I just want him to take financial responsibility while gradually easing his way back into their lives. I said this because I know there’s a high chance of him ending up back where he in was. At least when he abandoned them as babies they can’t remember. Getting emotionally attached to him now only for him to disappear to prison again will be more traumatic for them. Not to mention, for a 3rd time he’d likely be gone for the rest of their childhood. I’m not trying to kick him “out of their lives forever.” I just need to be sure he’s not the same reckless mentally ill drug addict I had to deal with 6 years ago before I let my kids live with him 50% of the time.
He’s filing for joint physical and legal custody with a long list of stipulations such as them remaining under my health insurance through my job (avoiding medical expenses) and no child support being paid to either party. It literally says this I’m not making this up. Not sure what wack job he has for a lawyer that thinks this will fly. But they’ve bullied me into believing this is true because he’s accused me of denying him visitation which I did for good reason. He’s been harassing me and arguing in front of the kids ever since I filed for child support so I had to tell him not to come around. My mom has reached out to his mom but there’s been no response from him since July and he has not seen or attempted to contact the children since then.
The bottom line here is that he can ASK for anything and everything and if you can prove everything you say about him (with evidence that will satisfy the court) what he gets will be limited and he'll still be ordered to pay child support.
Is there any chance he’ll have to pay my attorney fees for filing this frivolous, retaliatory action? This could have easily been handled outside of court with a little bit of effort to communicate on his end without harassment. When does mediation come into play? Can my lawyer request it?
Also, I disagree that you will need the kind of hard proof that others have said you will need. A 50/50 timeshare is not standard anywhere, therefore its not a default that will happen unless you can prove its not appropriate.
You will however need proof if you want to limit his visitation to supervised.
Even though it should be very obvious to a judge that since this action was filed IMMEDIATELY after I filed for child support with the stipulation of not paying child support or medical care that it’s not really about him genuinely wanting to establish parenting time but more about him dodging financial responsibility. Why should I be out $5000 for this nonsense? He should be interviewed on how much he knows about these kids having spent the last year visiting with them in their home. Or give examples of how he plans on encouraging these kids to continue to thrive.
He is enforcing his rights and prerogatives as the father just as you are doing the same as the mother. That happens in court. If you don't like the cost of an attorney to enforce your rights you don't need to have one. You can do it all on your own.
Oh, and it's not nonsense. Not to him. For whatever reason he's willing to pony up the cash to do it, perhaps you should take him a bit more seriously.
Finally, he's using an classic negotiation technique. Ask for the world so as to establish a basis for negotiation. You have no idea what he's willing to settle for, but I'm sure it's more than you want him to have.
"Where do those stairs go?"
"They go up!"
He has the cheapest lawyer in town everyone I’ve asked says she’s a terrible lawyer and batty as hell. He’s on a cheap payment plan with her so as to “pony up” and pay any cash is nonsense as well. Better to pay $400 a month for a few months to a lawyer than $600 a month for the next 10 years for the children... if he can get out of it or get it reduced.
Why play dumb here? Ok I KNOW who this guy is and what he is about. He threatened me to my face that he was going to do this if I filed for child support and I didn’t take it seriously because I knew his broke self couldn’t afford a real lawyer. You’re acting like I’m making unreasonable assumptions here and it’s not even the case. If it comes down to it I’ll ask him to terminate his rights all together and he doesn’t have to pay me a dime. I’m just not going to allow him to be the Disneyland Dad, have all the fun, and take no financial responsibility.