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Topics - mistoffolees

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Child Support Issues / Passports....
« on: Aug 15, 2007, 10:30:48 AM »
There's an article in the WSJ today saying that the new passport requirements (you now need a passport to go to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean) has led to many people who were behind in support payments being caught.

For those of you who have been unable to track down your ex who owes you support, this might be useful.

Dear Socrateaser / Marital asset issue
« on: Jan 29, 2007, 08:22:35 AM »
Married 14 years, my wife had 2 daughters from previous marriage. First husband was paying $300 per month per child ($600 / month total) in support. My wife had sole physical custody.

About 6 or 8 years ago, we opened investment accounts to save money for college for the girls. These accounts were opened in my wife's name.  They were NOT set up as custodial accounts and are not Section 529 accounts - simple investment accounts.

During much of the past 6 years, we deposited her child support check into our joint checking account and then later in the month put $600 into the investment accounts. The amount sometimes varied, but it was often $600.

During that time, the girls were in private school ($7 K per year each) at my expense, plus I provided food, shelter, vacations, clothing, transportation, etc at an upper middle class level. The child support obviously didn't cover much of that.

Wife (STBX) is arguing that since we deposited the same amount into the investment account that it's not a marital account - even though the checks were deposited into our joint checking account and a separate check was sent later to the investment account. I argue that the money was actually used to pay for food, clothing, shelter, etc (since that's what support is supposed to pay for) and that the investment money was from my funds.

In your opinion, are those investment accounts marital property or not?


Dear Socrateaser / House responsibilities
« on: Jan 20, 2007, 04:50:17 AM »
I filed for divorce in September. My stbx signed an agreement saying that we would have 50:50 physical custody of my daughter for the temporary period and would propose that as a permanent settlement. My stbx said that she wanted to keep the house and I should find my own place, so I moved out on my attorney's advice.

Now it's January and still no temporary hearing with the judge (my stbx's attorney is dragging things out forever). The roof in the marital house is leaking into the garage. As near as I can tell, no water is leaking into the living quarters, just the garage. She claims that water is dripping into an electrical socket.

Since I have been paying more than adequate support (during the past 5 months, she has gotten about 60% of our combined income) and her bank balance is currently more than 4 times mine, I told her it's her responsibility to maintain the house since she wanted to keep it. She's refusing and says I need to fix it.

Do I have any responsibility to fix the house - especially in light of the fact that water dripping on the electrical socket (if this is really true) might create a risk?

Ordinarily, I would pay for it and deduct it from the monthly check I'm sending, but cash is getting pretty tight right now.


Dear Socrateaser / Automatic Temporary Injunction
« on: Jan 08, 2007, 08:00:34 AM »
In Oklahoma, once a divorce if filed, there is an automatic temporary injunction which prevents both parties from doing things like fleeing the state with the child or taking money out of the joint accounts. Both parties receive this as part of the divorce filing papers. The papers say that violation of this injunction is contempt of court and can be punished with fines and/or imprisonment.

My stbx took $2,000 out of the joint account after I explicitly (and in writing) told her not to.. She had $17,000 in her checking account, so she wasn't in danger of starving or anything.

My attorney sent her a letter reminding her of the injunction and asked her to refund the money or allow me (in writing) to take out an additional amount and to refrain from doing it again. (she considered filing for contempt immediately, but decided to take the high ground and give stbx rope to hang herself).

I'm pretty certain she is going to do it again (stepdaughter's $4,500 tuition is due soon). Total assets are substantial - this is a small percentage of the total..

1. If she violates the injunction again, is a judge likely to consider this to be a big deal or let her go with the warning?
2. STBX is filing for sole custody (she told me that she's doing it to get more money from me, but I can't prove that). If she continues to take money out of the joint accounts, how likely is judge to let it influence custody decision?


Dear Socrateaser / Relocation within state of Illinois
« on: Dec 15, 2006, 09:25:10 PM »
This is a great site!  I'm so glad I found it.  I'm hoping someone can give me some good advice, or at least a general opinion on this one...

