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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Modifying Child Support Based Upon Change in Exercise of Custody

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: California

    I live in the state of California regarding modification for child custody. Per our temporary custody arraignments in 2009, father has 12% and i have 87% phydical custody. Father maintained schedule for approximately 6 months after implementation and his contacts with our daughter were sporadic afterwards. For over a year now he has minimal contacts with our daughter, only when she initiates the phone calls.
    I am preparing to file for 100% legal and physical custody. What are my chances of the judge granting in my favor?
    Additionally he no longer resides at the last known address. He is self-employed and has no physical business address. How would I be able to serve him with legal documents? Please advise.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    It might help to know what your end goal is here - what do you think sole custody will do for you that's different now?

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    Since father and I have separated my decision for our daughter have been based on her best interest...no mines, not his. While I may think he doesn't deserve any parenting time with our daughter, my daughter deserves parenting time with her biological father.

    Although he has no recent contacts with our daughter, I would not be surprise if he decides out-of-the-blue he wants to exercise his 12% (comprise of 4 hours every Wednesdays and every other weekend from 2pm Friday to 8pm Sunday) parenting time. I have absolutely no problem with it but under one condition...it is what my daughter wants. A sole physical custody would enable me to help my daughter exercise her rights and her potential visits with father would be based on her terms -- not mines, not his.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    No, that's not what sole physical will accomplish at all and I'm actually a little confused as to why you'd think that.

    It's just not likely that your daughter will be allowed to decide - I'd go as far as saying that it's virtually guaranteed that she won't be allowed to decide.

    It's not her decision, and for good reason.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    In late 2008 and early 2009, prior to implementation of temporary custody order, my daughter was asked by court mediator and evaluator what she wants; therefore, I assumed it's to help consider what's her "best interest." My daughter had just recently completely therapy session to deal with the absence of her father. She's a fragile child. Would the court really ignore her wishes and risk potentially damaging her mentally again? I find it difficult to comprehend. As a mother there is no pain greater than witnessing your child in pain.

    Furthermore, father had once picked-up our daughter early from school on "his" Wednesday (after several months of absence) without my knowledge. When I showed up afterschool, my daughter was nowhere to be found and my calls to him went unanswered. You could only imagine.... To prevent future occurrences of such, I purchased a cell phone for daughter and asked her school principal to notify me if her father should take her out from school again. I was told that if father attempts to take child out of school on his assigned days against her wishes, they would notify local law enforcement.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    What makes you think Dad can't pick her up at school? Legally, the school CANNOT withhold the child if Dad comes to pick her up unless there is a court order SPECIFICALLY prohibiting him from doing so.

    Outside of that, the school can be heavily penalized if they won't let Dad take her - even if it's not quite his time. Your recourse would be through civil court.

    Have you posted here before? Your story sounds very familiar.

    How old is your daughter again?

  7. #7
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    I have not posted here before as I stumbled across this website while googling related topics yesterday.

    Thank you for the info regarding the school. While I was happy when informed of my daughter's "protection" I would not want to put the school in the position of facing legal action and/or penalties.

    I will abandon the modification of legal 50/50 and physical 87/12 custody matter as I don't think he would physically harm our daughter. I was hoping to "protect" my daughter's emotional well-being. She is 9 years old and able to verbally express her feelings. If or when the time comes and father chooses to ignore her feelings, he would only put himself at risk of creating long-term resentment and hostility from her. I need not to get involve.

    I do, however, need to modify our temporary support order. In 2009 the temporary order was based on my $1800/month UIB (unemployment) and father's $1400/month (stated in I&E without supporting tax return or schedule C, small business owner). I have since exhausted my UIB and currently unemployed with the anticipation of returning to work soon, hopefully. Father has not file tax returns for over a decade and unable to provide documentation asides from an I&E; he makes at least $5000/month). Is child support based on 87/12 physical custody or "actual" custody?

    Additionally I am currently paying for my daughter's tutoring, minimal medical/dental expenses, and extracurricular activities (i.e. softball, piano, swimming, girl scout, Chinese Mandarin as 2nd language, etc.). Upon returning to work I will incur additional expenses of child care and medical/dental deductibles. Am I able to request 50/50 reimbursement from father to be included in support payment?

    Btw, thank you very much for sharing your valuable knowledge. After spending nearly $10K in 2008/2009 in attorney fees I cannot afford one at the present moment. At the time he was seeking 50/50 custody; I wanted it to be a gradual process leading up to 50/50 and was subsequently granted 87/12. I am sure he spent nearly as much, if not the same or more, in attorney fees. You would think he'll want to spend as much time with her as possible to demonstrate he's capable of caring for her every other week. But that's a thing of the past and where it shall remain. =)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    I think you'll have a hard time getting the court to order 50% of the extra curriculars.

    You can absolutely request a modification though. If actual time spent is a consideration (it's not in all states), then it will be based on the current court order.

    I know this is very emotional and can be extremely frustrating. But keep focusing on the co-parenting relationship because that's ultimately the best thing you can do for your daughter

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    But keep focusing on the co-parenting relationship because that's ultimately the best thing you can do for your daughter
    I absolutely agree but with time I also learned to accept the things that I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Through this experience with her father I have become a better and stronger person and can only hope the same for my daughter. She is such a wonderful and loving child who doesn't deserve this -- I will continue to sacrifice so that she will not need to sacrifice. He has no idea what he's missing out on.

    Thank you, Dogmatique. Emotions can cloud my better judgement. I appreciate your time in responding to my thread and take good care.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Seeking Advice for Child Custody Modification

    Just as expected, daughter's father has decided he wants to exercise his parenting time with our daughter again. I am supportive of his decision in being a part of her life again as she loves him dearly.

    However, I have a concern with her safety while under his care. His mother (my daughter's grandmother) had accidentally told me a year ago that she was upset to find him growing a large quantity of marijuana at his residence. I asked him today if he was still growing marijuana. He would not confirm nor did his deny so I'm assuming he is.

    I am not familiar with the medical marijuana in the state of California. To the best of my knowledge he does not have a medical condition that would legally qualify him for a "cannabis card."

    I want my daughter to spend time with her father but unable to ignore this fact. What are my options without involving family law court? Although he has been absent for a while, we still have a temporary custody order that allows him parenting time every Wednesdays to 8pm and every other weekend. Until I find peace with his "extracurricular" activities I cannot allow visitation to commence; would I be held with contempt of court?

    As always your advice is appreciate.

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