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Author Topic: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court  (Read 14610 times)

NoRights4Dad

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My wife and I have been separated for a little over a year now.  Her choice not mine.  When we separated I thought it was on good terms.  We agreed on a fair amount of CS to be deposited in her account every paycheck for our 2 children 7 and 4.  She also said she would never take me to court because she knew I loved my kids and would always take care of them.
 
I am now in a relationship with someone new.  She is great with the kids and supportive.  However, after a trip that my new relationship and I went on my ex suddenly decides she wants to take me to court.  I am completely blindsided by this since I always deposited the agreed upon amount and in addition I buy the kids new clothes everytime they are with me (which is usually every weekend or every other weekend).  I also pay for extra curricular activities (karate and dance) and medical expenses (including hers since she is still technically my wife).
 
My court date is June 8 and I am terrified because from what I hear they are most likely going to take half my check.  I recently moved us all (my girlfriend, her son, and my kids) into a new apartment so that each child will have their own bedrooms when they came to visit.  I am also paying off HER student loans as I help her retain her master's degree during our marriage and when we split I decided I would still pay them off for her.  Not to mention other loans we took out during our marriage, I am also paying ALONE.
 
I am a police officer in NYC (17 years on the job).  She is a teacher and makes considerably less than I do so I know that I am in for it.  When I ask her why she is doing this, all she says is that she wants what is fair & secure.  Which I don't understand because I would never not take care of my kids and she knows this.
 
A little background on her and her care of the children:
 
She is not the best mother in the world, the kids always come to me smelling badly, unshowered and dirty.
 
She is taking me to court however, in the past six months she has taken vacations (alone) to California and recently to Las Vegas to celebrate her 30th birthday.
 
When she does go away, she leaves the kids with her mother who is an alcoholic and changes boyfriends more than a normal person would.
 
BM herself has a drinking problem and I have reason to believe she smokes weed also (she did while we were married) and I know her family does and on more than one occassion I have smelled weed in the hallway when I have picked up the kids.
 
The kids have had a horrible cough for the past year which also leads me to believe that she smokes around them.
 
The kids also say that they see mommy smoking (don't know if they are talking about cigarettes or the other but smoking is going on either way).
 
The kids who are opposite sex sleep in the same bed in a room that is only big enough to fit the bed.  Sure they are still small and it probably doesn't matter now but as they get bigger they really shouldn't be sharing a bed.
 
 
I guess my question is what exactly is going to happen to me?  If they take half my check I will be crippled.  I was giving her 1300 a month plus clothes plus toys, plus dance and karate, plus medical, plus anything else she would call and ask for.  I never said no to anything when it came to my kids.
 
My other question is I would like to fight for joint physical custody.  What are my chances of getting this?  How much will it cost?  We still aren't officially divorced so who should file first now that child support will be out of the way?  When does visitation come into play?  I am so oblivious to this whole process any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


tigger

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 11:25:55 AM »
Your perception of the situation is a bit skewed.  You haven't finished one relationship (completing the divorce) before beginning a new one.  And you've involved 3 kids in the situation.  Additionally, you refer to the kids "visiting",.  A kid doesn't visit their parents until the kid is no longer a minor and has lived on their own and they are visiting the home of a parent.  Until then, they are living with their parent, either full time or part time.  And that home is their home.  If your wife isn't taking care of the children, why are you going for joint custody and not full custody?  It's not okay for kids to be taken care of only half the time. 

See if Ocean responds as she has experience with NY state.  I don't think they can take 1/2 of your pay but I'm not familiar with that state.

Document as much as you can your agreement (anything in emails or other writing).  Also document how much you've spent on the kids and stop making payments on anything that doesn't have your name attached to it.
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!

NoRights4Dad

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 11:49:50 AM »
I said visiting because I hardly consider spending weekends with me as living with me, I want more time but the mom won't give me that.  She prefers the weekends so that she can go out and party.  When I insist on time during the week she flat out says no.
 
And did you miss the part where I said I just moved into a 4 bedroom apartment so that my children and my girlfriends child will have they're own space?  I did that for them so that they could feel like it was home when they come spend the weekend with me and not just "visiting".
 
