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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Default Increase of Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

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

    A brief history: My daughter is 10 years old and her father (NCP) and I were never married. In March 2010, the court ordered 50/50 legal. I have physical custody while her father has visitations every Wednesday until 8pm and every other weekend. I returned to full-time employment in March 2012 and my daughter attends an on school site childcare before and after school. She was also attending this same childcare from K through 2nd grades while her father and I were working at the time.

    Her father dropped out of sight and ceased picking her up approximately 4 months after court ordered custody in July 2010. While he began showing up sporadically at her Spring softball tournaments (March 2011), he did not resume his visitation schedule and disappeared again when softball season ended (June 2011).

    He showed up unexpectedly at my door in April 2012 and expressed his desire to spend time with our daughter. We mutually agreed that it was in our daughter's best interest to implement a gradual process of once per week on Wednesdays only. As of three weeks ago, we are fully in compliance with court-ordered visitation schedule.

    Also three weeks ago, the court ordered him to pay his fair share of childcare cost in pursuant to CA Family Law Code 4062.a.1. He has since threatened to seek modification of custody to give him every weekday from afterschool from 2pm to 5pm so that we do not incur any childcare cost.

    What are the chances of the court increasing his visitation time when he has failed to exercise his 13% until recently? He has proven to be unreliable and I would still continue daughter's enrollment in childcare as a contingency plan until he proves otherwise in the near future. Please advise. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Increase of Ncp Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

    This happens so commonly, I'm afraid. Parent gets hit with either a raise in CS or some other financial obligation and all of a sudden they want/need more parenting time. Thankfully the courts generally see this for what it is - nothing more than a blatant attempt to avoid financial responsibility.

    With that said, if Dad starts exercising his regular visitation he would actually stand at least a chance of getting the current order modified at some point in the future. But right now? I don't see it happening. You're allowed to have her in daycare, and you're allowed to ask him for reimbursement. But if he's available as a viable alternative, would you be okay with it if, say, he is consistent and regular over the next 6 months-year?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    24

    Default Re: Increase of Ncp Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

    Thank you for your prompt response, Dogmatique. I also appreciate you and others who volunteer your time assisting others in this forum. Many times I think I would've gone insane without the prompt support and/or second opinion...even though I don't always get the answers that I want to hear. =D

    If dad is able to demonstrate consistency and reliability with his current visitation schedule, I have no issue with allowing him to pick up our daughter from school daily -- 6 months is a reasonable time frame. Despite his unexplained absence, my daughter loves us equally.

    I shared the above with her father today, in which he finds unacceptable. He stated he had advised his attorney to file a motion to modify custody. *sigh* It just saddens me to know that he's willing to pay his attorney $300/hour instead of his monthly $220 share of our daughter's daycare. It is what is it and unfortunately I made the decision to have a child with this man. No regrets...my girl is my world.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Increase of Ncp Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

    Please do let us know what happens in court. Ultimately I think you've got a great chance at this becoming a lovely win/win for all of you - fingers crossed!

    And you're very welcome.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    24

    Default Re: Increase of Ncp Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

    Our court date is November 26th and I'll fill you in...

    In his request for modification of custody - facts in support of orders requested and change of circumstances for any modification are:

    "Respondent (me) and I (father) previously had a visitation schedule arising out of a settlement conference. We subsequently reconciled, and lived together with our daughter. That reconciliation was short-lived and now Respondent is attempting to deny me time with my daughter; call law enforcement and the life in her attempts to deny my daughter time with me. I am seeking a 50-50 parenting time with my daughter, along with the right to retrieve my child from school on days when Respondent is working, and our daughter would otherwise be compelled to go to daycare."

    It does not mention how/why he had failed to exercise his visitations until recently. My attorney and I plan to do just that in our response.

    There was NEVER a reconciliation! My daughter started playing softball last Spring from April 2011-June 2011. I sent him her game schedule and allowed him to teach her skills in my backyard. We went out to dinner with our daughter a few times. Because he was no longer exercising his visitations, I opened up my home to him out of love for my daughter. I want her to spend time with dad, even if it's just a few minutes.

    I called law enforcement once on September 7th. He decided on that very day and without telling anyone (I'm assuming he got upset at our August 28th support hearing), he was going to start exercising his weekend visitations. Our daughter was frightened, broke down and asked me to help. This occurred afterschool in front of kids, parents and faculty staff. Btw, there is no police report; I checked. The "incident log" is available only through court subpoena.

    My question is how can I prove that we NEVER reconciled? I am assuming he is referring to the two months last Spring. It was nothing but a good faith effort on my part and in the best interest of my daughter. I'm gathering hard evidence for my attorney (i.e. daily childcare sign-in sheets, daughter's report card and STAR test results, statement of facts from sister and a friend who took care of my daughter when my workshift was 3pm-midnight, etc.) and I can't think of anything to nullify his claim of reconciliation.

