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  1. #1
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    Oct 2019
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    Default Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

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

    I have two children ages 7 and 8. I split up with their father right before the youngest turned 1 and the oldest was 2. Their father developed an alcohol and drug problem. I had to leave

    After the breakup, I did continue to allow him to see his kids for some months after. Though he wouldn't pay me any child support always had some excuse and then a relative of mine told me they saw him with our kids at a well-known heroin addict/dealer's house. We fought some more and I eventually cut all contact off with him and denied him to see the children. Good thing I did because of months later on the front page of the paper I see he is sentenced to 10 years in prison for burglary, theft of a firearm, evading police officers and some other things I don't remember. It wasn't categorized as a drug crime, but the actions were a result of him being so strung out. He later told me in a letter that he had stolen the firearm to kill himself that night.

    Fast forward to today, he was released from prison about a year and a half ago serving about 4 out of the 10 years. He's been doing all the rehab programs, meetings, counseling and all that. I want to trust that this is for real this time, but I can't help but feel worried because this is a repeated cycle with him. He does have a good job though and a reliable vehicle now so I had proposed we start with supervised visitations just to introduce him slowly back into the kid's lives since they don't really know him and when he comes around all he does is make them watch him watch youtube videos on his phone, rough house until one of them gets hurt, or plays video games with them. He's not invested in their education and when I showed him a bad report card from our youngest. He said, right in front of our child, "Oh who cares it's just 1st grade." I was furious and I do NOT want him influencing our children that education is not important. So after that, I did sort of start brushing him off and purposely missing our scheduled visits. The boys never ask for him they are closer to their grandfather who has really stepped up and played the father role in their lives taking camping, fishing, taught them to ride their bikes takes them to work with him sometimes and really has instilled the value of hard work in them.

    Also, yet again I have not received a dime of financial support from their father either. He's always got some excuse even though on social media he's showing off each new pair of shoes, and tech gadgets, and expensive dinners he's eating with this new GF. So I said enough is enough and filed for child support. His attitude TOTALLY changed and every visit he showed up to he spent arguing with me IN FRONT of our kids to the point where I had to text him and say look either start helping out, stop harassing me, or don't show up here again and he has taken that text message as proof of me denying visitation rights to his kids and is now trying to turning around on me filing for joint custody JUST so that he doesn't have to pay full child support. Everything in this petition is incorrect from our home address, to the hospital the kids were born in, to their ages which is COMPLETELY unacceptable because he was JUST at our youngest child's birthday party a few months ago. So that should show he's not thinking about our kids he's thinking about how he can best keep his money in his own pockets.

    Somebody PLEASE tell me I'm not in danger of him actually winning joint custody of our children. I've never done drugs, I rarely drink, I have a great job at an amazing company. There's nothing in my history outside of denying him visitation (for good reason I think) that he can use against me in court. BTW I do have a meeting with an actual lawyer but it is not until 2 weeks and I'm so stressed and anxious for at least SOME sort of advice hoping it will calm my nerves until then.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,612

    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    Joint custody does not always eliminate the obligation to pay child support.

    You would be wise to consult a lawyer.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2019
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    15

    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    This petition specifically states neither parent shall pay child support to one another. I'm not sure if these things are crafted up by the lawyers and will be taken seriously in court by a judge or not.

    Like the post says, I do actually have a meeting with a lawyer in 2 weeks. I'm just looking for some general opinions on the situation so I can be prepared.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    15,983

    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    Quote Quoting BossMommy88
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    This petition specifically states neither parent shall pay child support to one another. I'm not sure if these things are crafted up by the lawyers and will be taken seriously in court by a judge or not.

    Like the post says, I do actually have a meeting with a lawyer in 2 weeks. I'm just looking for some general opinions on the situation so I can be prepared.
    Joint legal custody (joint decision making) is very much the norm and may very well be granted. Joint physical custody is also very normal, however that is not really what he is asking for. A 50/50 timeshare is apparently what he is asking for. He is also assuming that a 50/50 timeshare means no child support. That is not necessarily the case. A 50/50 times is NOT the norm and its very unlikely that he will get that with your set of facts.

    However, what WILL happen is that he will end up with a parenting schedule that will be court ordered and that you will be required to honor.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2019
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    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    Thank you! I’m definitely not against a court ordered visiting arrangement but 50/50 time share is outrageous for a parent who has never really been in their life. I just want the child support I deserve for raising two brilliant children on my own.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    Quote Quoting BossMommy88
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    Thank you! I’m definitely not against a court ordered visiting arrangement but 50/50 time share is outrageous for a parent who has never really been in their life. I just want the child support I deserve for raising two brilliant children on my own.
    Child support isn't for you. It's for the care and support of the children.

    You don't deserve child support, the children deserve it.

    You, as the mom, will have little control, if any, over how he chooses to be a parent. So, you can either come up with a way to cope with the upcoming situation or you can do what my mom did: spend 15 years in and out of court with dad, unintentionally poison the relationships between children and parents and generally make a huge irreparable mess of things. You choose, because he's there to stay.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,983

    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    Child support isn't for you. It's for the care and support of the children.

    You don't deserve child support, the children deserve it.