As for starting a new relationship...yes I'm not divorced but my wife left me.  If it were up to me I would've worked it out till the very end.  She chose to up and leave me and take the kids.  I never expected to move on as quickly as I did but fate brought a wonderful person in my life who is helping me pick up the pieces and we fell in love.  How could I say no to that?  Yes it's not the ideal situation but she loves my kids and helps me take good care of them when they are with us.  I really think my new relationship is irrelevant and what is most important are these kids and how I am going to get joint physical custody at the very least.
 
I would love to get full custody but I really think that's unrealistic, however would be ecstatic if I got my kids full time.  Especially now I don't think I could afford it.
 
New York law says they take 25% for two children which calculates into half of my check.  I mean I don't know what else they take into consideration to come up with the figure.  I guess that's what I'm really trying to find out here.  What am I to face once we go to court.
 
thank you for your response.

Giggles

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2011, 12:00:20 PM »
Do you have proof of your payments to the BM?  Make sure you take that to the court.
 
Have either of you filed for the divorce?  Do you have proof of her neglect?  How old are the children?
 
Most of your complaints a judge will consider a "difference in parenting styles" and not really care about.  About the only red flag issue is the children sleeping in the same bed.
 
I had a co-worker from NY that was able to get his CS reduced because he had taken on the majority of the debt.  Bring proof that you're paying for that. 
 
If your CS does go up then stop paying for the other debts and demand that she pay them or at least 50% of them.
 
In custody situations its always best to aim high and then settle for what you wish...in this case possible Join Custody.  Since you have the room for the children and provide most of their financial needs you have a good case for full custody.  This is one time where having a lawyer can really make a difference!!  Always...always...always focus on what is best for the children.
 
Good luck!  I too hope Ocean comes around...she is the resident expert on NY CS
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

NoRights4Dad

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2011, 12:19:33 PM »
----Do you have proof of your payments to the BM?  Make sure you take that to the court.

Yes everything is done electronically via wire transfer so EVERY single payment is documented.  I also save every single receipt.  Even if I buy them a underwear I save the receipt.

----Have either of you filed for the divorce?  Do you have proof of her neglect?  How old are the children?

I only have witnesses to the neglect but no concrete proof.  Like instead of packing a bag with the kids clothing for one of our weekends, she sent a huge bag of dirty laundry and my GF and I spent the entire day washing every single piece of clothing those kids own.  After that I decided to keep the clothes that I bought them at my residence so that she wouldn't have to pack a bag.  None of us have filed for the divorce.  When she left she said she would and I was sort of waiting on her.  Now she just recently filed for CS, so I'm pretty sure divorce will follow soon.  The kids are 4 (girl) and 7 (boy)

----Most of your complaints a judge will consider a "difference in parenting styles" and not really care about.  About the only red flag issue is the children sleeping in the same bed.

Do you really think that's an issue?  I thought so too but I thought I was just being paranoid. 

----I had a co-worker from NY that was able to get his CS reduced because he had taken on the majority of the debt.  Bring proof that you're paying for that. 

I am paying for every outstanding debt we had as a couple and I'm just hoping to god that the judge will allow that in court.  She is basically getting a free ride, a free degree, free trips to vegas...this is just insane.
----If your CS does go up then stop paying for the other debts and demand that she pay them or at least 50% of them.

Can this be done in child support court or do we have to wait until divorce papers are filed?

----In custody situations its always best to aim high and then settle for what you wish...in this case possible Join Custody.  Since you have the room for the children and provide most of their financial needs you have a good case for full custody.  This is one time where having a lawyer can really make a difference!!  Always...always...always focus on what is best for the children.

Yes I would be happy with JPC but even happier with FC.  however, regardelss of the mother's shortcomings the kids adore their mother and I don't want to cause the kids any harm emotionally.  They are not completely neglected they just could be taken care of a lot better.

----Good luck!  I too hope Ocean comes around...she is the resident expert on NY CS

Thank you giggles that was really helpful.


Kitty C.

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2011, 01:52:02 PM »
'None of us have filed for the divorce.  When she left she said she would and I was sort of waiting on her.  Now she just recently filed for CS, so I'm pretty sure divorce will follow soon.'
 
No wonder BM is pissed...if one of you had filed the initial petition for divorce, I could at least understand getting involved in another relationship.  But the court process hasn't even been started regarding a divorce....and there's nothing stopping YOU from doing that.  Just because she's only filed a petition for CS doesn't mean you can't file for divorce/custody.
 
