge's signature. Otherwise I wouldn't trust her to keep the schedule as it is, OR to keep CS the way it is.

Would she agree to a stipulation that she submit to drug testing periodically? I have serious concerns about the drug and psychiatric issues. I would hate to see you agree to this and then have her relapse. You would have agreed to them staying with her half the time, knowing about her problems, although she was apparently clean at the time of signing.

Do you have a lawyer? If so, what does he think? If not, maybe you should get the opinion of one. You could ask Socrateaser on his message board here.

djwhite

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RE: Going to court vs. taking her offer
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2004, 03:45:37 PM »
Yes I would be sure that any agreement goes thru an attorney and filed with the courts, plus including that we discussed and agree on keeping the child support payments the same - that would count as a modification so she wouldn't be able to ask for more for another 3 years, according to my attorney.  My attorney thinks I still have a winable case, although we were counting on her parents being on my side.  Of course, her attorney is saying that she would win because she has gotten herself cleaned up and therefore she is able to support the kids (even though the only job she has is waitressing 2 nights a week and the rest of the financial support on her end comes from her parents).  Again, as much as I want my kids to be with me, I can't afford an increase of $340 a month in support if I lose.  

wendl

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RE: Going to court vs. taking her offer
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2004, 03:47:53 PM »
well in my opinion let her atty write up this letter, it will show she is using the kids and $ as a tool. Don't sign the letter however, but by getting this letter it is proof they are trying to buy you off and not what is in the best interest of the children.

janM

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RE: Going to court vs. taking her offer
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2004, 03:53:54 PM »
I was going to add that her getting cleaned up would look good to the court. I think your attorney may be right that she would probably prevail with her parents in her corner and not yours.

I think it stinks that you should still have to pay CS while you have the kids half the time, although in some states it doesn't matter.

Still, you are very fortunate to have them that much. Who knows, maybe before those 3 years are up she'll mess up and they'll end up with you. I hope not, for the kids' sake.

Keep us posted and come often.


janM

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RE: I see your point but...
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2004, 04:00:33 PM »
as he pointed out, if he loses, he pays a lot more CS and would likely be back to the EOW in the original order, unless he could convince the judge to keep the status quo. Paying more for less time.

I think this is a good compromise for the time being. He is fortunate that she has let him have them half the time and will keep it that way.

I think it IS in their best interest (as long as mom stays clean) to be with dad so much. If things change in future he can say she came up with this offer rather than face a custody battle.

nosonew

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Agree with Jan
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2004, 07:04:32 PM »
What are your chances of winning now? Her parents won't testify for you anymore, she is cleaned up, and she is the MOTHER, for heavens sake, these courts will go with the mom 99.9% of the time!!

I would work my cs down from what you are now paying, agree to the agreement with a decrease in cs (she lives with parents anyway, right?) and hope for the best.  I honestly feel this is the best you will get. Of course, I may be wrong, but would you rather get this, or see child eow and pay twice as much?  Sucks big time, but that is the facts.

mango

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RE: Duress
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2004, 07:42:57 AM »
She is putting you under financial duress. I would think you could tell her that is blackmail. She is giving you threats to scare you because you have a good chance at getting the kids. It sounds like they are better off with you.

Why the change of heart with the inlaws? Is it because they see less of the kids? Can you talk to them, maybe promise to work them into visitation order. We did that with both sets of g-parents in the past. You can write naything in an order that you want.

They need to be with you. Bottom line. A mother on drugs is not a good example for kids.

mango

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RE: Duress
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2004, 07:47:57 AM »
Is it your school district? Will the status quo be EOW in your district?? SO if you sign off on the EOW, in your district, I would think the child support would go to you. (Not that you would get ANY)

djwhite

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RE: Duress
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2004, 11:15:53 AM »
My kids go to school in the district where I live, not hers.  That is why they live with me every other week, to satisfy the school district requirements.  Yes, I feel like she is trying to push me because she knows if I lose I would be in a severe financial burden (CS would go up $340 a month).  My attorney still says I can win and wants me to continue for custody.  I am thinking that if I get her to sign a modification agreeing to keeping my support where it is now, and I get every other week permanently, at least I win something.  If I lose and she moves into the school district boundaries, I am stuck paying alot more plus going back to every other weekend as it is written in my original decree.

 

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