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Author Topic: I feel stuck, please help  (Read 3053 times)

MyCubToo

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I feel stuck, please help
« on: Jul 16, 2014, 12:51:37 PM »
   I have many concerns and issues currently and may be continuing for future so I will start with some background information. My son’s mom had decided to end the relationship shortly after finding out she was pregnant with my son, things did not work out and I moved out. I had provided her with financial assistance during her pregnancy, maternity clothes, etc. and attempted to work on things for my son whom I love dearly and am very concerned about.

     I am a veteran, college degree, full time job, condo in a great school district, have my son enrolled in a very nice pre-school for Mondays and Tuesdays, provide full health, dental, and vision insurance. I also have an excellent girlfriend who is moving in next month, loves my son to death and I have known her for almost 15 years. Together my son is the only child we have.

     My son’s mother chose not to work when support was first established after he was born, has a nursing degree and was making good money, and returned to work after it was established. I have taken her back to court twice now for several contempt charges and more parenting time. I have equal parenting now after the last court order, having every Monday morning to Wednesday morning, and alternating weekends from Friday night til the following Wednesday morning. She has filed an appeal last October as she was found in contempt and contested it; however the courts literally lost the paperwork and are reviewing it now supposedly.

     In the meantime, she just quit her job (worked 10-15 hours a week before), filed for assistance yet again for food, housing, etc. and is fully capable of working. Currently over 200 open positions for her job in this area; however she actually was excited to be back on the system. She is also not using the court website to communicate as ordered, is collecting support for her other child, and is living off of support. In addition she is required to notify me of doctor visits and cover half of the out of pocket medical expenses not covered by insurance, has refused to pay any, I receive collections letters regularly, and has informed all docs (she takes him regularly to ER, specialist, and PCP and he is fine) now that I am the guarantor hence they send me all medical bills. She has had 4 different attorneys so far, never paid any of them, and an open case against her for not paying taxes so she just declared bankruptcy, quit her job, and filed for assistance from the state.
   
    Because her appeal is still in review several months later I have not been able to file to have support adjusted, pay full support based on her having imputed income at minimum wage when she was making over $24.00/hr and I make half of that since she was not working, cover full pre-school expenses, and all medical bills because she has never paid any of her obligations. She has declared bankruptcy, is on the system, and lives in a bad area. She is fully capable of working and is choosing not too thus to establish the most support and government benefits she can. She will not pay bills, claims to now have money, and just got her family a season pass to the amusement park where she takes him regularly, and he is staying up all night, not ready for school in the mornings, and she causes scenes at pickups with threats, language, and poor behavior. On those days my son has hit his friends at school and has not done well.

    My son is 3 now, will be 4 next year, appeal not even finished from last hearing, and I live in a great school district while hers is inner city and almost last in the state. Residency for school purposes has not been established yet however I know he would be better provided for in my care and have much better educational opportunities in my care as well. I have always wanted a son, and in fact have no family in this state and have turned down excellent federal job opps to stay here with him. My priority has always been him.

     Do I wait for her to return to work to have CS adjusted? Wait til he is closer to kindergarten to have school residency started? Continue to pay all med bills bc of threats of collections etc.? Any advice would greatly be appreciated. I am tired of fighting in court and do not want too, however have needed too for my son. My atty is very expensive and I have brought all these issues up; however court is taking forever and losing documents. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated…


MixedBag

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Re: I feel stuck, please help
« Reply #1 on: Jul 16, 2014, 01:05:34 PM »
yikes!

1.  Follow current orders.

2.  Not sure what you can do while the appeal is out there -- My experience was that we/he appealed and he would have to withdraw that appeal, get another hearing scheduled with new complaints, before anything could be heard locally on all the new stuff.  Dad lost out on several years of no-contact with his children thanks to the slow moving courts.

3.  Keep documenting....then again, not even sure if any new filings go from the date the appeal is decided OR the date of the last local order.  Such a mess -- and none of us here are attorneys.

4.  "Fight" those medical bills by asking them to prove that YOU signed and authorized the care and that YOU took your child to the doctor.  It should remain a civil problem between you and your EX to solve, and really the doctor's office shouldn't insert themselves and interpret your order.  (EX#3's EX did this a lot).  However, I have a friend I think in Minnesota who said that it just doesn't work that way in her state.....  so do some digging on how your state handles this too....