One thing that is common is that BM's will be amicable (for the most part), then if the father starts another relationship, the fangs come out.  They get defensive.  It's possible she perceives this 'other woman' as usurping her role as mother.  It makes NO difference if that's totally untrue, that is the BM's perception, so that's what you have to live with.
 
One other thing to keep in mind....BM will say she is going to get this or that, but there's NOTHING definitive until the judge signs the final order.  She can WANT all she wants to....in the end, it's whatever can be negotiated and the judges signs on that decides it.
 
'New York law says they take 25% for two children which calculates into half of my check.'
 
Not quite understanding this one, either.  How does 25% of your income equal 50%?  Some states have a maximum that they can take, regardless of how many children are involved.
 
Tigger and Giggles gave you some excellent advice.  Before CS is permanently established you need to file a custody petition.  If NY CS is based upon time spent, you want to have a court order for custody first.  Keep in mind that they may order temp. CS until perm. custody has been established.....BUT once you have a perm. order for custody and/or CS it almost takes an act of God to get it changed.  Which is why a good atty. is important for planning not just for the near future, but until the children reach age of majority.
 
There is a tremendous amount of information on this website, which can help you get started, including template parenting plans that you can modify to your children's needs.  But since the BM's attitude has 'gone south', I strongly recommend hiring a father-friendly, family law atty. to help you navigate the legal aspects of all these issues.  If you're unsure how to hire one, keep in mind many offer one hour initial consultations for free...be sure to ask about it.  Another valuable source for atty. referrals is friends and family.  If you know someone who's been through a divorce, ask them who they hired...if they say their atty. was crappy, that's one to avoid, but if they say their atty. was fantastic, call for a consultation.  But beware of an atty. who says they can get or promise you anything...in the end, it is the discretion of the judge who has the final say-so.
 
For the personal issues, don't hesitate to post on these forums if you have any questions or just want to vent....and you will need to vent.  Remember that there are people here who have been where you are, got through it and can live to tell about it.  They are a wealth of information and certainly one you should consider tapping into.  Some have been here for only a year or so and some have been here almost since inception of this site, some 15+ years.  You've come to the right place....
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

Kitty C.

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2011, 02:07:47 PM »
One other VERY important item.....if the CS you are currently paying is not court-ordered, STOP paying it.  Any money you give the BM that isn't CO'd is considered a gift and I highly doubt they will even consider how much you've already given her.  The usual suggestion is to stop paying her, but take that money and put it into a separate acct.  Once CS is ordered, it could be retro-active to the date it was initially filed...if you have that money already stuck away, it won't be such a hardship to come up with a lump sum.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

ocean

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2011, 06:11:13 PM »
I replied under your other post but will add:
If the bill is not in your name, stop paying it. No court ordered so you do not have to pay it until a divorce judge grants it. You need to take care of bills in your name only.
Also,
newyorkchildsupport.com  input the numbers for both of you with two kids and it will tell you exactly what it will be. It will also let you reduce by a few items on your check that do not count.

NoRights4Dad

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #8 on: Jun 06, 2011, 08:12:21 AM »
I tried to stop making payments to her and immediately she says that she has no groceries and that the kids were counting on her to take them to toys r us with the money I give her.  How could I deny my children food and toys?  Its easier said than done to stop giving her money.  I really wish I could but it hurts me to think that my kids are going without if I don't give her the money she is used to getting from me.
 
On another note I have a question:
 
If we are still married, I would like to know how does the court determine child support if custody still isn't established?
 
Our first court date is 2 days away, and I'm a mess.  I don't know what do expect and it's driving me crazy.
 
Any information on what I can expect would be really helpful.

Simplydad

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Re: Always paid child support voluntarily now BM is taking me to court
« Reply #9 on: Jun 06, 2011, 08:50:03 AM »
Child Support is based on income only and marital status is not going to matter.  THe child support is going to be awarded based on the percentages by law.
 
Concerning no food and toysrus - ToysRUs is a privilige and while we all want to make sure are children have the things they want it is the things they need is what is important. Why is your STBX talking about going to ToysRUs when they do not have food.
 
My ex tried something similar.  My response to her was simple.  I have plenty of food at my house.  If you are unable to meet the needs of my children please let me know and I will come and pick them up.

 

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