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Author Topic: Questions  (Read 794 times)

danny

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Questions
« on: Aug 08, 2006, 09:02:49 PM »
Mr Socrateaser -

I have a couple questions that I was hoping you could help with in regard to my case. I am an NCP, never married, and do not reside in the state where my child lives due to active military service (stationed elsewhere). Child resides in MA. Neither myself or the CP has ever been to court to file a parenting plan or child support agreement, but have attempted to work things out just between us. Since becoming engaged, the CP has decided we should go to court. I have retained a lawyer and just want to know what to expect.

Questions:

1. After many years of mutually agreed upon child support, the CP now states that the amount is too low. I have (through direct deposit) paid an agreed upon amount consistently every month since being employed. Prior to being employed (grad school) I paid an amount above the state guideline minimum.

The CP states that she is now going to ask the court for arrears, in that the amount of child support we verbally agreed upon was never satisfactory and that she always intended to just request retro payment. Without court ordered child support, will I need to pay arrears? If so, is there a statute of limitations on how far back she can go? (The child is now 5)

2. Since I have to travel to see my child any time I want to see her (she is too young to fly by herself and there are no direct flights to where I live). Will the CP be required to split the cost of the visitation with me?

3. I would like to have joint physical custody of my child, but will not be able to live in the same state as CP for another year (due to military service). Do courts allow suspended judgement on joint custody, or grant joint custody on the condition that I move?

Thank you for your time.


socrateaser

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RE: Questions
« Reply #1 on: Aug 09, 2006, 01:52:46 AM »
>Questions:
>
>1. After many years of mutually agreed upon child support, the
>CP now states that the amount is too low. I have (through
>direct deposit) paid an agreed upon amount consistently every
>month since being employed. Prior to being employed (grad
>school) I paid an amount above the state guideline minimum.
>
>The CP states that she is now going to ask the court for
>arrears, in that the amount of child support we verbally
>agreed upon was never satisfactory and that she always
>intended to just request retro payment. Without court ordered
>child support, will I need to pay arrears? If so, is there a
>statute of limitations on how far back she can go? (The child
>is now 5)

Where no order has ever been put in place, the question of how far back the court may charge arrears is dependent on the law of the state with jurisdiction. I don't know MA law in this area, and I don't have time to research the question. However, If you have always paid more than guideline for MA, and you can prove your payments, then the court will almost certainly find that your support obligation is already satisfied for the time in question.

>
>2. Since I have to travel to see my child any time I want to
>see her (she is too young to fly by herself and there are no
>direct flights to where I live). Will the CP be required to
>split the cost of the visitation with me?

If this is the status quo, and the distance is the product of your armed service, I believe that there is a good probability that the court will not charge you with the entire cost of travel. But, it's up to the judge, and I'm not a mind reader.

>
>3. I would like to have joint physical custody of my child,
>but will not be able to live in the same state as CP for
>another year (due to military service). Do courts allow
>suspended judgement on joint custody, or grant joint custody
>on the condition that I move?

Your best bet in this area would be to invoke the federal military serviceperson's civil relief act, and stay the trial of these questions. If you have already waived your rights under the act, then no, courts don't suspend judgment on custody issues. The custody question will be determined based on present facts and circumstances, and once you have moved to MA, you can move for a new custody hearing based on changed circumstances.

This motion will probably be denied, however, your parenting time with the child will likely be increased, assuming that you can prove a good parent-child relationship.

 

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