    You, as the mom, will have little control, if any, over how he chooses to be a parent. So, you can either come up with a way to cope with the upcoming situation or you can do what my mom did: spend 15 years in and out of court with dad, unintentionally poison the relationships between children and parents and generally make a huge irreparable mess of things. You choose, because he's there to stay.
    That's a little harsh under the circumstances. Dad has substance abuse issues and spent some years in prison as a result. She is right to proceed cautiously. Could she have worded things a little better? Sure, but she is still right to proceed cautiously.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    That's a little harsh under the circumstances. Dad has substance abuse issues and spent some years in prison as a result. She is right to proceed cautiously. Could she have worded things a little better? Sure, but she is still right to proceed cautiously.
    I can only respond to what I read. While dad may be a piece of work that doesn't make her a saint. Just because someone goes to prison or has other issues doesn't mean they are a bad parent, it means that they are flawed. I have a few flaws of my own (which my wife feels free to point out) but have children. In other posts that follow these lines, whether it's the mother or the father, one parent is trying to rationalize their exerting control over the way the other parent does things. As long as kids aren't being hurt - and I'm not referring to dad and son roughhousing hurt - then there really isn't much to say. Is he perfect? Probably not, but I would place money on the table and say that mom isn't either.

    Another thing that gets my back up is the word "deserve". It gets used in curious ways. I stand by my statement that the children deserve the support and that a parent receives it and spends it on their behalf. It's not for the parent. Moreover, children deserve to have good parents who don't pile their accumulated traumas on them (which is not to say that's what is happening here), use them as a cat's paw or as a means of fulfilling their own life's wishes or obviating their failures. But we rarely get what we deserve.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    15

    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    Some of the responses to mothers on this forum are outrageous and downright delusional. So I should force my children into a relationship with a meth addict who has a high probability of relapsing again because this isn’t the first time. Not every woman knows what they’re getting into with these deadbeat men it’s not like they meet you and say “Hi I have a hidden drug and mental health problems. Let’s make babies.” Some men are VERY manipulative and VERY good and pretending to be someone they aren’t for YEARS. My children are happy, healthy they have an amazing father figure in their lives. What’s the point of forcing this stranger on them? Gradually introducing him back into their lives through supervised visitation is the clear best option here. As far as “deserving” child support I stand by that 100%. I make over 70k per year and still live poor so that these kids can have the world. It’s time me and my children get to live comfortably as we deserve.

    Can’t really poison a relationship that doesn’t yet exist... And the biggest problem is who knows if he is here to stay he’s been in and out of prison all his life high chance in a few years he’ll be back.

    And I really don’t like the attitude of “Well, you chose him.” Well, I didn’t know all this about him at that time. If I have the opportunity NOW to keep my children safe from a reckless suicidal meth head then I’m going to do everything in my power to protect them from that. Doesn’t matter if he’s their “father” or not. If he swears he’s “reformed” then he needs to prove it.

    That’s how these kids on the news end up dead. No one will step up and cut a parent out whenever they’ve shown they’re not mentally stable.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Father Requesting Joint Custody to Avoid Paying Child Support

    Quote Quoting BossMommy88
    View Post
    Some of the responses to mothers on this forum are outrageous and downright delusional. So I should force my children into a relationship with a meth addict who has a high probability of relapsing again because this isn’t the first time. Not every woman knows what they’re getting into with these deadbeat men it’s not like they meet you and say “Hi I have a hidden drug and mental health problems. Let’s make babies.” Some men are VERY manipulative and VERY good and pretending to be someone they aren’t for YEARS. My children are happy, healthy they have an amazing father figure in their lives. What’s the point of forcing this stranger on them? Gradually introducing him back into their lives through supervised visitation is the clear best option here. As far as “deserving” child support I stand by that 100%. I make over 70k per year and still live poor so that these kids can have the world. It’s time me and my children get to live comfortably as we deserve.

    Can’t really poison a relationship that doesn’t yet exist... And the biggest problem is who knows if he is here to stay he’s been in and out of prison all his life high chance in a few years he’ll be back.

    And I really don’t like the attitude of “Well, you chose him.” Well, I didn’t know all this about him at that time. If I have the opportunity NOW to keep my children safe from a reckless suicidal meth head then I’m going to do everything in my power to protect them from that. Doesn’t matter if he’s their “father” or not. If he swears he’s “reformed” then he needs to prove it.

    That’s how these kids on the news end up dead. No one will step up and cut a parent out whenever they’ve shown they’re not mentally stable.
    Let's make this easy:

    1) You chose to have kids with him. You did that. You. Not me, not anyone here or anywhere else. You. You have have found an "amazing father figure" later but that's moot.

    2) As the father he has rights AND obligations. They are not connected, however. Parenthood is not pay to play.

    3) If the father has been in and out of prison all his life then you should've had all of the warning you needed. See point 1.

    4) He's not a stranger, he's the father. He has the right to be the father and you don't really have a say in that. See point 1. Again.

    5) Child support may indeed improve your standard of living by way of improving the children's but it's not for you. It's for them.

    6) Supervised visitation may be the beginning but it's not the end if he keeps it together and you need to make peace with that. If you try to create distance between the children and their father you are the one that may well pay the price.

    7) Cut the dramatics and histrionics in your last sentence. This is just nonsense.

    8) You may not like the attitude of "you chose him." but, well, you did (point 1...again and again and again). You are stuck with him and you need to come up with a way to make peace with it. You will be compelled to comply with a parenting plan/custody plan and child support order. It will eventually become more time than you like if he stays clean and continues on the straight and narrow.

    The single mom sacred cow doesn't impress me. Mom's are just as capable of damaging their children, if not more so and in more insidious ways. So, you don't like what I have to say, well, no one ever said life is fair.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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