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Author Topic: What's average?  (Read 3952 times)

Mom2My2KidsEN

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What's average?
« on: Dec 28, 2008, 08:18:26 PM »
So, my ex's wife emails me the other day asking if I'd be willing to drop the support if my ex will stay out of our lives forever. She was laid off a couple of months back and so money is tight around their house. She says that if I don't he'll have no choice but to pursue visitation as he "feels it's ridiculous to paid this agreed upon amount of $300/month when he never sees or has contact with" my son. FWIW, I have never once denied any visitation requests or any other contact between the two of them.  My ex has had myriad possibilities over the last 10 mos since he's seen my son to request to see him again, or to call and talk to him, or anything.  He has done NONE of this. I know that support/visitation are two totally unrelated things, he's the one tying them together. Also, yes, I do realize he really should be the one contacting me about this, not her, just laying the story out as it happened.

We do have an order in effect since Mar '06, I have sole custody, visitation is "as agreed upon". Since that time he has seen my son probably a total of 3-4 times, the most recent being back in February 2008 when he was in town and I had to bargain with him that he could borrow my car during the day if he'd spend 2 1/2 hours of time in the presence of my son 2 nights during the week he was here. Other than that any visits during the past almost 3 years (and really almost 6 1/2 years my son's been alive) have all been initiated by me. I've said I was bringing him out to see him or begged and pleaded with my ex to come here and paid for his trip out, ex lives in MI we're in NY, and I pretty much have had to force him to spend a total of 3 or so hours over a 3 day weekend (on average, sometimes longer trips) with us when either he's here or we're there. The only contact the ex has had with me since May 2008 (when I finally officially ended the long dead relationship) regarding anything was a late birthday card in August 2008 for my son and sending the support check every month. I have not changed my phone number, address, email, anything in that time (and longer) so I've definitely been able to contact regarding seeing my son if he felt so inclined as to.  Not to mention he was just in town for a few days over Thanksgiving and never even bothered to ask to see my son.  I didn't even hear about the trip until he'd already gotten back to MI.

My question is this, what's the average visitation schedule in this situation, assuming he were to pursue something? I know that if he does try to pursue something he will want it "set in stone" this time rather than when the order was done and we "agreed" on that wording so that nothing would be set in stone. Also, what's "normal" as far as who would be required to pay travel expenses? Our current order states that also is "as agreed upon" but again this time I would like something set in stone as far as that goes. Ex has always lived in MI and I've always lived in NY so this is not a situation where either of us chose to move away from the other parent.
I am fully intending to call and schedule a consultation with a lawyer Monday morning, but thought I would look for some BTDT advice from the board first.


ocean

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Re: What's average?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 28, 2008, 08:58:14 PM »
First....relax..He will have to file to reduce child support. Since you already have an order dont worry about it until you get court papers. Does the money come out of his paycheck through NY CSE? If it does, then you will get the $300 until he comes to NY to change it. In NY, step-parent salary does not come into the equation...

As for the visits, he would have to file in NY. He will probably get half of school vacations (or every other year for some holdiays/long weekends) and a few weeks in the summer. Depending on both your finaces, you may split the cost to send him....or ex could get a credit for taking on that cost.

What is the chances he will get the paperwork or hire a lawyer to file for him in NY? Then he would need to get here for the court date or ask for a phone conference.

Talk to a lawyer to calm your fears but right now until he files, everything remains the same.

Mom2My2KidsEN

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Re: What's average?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 28, 2008, 09:15:18 PM »
I apologize, I thought I had mentioned it in the OP, the $300 is an amount we agreed upon after I was pressured by him into originally agreeing in mediation to $160 a month.  NYS guidelines state support should actually be set at approximately $363 a month going off what I last knew he was making. This is paid directly to me, it does not come through CSE.
 
I do highly doubt he'd come here for court, after all the first time through he was supposed to call the court at the time we were scheduled to be there to conference in and didn't even manage to do that.
 
 

ocean

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Re: What's average?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 28, 2008, 09:23:01 PM »
Ok...Is he paying? He really is only court ordered to pay the $160 so anything over that is a gift to you. You can request that child support order go through CSE (if he has a regular job) and at that time ask for the amount to be adjusted to the amount he has been paying. (You have to prove why the change and may lose this and only get the $160).

This can be done without a lawyer and there is no filing fee in NY. You can fill out the paperwork and request the modification and that CSE handle it. Usually in court in 3 weeks...

Mom2My2KidsEN

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Re: What's average?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 28, 2008, 09:39:32 PM »
Yes, he's been paying regularly.


MixedBag

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Re: What's average?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 29, 2008, 04:15:29 PM »
long distance huh?
 
IMHO -- minimum of half the summer, one week rotating to include Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Easter/Spring Break.
 
 

Ref

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Re: What's average?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 31, 2008, 01:24:22 PM »
DH's long distance schedule is every other school break. DH's schedule says, for example he has Thanksging, Spring break, and MLK, jr. day on even years and BM has on odd. He also has half of Xmas break. He has the first half on even years and the last half on odd years.
 
He also has any weekend in their town so long as he gives BM 7 days notice of the visit.
 
His parenting time schedule has him scheduling all flights and unaccompanied minor fees split between him and the mom.
 
The transportation costs were addressed as a reduction in his child support.

LoveMyChild

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Re: What's average?
« Reply #7 on: Dec 31, 2008, 05:23:35 PM »
While the schedules that were shared are typical for long distance,there is something else to keep in mind. It's VERY important toconsider the fact that your ex has had minimal time and a continuedpattern of "lack of contact" with your child.

The schedules that were shared could be seen as a point to work toward,but I'd first argue for time to begin in smaller amounts. Though thiswould be difficult due to distance, I think it's VERY important. Itsounds as though your child hasn't spent any overnights with your ex(at least not recently) so I'd think it'd be VERY reasonable to wait onextended time such as weeks. I'm not saying this to keep the ex out ofthe child's life, but rather to look at the ex's past involvement.

I'd ask for weekend time (once a month, or every other month, whateveryou can reasonably afford), with transportation costs split. Dependingon how comfortable your child is with your ex this could be for theafternoon Saturday and Sunday, or longer periods of time. I'd then workup to the whole weekend before extending that to week long time.

What I'd ask for is additional methods of contact between the ex andthe child (phone calls, and possible e-mail if the child is old enoughto e-mail.)

I'm not an expert, but my situation was VERY similar with no contactfor years at a time, and the judge DID take that into consideration.The important thing though is to present it (to your ex, and the judge) to show that you are encouraging the relationship, but also cautious because of the lack of consistency shown by your ex.

Mom2My2KidsEN

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Re: What's average?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 03, 2009, 06:36:54 PM »
Thank you everyone for your insight and help.  At this point it doesn't look like any of this will be an issue nor will it become an issue.  The ex was solely being motivated by the potential of dropping totally or reducing support and when I refused to cater to him on that he's dropped the visitation request almost immediately. 
 
I did clarify with my lawyer my position on what requests I can legally refuse, and that does include any and every request, which honestly I would only deny anything that I feel is not appropriate at this time, ie. the extended visitation when my ex has not even seen or spoken to my son in 11 months now.  I did end up denying one such request on those grounds as well as the fact that we will already be out of town and the ex dropped the whole thing.  For now.  I know he can always bring things up later, but with his past history him saying "So we will leave everything as it is and you will send pictures right?"  translates out to if I send him pictures every once in a while he'll keep the support coming in at the $300 and continue to remain out of my son's life. He'll do anything to avoid court and will admit to it, thus him offering me that statement of his own accord.

 

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