My divorce is not yet final.  I have been away from the marital home for almost 8 months and moved within 15 miles of the marital home.  I have no temporary visitation order.  It's been an uphill battle with my STBX to see our 2 children since I've left.  She's been trying to keep them from me as much as possible to build a case to make an out of state move.  We are in the Chicago area and she wants to move with the kids to her hometown of St Louis.  Since she knows it will be difficult to take them out of state, she has decided to move to a small town in Illinois only 12 miles from St Louis, but 270 miles away from our home.  This move can be done within the state of Illinois without a court order.  Of course, I'm against it and have tried to talk with her and have had 5 mediation sessions regarding it.  They have acheived nothing with the exception of deciding on joint custody with her as the primary caretaker.

She plans on moving this Sunday the 17th of December.  We were in court this past Tuesday for a hearing on visitation.  The judge told her there was no need in her moving just yet.  His words were, "I'm asking you to stay around until the first of the year."  Her attorney repeatedly said, "She's moving.  She's moving."  Judge got mad and told him to move and get out of his site.  

We are scheduled to return to court this Tuesday for another hearing so the judge can hear what we accomplished in mediation this week....which was nothing.  And the moving van is coming on Sunday to move her to her new home.  

Question 1:  How severely will the judge look upon her move after his request for her to stay in the area until things were cleared up with visitation?

Question 2:  Would this bolster my case to prove her move is a ruse to hinder my visitation.

Question 3:  What legal advice can you give me on fighting the move.

Thank you so much!

Dear Socrateaser / Vexatious litigant
« on: Dec 11, 2006, 07:13:32 AM »
Soc, In a different thread, you posted:

"The point is that it's rarely worth bothering to challenge a support mod, unless you are served with more than one in a year's time and none of them are valid, at which point, I would ask for the moving party to be sanctioned as a vexatious litigant, for abusing the legal process and wasting the court's time."

I'm curioius how commonly this is used and enforced. My stbx's first husband was always dragging us into court over silly things. Her attorney said that there was little that we could do because our system allows people to sue for almost anything and it was almost unheard of for the courts to chastise a litigious parent.

My stbx looks like she's going to go the same way. After agreeing in writing to 50:50 physical custody and allowing it to go on for months (it's working very well), she's suing for sole even though there are no new facts or change in circumstances - just after we gave her a proposed final settlement which she dismissed as too low. Now, she's suing because I'm not giving her enough money on a temporary basis - even though the records show that she's gotten about 65% of our combined income since I filed for divorce.

What are the standards and how likely is it that I'm going to be able to keep her in check or will I simply have to live the rest of my life with an attorney on retainer?


Dear Socrateaser / Change in temporary custody
« on: Dec 01, 2006, 12:27:40 PM »
I filed for divorce in OK in September. One daughter, age 8. Within a week after the filing, we agreed to temporary joint custody alternating weeks of physical custody and alternating holidays. In addition, OK has a stated legal preference for equal parenting.

The temporary agreement states:
"We will propose equal joint custody to the court with the intent of evenly sharing [daughter]'s time on a week-by-week basis as a permanent plan. This proposal is subject to the advice to each of us by our respective counsel"

After getting this agreement signed and my attorney's blessing, I moved out and rented a nice house -comparable to the old family home. So far, the arrangement has worked with no problems.

My wife is making all sorts of allegations, mostly imagined, but none of which have any direct bearing on my daughter. She's saying that unless I give her more money, she will have her attorney try to get sole physical custody.

Most of her allegations are for things that happened before she signed the agreement, so it seems to me that it would be hard to claim that they would cause her to change her view on the matter. It seems to me that by signing the agreement and cooperating with 50:50 physical without raising a peep, she's basically said that she doesn't consider her allegations to make me an unfit parent. Of course, that's a personal view, not a legal view.

The one new allegation is true. After I left her house and had filed for divorce and decided that I was never going back, I joined a dating service. While I might have waited until after the divorce, I don't see how my interest in starting to date again has any relevance to my child rearing abilities (I would not bring a date to the house while my daughter was here - at least not for a long, long time).