    *Sigh* The kindness in my heart and the love for my daughter have opened the doors wide open for false accusations.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Increase of Ncp Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

    He's actually requesting 50/50 timeshare? That's a modification of custody, not parenting time - and honestly I don't think he stands a chance.

    PLEASE get in touch with your attorney. Insist that Dad is the one who has to prove the reconciliation AND that you've denied - consistently - parenting time.

    Good gosh, this is troublesome. And it's really, honestly, all about the money. So sad, because if he hadn't been ordered to pay, we both know he wouldn't have bothered at all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    24

    Default Re: Increase of Ncp Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

    My attorney stated that the burden of proof is on him; however, it wouldn't hurt if I already have some evidence such as daycare sign-in sheets which demonstrate that I picked up daughter daily, report cards/STAR test results which demonstrates daughter is excelling academically in my sole custody for past couple of years, receipts/cancelled checks of daughter's extracurricular activities, statement of facts from school's principal (she has not provided this yet), etc.

    I'm sitting here doing just that - compiling evidence. And it just occurred to me that I have nothing to prove that we never reconciled.

    Our history of filings with family court is:
    September 2009. I filed original Petition for Support
    October 2009. He filed original Petition for Custody seeking but denied 50/50.
    July 2012. I filed Motion to Mod Support, specifically requesting 50% daycare reimbursement) with 8/28/12 court hearing.
    October 2012. He file Motion to Mod Custody (and his attorney served me this past Monday during continuance for Support).

    Unfortunately there will be no winner in this big, expensive mess.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    Default Re: Increase of Ncp Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

    I agree, Mom. There's no winner.

    Please know though, that the courts see this every day - a parent files for CS or to modify, or request daycare expenses and all of a sudden the other parent files for a custody modification.

    Please let us know how it goes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Increase of Ncp Visitation Hours in Lieu of Paid Childcare

    Brief update: Father, daughter, and I had an appointment with Family Court Services on November 2nd. Father insisted we reconciled and he was living in my home briefly. Mediator asked and father was unable to provide evidence such as payment of utility bills, letters from my neighbors, etc. Since neither of us were able to provide evidence, this mediator explained what matters most is the child's perception and interviewed our daughter separately. Mediator shared daughter's memory of father visiting in our home for approximately one month in duration that occurred two years ago. I have not received mediator's report but hoping she will include this information in her recommendation to the court.

    I will also share my Responsive Declaration to Request for Order that was reviewed and approved by my attorney. My sole intention is to help another child(ren) who's in similar situation as my daughter and whose parent are unable to afford an attorney. Honestly, I was not able to retain attorney without making drastic budget cuts with the holidays around the corner. I hope this will help someone draft their own response to such an awful situation.

    "In his declaration, Petitioner (father) has deliberately attempted to mislead the court about his visitation history with Minor Child (daughter). Worse, he has done so with economic motives to reduce his child support obligation and avoid paying a portion of child care costs.
    In fact, for the last two years since September 2010 Petitioner has not exercised his scheduled visits at all or only sporadically visited, usually because the contact was initiated by Respondent (me), inviting him to Minor Child's softball games, school functions, and the likes.
    That changed abruptly after Respondent filed a motion for requesting that he pay one-half child care. He had to appear in the Family Law Court on child support on August 28, 2012. When he realized that his current time share with Minor Child was zero, he demanded an immediate return to the previous visitation order, even though Minor Child had stated that she only wanted to visit on Wednesday afternoons with no overnights because he had no regular contact for so long. The Minor Child tried to explain that she needed time to re-establish her comfort level for overnights through a gradual process with Petitioner, but Petitioner was adamant and demonstrated a blatant disregard for Minor Child's emotionally distraught state, even to the extent of making a scene at the school on the first Friday (September 7, 2012) after school resumed from summer break. The police had to be called and the principal had to intervene.
    Things have calmed somewhat since then, and Minor Child has a therapist she is working with. Minor Child is now seeing Petitioner on the visitation schedule set by the court in 2010: every Wednesday after school to 8:00PM and alternating weekends from Friday after school to Monday to school. In fact, Petitioner is visiting with Minor Child on the schedule he demanded in September.
    The parties went to Family Court Services mediation just a few days ago on November 2, 2012, and the report is not yet available.
    There is no basis for a change of parenting to a 50/50 parenting schedule, and the only explanation Petitioner provides for this new demand is that he does not want to have to share the cost of day care (he is currently ordered to pay one-half). None of his requests have anything to do with the best interest of Minor Child. They are entirely motivated by his economic interests.
    The current visitation order should be maintained.
    Petitioner should NOT be awarded attorney's fees for filing a retaliatory child custody action because Respondent sought the court's assistance in trying to get him to pay one-half of work related child care. Petitioner should instead be ordered to pay her attorney's fees and costs in the amount of $X,XXX.XX for filing this action and causing Respondent to have to hire an attorney and expend attorney's fees to defend this action."

    Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving.

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