We pride ourselves on having the friendliest
and most welcoming forums for moms and moms to be! Please take a moment
for free so you can be a part of our growing community of mothers.
If you have any problems registering please drop an email to email@example.com.
Our community is moderated by our moderation team so you won't see spam or offensive messages posted on our forums. Each of our message boards is hosted by JustMommies hosts, whose names are listed at the top each board. We hope you find our message boards friendly, helpful, and fun to be on!
Ok quick overview, DH has two children. A 3 year old from one past relationship, and a 15 month old from his previous relationship with another woman.
There is child support ordered for the 3 year old. We pay monthly, have never been a day late etc. Even though DH is unemployed, I pay out of my check. However, there was never a custody agreement. They agreed to the child support amount and a visitation schedule was never set up. I find this absurd. His mom pretty much sticks to every other weekend and every Monday, but only if we keep her 100% happy. And DH is home raising my two kids day in and day out and his 3 year old is sent to daycare right down the road. He has offered to watch him during the day to save her the daycare expense, and to see his son more, but she refuses. We want to file for 50/50 shared custody, he only lives 5 minutes away. We want to see him more. She is very stingy with her time.
Now for the 15 mos old, there has never been an agreed child support or visitation schedule. She begged him not to go to court because she didn't want a structured visitation schedule. Honestly we SHOULD HAVE gone and filed way before now, but life got in the way and we've been extremely busy..adoption proceedings for my kids (he adopted my two), I'm pregnant, working full time, and am now on bed rest for this pregnancy. We have time now to go file. DH's ex lives 2 hours away (she moved when they split). We want to do 50/50 with him as well, two weeks here a month. And if we cannot get 50/50, at least set a structured visitation and child support amount, so that its recorded what we pay her etc (its not now..its just he said/she said). We do help support him, but its always cash or a check with my name on it because I'm the only one working.
So my questions are...
What are the chances of 50/50 custody for both? The one that is close vs the one further away? We live in Florida..which is supposed to be 50/50 now in "normal" cases.
Where would we go to get the forms to file? The courthouse? Do we need to know the names of the forms? We cannot afford a lawyer so will be filing ourselves and he'll be representing himself. Can we file in the county we live in even with the one that lives 2 hours away in another county? Or do we have to file in the county he lives in?
Any other advice for us before we embark on this journey? I'm dreading it (my ex had a long drawn out custody battle in which he lost), but I feel as if we aren't asking for too much. DH is a wonderful SAHD that has always been as involved in his son's lives as he can, and he just wants to be able to see them more, and at least have a scheduled visitation schedule so that he can stop being jerked around and have to please both of these women in order to get the privilege of seeing his children. Thanks girls!
Sorry that I can't help you with the legal questions. Not only am I not familiar with 50/50, I live in another state.
I do want to offer my support though. I agree that you need to get both situations document legally. I think you should be able to go to Legal Aide & get help with the paper work especially since your Dh is unemployed.
I think it's ridiculous that your Dh's ex would rather send their child to daycare than let him take care of the child. That's insane. But I don't know what can be done legally. If he takes the child that much, it probably would be considered 50/50 & then she won't get child support. May be why she's not agreeing. Seems silly though.
At any rate, he should go to court & try to get a temporary change of cs on in both cases until he gets a job.
I suggest since he's not working and you are currently on bedrest that you see if your state offers assistance in this type of thing through DHR. A lot of states already have or are setting up programs to enforce fathers rights. I don't know anything about 50/50.
I also don't have a 50/50 situation in either my DH's case or my case w/ my ex, giving advice based on that arragement isn't something I could truly be confident in giving advice.
I will agree that it makes no sense to send a child to daycare if he is home & wants to have him. But... like Kris mentioned, she may not want this arrangement b/c she doesn't want to to NOT get CS "or" have to pay CS, again, silly, makes no sense but I have seen this w/ my own eyes w/ my DH & his DS before we were married. He had his son every single day, except on Sundays, and he was paying CS to her, meanwhile, he was feeding the child more, having the child more, bathing him, everything, paying bills for him (medically 100%, and not the 50% that was ordered). I was so irritated w/ that but ultimately, his legal docket # (the original one) said that the child would spend time w/ each parent, & go back & forth as much as it remained "comfortable"... seriously, that is how it was worded. I was floored & thought "what? is this even legal?" but it was...my DH was paying CS, had the child more, had joint "legal" (which is the norm) but when it came to living arrangements or who had physical custody, it was her, the bio-mom/ex-wife, and my DH was taking the child more but the $$$ piece of it wasn't changed. Long story short, he met me, married me etc. we had kids, she (not my DH) took him to court for more $ a month before our first son was born (that we had together, how convenient), she got more money, but the custody/visitation was more black & white, every other weekend & so on.... the ironic part to this is that my DH now NEVER sees his DS, and that's b/c my DSS' bio-mom is a nut job. I'll leave it at that. She is NOT doing what is best for the child, she is keeping him away from his father, brothers & family. So now, she gets more money, she doesn't allow us to see the child and everything pretty much went the way my DH didn't want it to go. And he had a good lawyer.
What my DH "SHOULD BE DOING" is taking his ex-wife BACK to court (which would cost no $ to do this) & have her in contempt for NOT allowing us to see the child, not only during the week as ordered but every other weekend overnight at our home. She would easily be found in contempt, easily... but, DH, doesn't do it, he said "if I do that, she'll get more again, she'll turn ______ away from me, tell him stories that aren't true & I'll never see him again, I already don't see him now". You know what? He's right, because look at what happened the last time, he did it all, and then some & ended up paying more & seeing him less, even though on paper he is to see the child more.
What I am saying is that the court doesn't always "make sense" or do what is right, it does the legal black/white stuff, but sometimes, like Kris said if you get a GOOD lawyer, things can be different, but that is something you are going to have to pay & prepare for.
Sorry I wasn't more help to you, just giving some examples of what I've seen w/ my DH & his son, very sad. If he's not working right now, he needs to get a "modification" based on "financial hardships" and if you have no job, they courts will help, they wont automatically deduct an income from a paycheck that he's not getting. They may reduce it to something like $20 a month or give him a certain time frame for getting a job, or....they may say that he can watch the child & not have to pay support to her (the ex) but...he will still be responsible for 50% medical, that's something I know that he wouldn't be able to get around unless she said "I don't need or want the medical from him, he doesn't have to pay me" & then signs on the dotted line for that statement. You get the idea.
At any rate, he should go to court & try to get a temporary change of cs on in both cases until