How likely is it that she can make a decent case for getting sole physical custody?

Dear Socrateaser / How to handle finances
« on: Sep 18, 2006, 02:24:36 PM »
The FAQs don't quite answer this, so maybe you can give me some guidance or steer me in the right direction.

I am planing to file for divorce early next week (I'd do it today, but my daughter's birthday is on Saturday and I don't want to ruin it for her). 

Given all the advice from people here, I guess I have to stay in the family home unless I can find some other way to get out without risking my chances of at least 50:50 custody.

I earn essentially all the income. My wife is starting out as a realtor, but hasn't made any sales. She's also signed up to give flu shots (she's a nurse) but that will be just a few hundred dollars a month. Therefore, virtually all the bills are being paid from my income.

What happens when I file for divorce?

1. Do I just continue to pay all the normal household expenses until the preliminary hearing (I think tihs takes about a month in OK)?
2. Do I cancel credit cards?
3. Do I take money out of our joint savings account and open my own personal account so I have money to buy what I need for the new rental house (I would certainly notify my wife that I had done so and would report it when we do our financial settlement since I have no intention of trying to cheat her out of her share of our assets)?
4. Do you have any links of where I can find information on how to handle the money during the 'living together, but divorce has been filed' stage?


Dear Socrateaser / Situation in OK
« on: Sep 18, 2006, 11:45:09 AM »
I am planning to divorce my wife in OK. She is a decent mother, but becomes verbally abusive at times. After 14 years and extensive counseling (and the psychiatrist telling me that the odds of her improving are slim), I need to get out. Our daughter is 8 and very well balanced in all regards.

OK has a fair parenting law which states (in principle) that custody should be shared and time together should be 50/50 unless there are some strong reasons to give one parent shared custody.

After all the problems started with my wife (more accurately, after they flared up), I filed for divorce in January. My wife convinced me to drop it (against my attorney's advice) a few days later.

My wife has told my daughter that I'm unfaithful (but she doesn't understand), but my daughter would have no other way of knowing about it. My wife is also threatening to tell my employer, family, friends, etc about it.

1. Will my mistake hurt me in court when we get to the temporary custody hearing?
2. My plan is to stay in the house until I get her to sign an agreement saying that we'll each have 50% of my daughter's time. If she signs this, am I OK to move out?

General Issues / Alienated adults
« on: Mar 21, 2007, 08:04:57 PM »
I'm looking for some advice on a problem I have.

My stbx had two daughters from her first marriage. They were around 5 and 6 when we married and I've raised them essentially as my own (but their bf was also in the picture and saw them a few times a year - I never pretended to be their 'real father' as they put it). About 8 years ago, we had a daughter. I've tried not to play favorites, but to be honest, it's sometimes a lot easier to be nice to an infant than a snotty teenager.

Over the years, we've had good relationships over all and there were no real problems. They thought I was too strict, and maybe I was. But I took care of them and provided for them (although their father was making over $200 K per year, we got $300 per month for each of them and I paid the rest - including private school, college, trips to Europe, their first car, etc).

Fast forward to this year. The oldest is a senior in college and the middle is a junior. When I filed for divorce, my stbx started the alienation big time. She told them that I was starving her and taking away their college money so that they couldn't afford to go to college any more (both completely wrong - she's going to walk away with tons of money in the mid 6 figures range as well as alimony. For the past 5 months, she's received 63% of our joint dispoable income and I've received 37%).

I sent the two stepdaughters money for Christmas - and never heard a word. I sent them money for Valentine's Day - and never heard a word. I invited them to go to Disney World with the youngest and me - and never heard a word.

I know that they're victims, too. Their mother has verbally abused them, accused their father of child abuse when they were young, and so on. And they're believing her when she tells them lots of evil things about me.

The oldest is graduating in a few months. Do I send a present and continue to send presents for birthdays, etc, just walk away, or talk to them about it?

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