5.  Some of those other reasons for being primary residential....well, hate to say it, but that might not be a "Significant Change in Circumstances" that warrant a CHANGE of custody.  All of that should have played into the initial custody determination, after that, changing custody has a much higher standard of proof.  If mom is providing a roof -- that is equal to your condo.  Your personal credentials don't matter either (EX#3 had a masters, She GED)  Veteran status...."so what" -- with no insult intended ok?

In WV, I could find case law that said it's in the child's best interest for the mom to stay at home.  But that's WV....

Hope this helps....It's not totally what you want to read/hear, I know.....good luck!

MyCubToo

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Re: I feel stuck, please help
« Reply #2 on: Jul 16, 2014, 01:50:19 PM »
Thanks Mixed Bag, I appreciate your advice. When he was born she automatically had custody as we were never married, and even though I was there for his birth she did not allow me to sign the birth certificate so I have had to establish paternity, and through the last couple hearings went from having nothing to having Joint custody both of us listed as residential.

     My question is really concerning expenses she is required to cover and does not, and her choosing to stop work until the support is established and then return, meanwhile the income she is living on is support which I thought was to help cover him and not to provide living wages for her. I think having a stay at home mom when feasible can be a great thing, but should not just be a choice. I work with tons of single mothers and working mothers not single whom I am sure would love to stay home with their children as do I.

Even though I disagree with her choices I do want her to be a part of his life and spend time with him, although the school district in which I live is ranked highly and is a good school, and she is living in an area with poor schools. I only want the best for him and for her to follow orders. Last year I had to call the Police on several occasions because she refused pickups and would cause scenes in front of him and that seems to be starting again. She also has her car for sale, is renting a house and in danger of being evicted at the moment so its not really a stable environment for him.

     I am not sure either in reference documenting things now since the appeal is not finalized. She has owed thousands for expenses and the courts ordered $350.00 contempt charge.

quick edit: we also have him each equal time, and she was making more money, thus I have been having a very difficult time financially with paying her the full support amount established when she was allotted income at minimum wage. Since we have him each the same amount of time, and she is actually choosing not to work, why would I be paying support when she is and has been able to make more?

as in she herself is not working or doing anything to provide clothing, food, shelter, etc. this is all from support and state assistance. the only way she has what she does is because of this, therefore im not sure how it would be deemed that she can provide when she not providing anything on her own.

ocean

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Re: I feel stuck, please help
« Reply #3 on: Jul 16, 2014, 02:56:36 PM »
We sent the dr office a stern letter stating that my husband did not sign the guarantee to pay form and did not bring him to dr. We asked them to send bill to mom and gave copy of order that states the court order.

Are you splitting the bills? How is it worded in your court order? Ours says, mom pays bill and gives receipt to dad and he has 10 days to pay his half.

If it is in collections, pay it, get proof and take it to court (you should get a credit). If she is putting kids on govt health will they have copay's now?

Did she work this past year? You can ask that she produce last 3 years of tax refunds to prove what she is capable of making.



 

MyCubToo

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Re: I feel stuck, please help
« Reply #4 on: Jul 17, 2014, 06:15:06 AM »
Thanks for the feedback Ocean! : )

She did indeed work last year and we did subpoena her to show income and taxes, however she refused to provide them to my attorney, brought them into court and told the courts she was working full time; however her documents were not admitted as we were never provided copies of check stubbs or taxes. She did bring two paystubbs with year to date earnings all blacked out.

Court order states father is to provide health insurance if deemed reasonable and affordable through place of employment, and both parents are to share uninsured medical expenses equally. She has not paid a dime in the last two years and was deemed in contempt actually for choosing not to use "in network providers" creating greater expense to me, which is what she appealed last October. I called the dr. office and they stated they can change the gaurantor to her; however then she just calls them back to have it switched back to me. Either way, even when she was being sent med bills she chose never to pay them or to inform me and I got red nasty legal action notices threatening to garnish wages, sue me in court, and garnish assets. I have a nice condo and new car (not top of line but new), and she does not have any wages to garnish or assets to take so I have paid all of them so far.

