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  1. #1
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    Default Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

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

    My ex-husband and I have joint legal and joint physical custody of our 7 y/o son. I have been the primary custodian, and he has visitation on alternate weekends. It went well for years until I requested that we split childcare costs. After seeing that the original CS order did not include childcare costs and that it was ordered years ago when my ex-husband was still unemployed and that he has been gainfully employed for many years now, the court granted the child support modification. Based on the CA child support guideline, the CS went from $300 to $800. Now, my ex-husband is furious and has filed a motion seeking full custody of our son. What can I do to keep the custody and visitation order as is? I want to share equal parental responsibility with him, as this is what's best for our child.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    This is sadly very common - child support increases and all of a sudden the parent paying the CS files for custody.

    Thankfully the courts do recognize this; in order to change the current status quo he needs to prove a substantial change of circumstances.

    So, what's changed so drastically in his, yours or your child's life?

  3. #3
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    Dec 2013
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    He's not going to get a change of custody, BUT, you may want to think about giving him some more time with the child to help 'keep the peace'. One extra overnight per week isn't going to effect your child support, but it will make all the difference in the world to dad. You'd be surprised how quickly an attitude can change when a father is given more time with his son. Just be careful, while one extra overnight per week IS the right thing to do, TWO means you are now 50/50 and you may lose your child support. So maybe one extra overnight AND a dinner? California only counts overnights in their percentage.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    Quote Quoting SuperPop
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    He's not going to get a change of custody, BUT, you may want to think about giving him some more time with the child to help 'keep the peace'. One extra overnight per week isn't going to effect your child support, but it will make all the difference in the world to dad. You'd be surprised how quickly an attitude can change when a father is given more time with his son. Just be careful, while one extra overnight per week IS the right thing to do, TWO means you are now 50/50 and you may lose your child support. So maybe one extra overnight AND a dinner? California only counts overnights in their percentage.


    Two things.

    1. This isn't about what's best for Dad or how to make Dad happier.

    2. If Mom "caves" to Dad now, what's going to happen the next time there's an issue?

    See it from the other side for a sec. CP has just had your cs increased. You're pissed about it. What can you do...what can you do...think...think...OH! Bingo! I'll teach her. I'll file for custody and then she'll probably settle and I pay less child support. BONUS! Cos that means I can kinda bully her into something else later.

    (And this scenario is common regardless of gender)

    - - - Updated - - -

    (Please note, there is no mention of what's best for the child)

  5. #5
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    Dec 2013
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    California
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    There has been no significant change in my life, I've lived in the same city for years, had the same job, no new relationship since my divorce 4 yrs ago. I have no criminal history, no history drug-use,I've never even had a single a single traffic ticket. There has been no incident indicating or implying neglect from my side. My record is clean. No significant change in our son's life either. He goes to the same school, he has good grades, and is engaged in the same extra-curricular activities.

    My ex-husband re-married and reasons that he has more financial responsibilities now, thus he can't afford an increase in child support. He had told me that he would rather fight me tooth and nail for custody than to pay that much money.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2013
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
    View Post
    Two things.

    1. This isn't about what's best for Dad or how to make Dad happier.

    2. If Mom "caves" to Dad now, what's going to happen the next time there's an issue?

    See it from the other side for a sec. CP has just had your cs increased. You're pissed about it. What can you do...what can you do...think...think...OH! Bingo! I'll teach her. I'll file for custody and then she'll probably settle and I pay less child support. BONUS! Cos that means I can kinda bully her into something else later.

    (And this scenario is common regardless of gender)

    (Please note, there is no mention of what's best for the child)
    What's the down side? Child gets more time with father, mother still gets an increase in child support. Dad is going to spend $10,000 in legal costs, if mom goes in ready to settle, she may not even need a lawyer, you think dad's going to think he 'succeeded' and want to do this again?

    There is only benefits to her giving more time to the father, for her(less animosity, still more child support), the father(more time with child) & the child(more quality time with dad). I really don't see a down side. He's not going to win custody no matter what, but if mom throws him a bone(an extra overnight every week), atleast he'll owe her one.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    Quote Quoting iamhismom
    View Post
    There has been no significant change in my life, I've lived in the same city for years, had the same job, no new relationship since my divorce 4 yrs ago. I have no criminal history, no history drug-use,I've never even had a single a single traffic ticket. There has been no incident indicating or implying neglect from my side. My record is clean. No significant change in our son's life either. He goes to the same school, he has good grades, and is engaged in the same extra-curricular activities.

    My ex-husband re-married and reasons that he has more financial responsibilities now, thus he can't afford an increase in child support. He had told me that he would rather fight me tooth and nail for custody than to pay that much money.
    Then he's got very little (if any) chance at full custody unless a) you're unfit or b) he out-lawyers you and you have to give in[/quote]

    [quote]

    Quote Quoting SuperPop
    View Post
    What's the down side? Child gets more time with father, mother still gets an increase in child support. Dad is going to spend $10,000 in legal costs, if mom goes in ready to settle, she may not even need a lawyer, you think dad's going to think he 'succeeded' and want to do this again?

    There is only benefits to her giving more time to the father, for her(less animosity, still more child support), the father(more time with child) & the child(more quality time with dad). I really don't see a down side. He's not going to win custody no matter what, but if mom throws him a bone(an extra overnight every week), atleast he'll owe her one.

    This isn't a calm discussion between Mom and Dad, where changes are negotiated amicably. This is an NCP threatening the CP for financial and "screw you" reasons. Given the NCP's actions here, he's doing it out of spite - it's not taking the child's welfare into consideration at all.

    A parent who bullies the other parent generally isn't going to stop if the other parent caves - s/he is going to get worse.

    I do understand where you're coming from, but in this situation Dad is more concerned with hurting Mom and/or getting his own way than he is about the actual child.

    Based purely on what's been written here, he'd get worse before he got better.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2013
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    California
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    Since he's moved 60 miles away last year, he has changed his "alternate weekends" from "Friday night- Sunday afternoon" to "Saturday noon to Sunday noon". That means our son has only been having one "overnight" with his father every 2 weeks. Father also requested that I meet him halfway bec of the distance and gas cost. Although the court order is for him to provide all transportation during his visitation, I have been meeting him halfway just for our son to see him. Those times I declined to meet him halfway, he missed his visitations. He then blamed me and accused me of being a bad mother for not "helping" him see his son. I do not know how much more leeway I can give him.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    Yeah, I'm seeing some not-so-good things here.

    Out of interest, when did he get married, and was your current order made before or after he moved?

    - - - Updated - - -

    And seriously - Dad's voluntarily reduced his parenting time. Does he really believe the court will approve of that?

  10. #10
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    California
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    Default Re: Petition for Full Custody After Increased Child Support Order

    He re-married a month after our divorce got finalized in 2009.
    The current court order for CS was made 2 months ago.
    The court order for custody and visitation was never modified from 2009. He moved in 2010

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