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Author Topic: I'm not sure of what to do after a recent split up  (Read 1765 times)

help_me_please942

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I'm not sure of what to do after a recent split up
« on: Feb 05, 2015, 03:22:36 PM »
I'm the father of two boys, aged 4 and 5. I live in Indiana. Me and their mother (unmarried) have had constant relationship problems for years. After a temporary split up a year ago, we had gotten a court order that basically says the following:

-I owe $0.00 in child support and $0.00 in back support (because we were living together again by the time we went to the court hearing)

-"Should the parties separate, the Court finds that the father should have visitation in accordance with the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, at a minimum, or as otherwise agreed to by the parties"

The mother moved out again a few months ago, however we were not having a major dispute at the time. In fact, we have spent a good portion of the last several months staying together. She was not asking for support, and I was seeing the kids every day. She recently got upset with me and decided to file for a court hearing to get support ordered. This has been over a week ago. I have asked her on a daily basis to let me take my children, and she has refused to let me visit them anywhere other than at her house in her presence. When I attempt to visit them with her present, she starts yelling at me and fighting with me in front of the kids (I think this is her underhanded excuse to tell the court that she is offering me visits and I am turning them down.) She is now telling me she doesn't have to follow the four hour weekly visitation because I haven't given her child support since she moved out over the last few months. I have no problem paying her child support, and have even been offering her support, but she's not making arrangements to take the money and let me see the kids. I have text messages to back this up. Here are my main questions:

-Do I actually owe her anything as of right now? We haven't been back to court yet to get any support ordered. I'm fine with giving her money, but I don't know what to pay her. Should I just write her a check and drop it in the mail so I can show the court that I've been giving her money? Would this be beneficial or pointless?

-Does she have the right to violate the parenting time guidelines on this basis?

-Do I have the right to take my kids away from her during my visitations?

-The guidelines say that I am entitled to two 24-hour periods every other week, one four-hour period every week, and holidays. Are these four-hour evenings and holidays every week, including the weeks that I have them for two days? It also mentions something called "extended time" which lets me take them for half of the summer and half of the breaks from school. Does this apply to me or is this extended time something I have to get court ordered?

-If she is violating the order, what should I do? Should I contact the court or the police?

-Should I hire a lawyer? What kind of outcome should I expect if I don't hire one and go to court?

-What can I do to increase my visitations?

Thanks.


Waylon

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Re: I'm not sure of what to do after a recent split up
« Reply #1 on: Feb 05, 2015, 05:16:30 PM »
1) Yes, you should absolutely hire an attorney. There are a few pages here that may help doing that:
2) Generally, if there is no support order in effect then no support is owed. (This doesn't mean a judge can't go back and order it retroactively, however.) If there is a support order in effect then support is usually owed regardless of any other circumstances.


3) Does she have the right to violate the parenting time guidelines on this basis?

No one has the right to violate the parenting plan, other than by mutual agreement between the parents.


4) Do I have the right to take my kids away from her during my visitations?

Yes, if it's during your scheduled parenting time then you have the right to exercise your parenting time. You may find these letters useful:
5) If she is violating the order, what should I do? Should I contact the court or the police?

Document it thoroughly and notify everyone- especially your attorney and the police.

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Re: I'm not sure of what to do after a recent split up
« Reply #2 on: Feb 05, 2015, 06:09:43 PM »
-Do I actually owe her anything as of right now? We haven't been back to court yet to get any support ordered. I'm fine with giving her money, but I don't know what to pay her. Should I just write her a check and drop it in the mail so I can show the court that I've been giving her money? Would this be beneficial or pointless?

No you don't owe her and I'd be careful about giving her any money where you can't document that you gave it to her to directly support the children, but I'd lean towards not giving her anything and setting something aside into a savings account that you can pull out once court is done and determines what CS should be and WHEN it should be effective.  This will protect you from having arrears if the judge decides to make CS effective the date she filed and if the judge decides to ignore any direct payments until the date of court.  CYA....(cover your butt)


-Does she have the right to violate the parenting time guidelines on this basis?

If you have an order that says to follow the ISPTG -- then there's your outline of when the children are supposed to spend time with their father as a MINIMUM.  (problem becomes that's its vague....and only enforceable as denied time after some denials have happened and they clearly violate what the state is saying.

-Do I have the right to take my kids away from her during my visitations?

Absolutely UNLESS your order says SUPERVISED parenting time and then parameters for that should be spelled out.  But since you didn't mention anything about supervised time being ordered, I'd lean towards you being allowed to go wherever you want to with the kids.


-The guidelines say that I am entitled to two 24-hour periods every other week, one four-hour period every week, and holidays. Are these four-hour evenings and holidays every week, including the weeks that I have them for two days? It also mentions something called "extended time" which lets me take them for half of the summer and half of the breaks from school. Does this apply to me or is this extended time something I have to get court ordered?

I have a two friends in Indiana.  The four-hour evenings are meant for one evening a week -- like every Wednesday.  SO....if a week has gone by and your children haven't spent time with you -- over a period of 7 days -- then she's violated the order which refers to the ISPTG.  The evenings are in addition to the 24-hour period.  Now....the 24-hour periods are not defined necessarily as weekends -- but many hook the two together and take Saturday and Sunday.  But if you work -- then it might be better for the children to take two other days of the week (does that make sense?)  Yes, you get half the summer and half of the breaks from school -- share share share.....in addition to the other stuff.  I have one friend where the other parent then takes "back" the one weekday a week and the every other weekend schedule.....and to avoid arguing that friend has simply allowed it though not sure if they have to.  Think EQUAL time for the children to be with each parent.

-If she is violating the order, what should I do? Should I contact the court or the police?

You have to file a motion with the court to ask that the other parent be held in contempt of the courts' order and ask for make up time.  the police department can not help.

-Should I hire a lawyer? What kind of outcome should I expect if I don't hire one and go to court?

99.9% of the parents should hire an attorney -- going into this without one without doing a ton of research, and you gotta be a good public speaker under tons of pressure, etc.....yes, hire an attorney.  (there's articles here that talk about going it alone.....but for 99.9% of the parents....use an attorney.  (and have to be up front, no I didn't hire an attorney -- but my other half was in a high conflict case and I had been reading and learning here for about 5 years before I did my first "on my own" court appearance -- and yes, I was successful.....not at first, there were a few draws, but in the end....yep, dad was pissed).


-What can I do to increase time?

Keep asking for additional time from the other parent in writing.....chances are that the court won't order additional time, but if you keep asking and the other side keeps saying NO.....THAT in and of itself says a lot.  (yep, worked for me).

 

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