*collections letters and folks stated does not matter if I took him or signed for his care to be admitted, however under the state revised code both parents are equally responsible for medical expenses for the child and they came after me because she was not paying them.

We had proof for 8 contempt charges last year and the judge held her to only 1, not any med bills or others but stated she must pay my attorney $350.00 for attorney fees. Did not have to cover GAL fees, past med expenses or anything else, however she paid almost a grand for the court transcript to appeal it and has still been getting full support while I have him half the time, cover all pre-school and med expenses and has chosen not to work. Between her daughters dad and my support she is making almost $1300/month and will be back on assistance.

She tried to get state medical last year but they told her she makes too much in support alone and that he is already covered by my insurance so I am unsure if she will be approved now. So far he is only covered by my insurance which unfortunately has been a high deductible plan this year since the ACA was implemented. Just frustrating I am doing everything I can for him, meanwhile she is sitting collecting checks and taking spring and summer off. Last time she was unemployed was for over 2 years so not sure how long this one will last.


ocean

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Re: I feel stuck, please help
« Reply #5 on: Jul 17, 2014, 06:24:17 AM »
Ok, so you filed contempt for not paying medical bills and.....that is the case that she is appealing?

You can file contempt on any new medical bills if you pay them. Should be separate case. Anything that you did not deal with in the last filing.

When she did her bankruptcy, did she put any of these bills in it? Then she is free of her "half" through the bankruptcy. You can see her bankruptcy papers all online and it will show you what she was making and copies of most statements/documents she had to provide are all on those papers. Look up PACER and sign up for a free account. You do have to put in a charge card BUT it will not charge you if you do not use I believe $10.00 a month of look ups (might be higher). They charge you I think 10 cents for each document you want to see. Worth it and if you do not use up the money, they cancel it out each month. Look up her and see what she has in the system, it shows you current cases, past cases.
 

MyCubToo

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Re: I feel stuck, please help
« Reply #6 on: Jul 17, 2014, 06:43:15 AM »
Awesome, I had no idea about PACER. BNK hearing was this month or last I believe. She told me at the end of May she was filing so perhaps it will be in the system. I have paid the bills so I am unsure what she had included in it other than her previous attorney fees and state fines for not paying taxes if indeed she included that.

I have been thinking about contempt since there are several new things; however her appeal from the last charge is still under review so my attorney advised we have to wait until that is finished to file any more contempt charges or to have support adjusted.

Basically all the same contempt issues but things that keep happening like communication on court website, out of network providers, not paying med bills, etc.

ocean

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Re: I feel stuck, please help
« Reply #7 on: Jul 17, 2014, 06:53:44 AM »
If she is just filing last month, then most likely she will put in all these bills. If they come after you, ask them to produce the the guarantee paper with your signature and then you will pay the bill. This is what finally stopped one dr we dealt with. Happy to pay it, IF I signed that it was my bill. Hard when they get to collections and gets put on your credit report.

Is there a court date set?

As for getting gov't help, is there a way you can make sure they have all the correct info (child support being paid and your medical). They will come after BOTH parents to pay it back so see if they will talk to you and supply them with above info.

MyCubToo

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Re: I feel stuck, please help
« Reply #8 on: Jul 18, 2014, 06:14:24 AM »
The doctors offices do have the orders that show each of us are equally obligated to share unreimbursed medical expenses; however when she does not pay they come after me and state that that is a matter for my attorney and the courts and that they do not get involved in these matters except the bill needs paid and under the state revised code both parents are legally obligated to provide medical care for the child and that they could garnish my wages. My wages are already garnished for support, any incentives with held to do a review each month to see if I am in arrears (Never have been since he was born and it comes out of my check automatically), so they delay my pay for 4-6 weeks, and I pay insurance and pre-school/daycare costs. She has zero income to garnish unless they went after the support she receives or state assistance which I do not see them doing.

As far as a court date, I heard from my attorney 3 weeks ago that the courts lost her appeal paperwork for last October and will try and review the case now to send to the judge presiding over the magistrate hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks. For whatever reason my attorney (really good until now), is extremely hard to get ahold of in returning calls or voicemails and I presume its because we have no further info from the courts and he does not wish to waste my money.

As far as her bankruptcy case I have not seen anything local and will try and get the PACER account set up some time next week.

 

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