TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Need some opinions on this please
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need some opinions on this please

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think this is gonna be long, but I'll try to make it short as possible.
Problem with the X (husband that is).
Summarization:
2 kids, girls 15 and 12 (and 1/2). When they were younger I worked crazy hours that kept me on a pager and blackberry 24/7. Their dad was a teacher and thus home when they were. No daycare! So I made the difficult decision to let them live with him seeing them only on weekends and a few other days. I also paid the child support (in a nutshell - I guess I was the dad).
Well.....I now have a different job (as of last September). I"m home when they are home and they lived with me 4 days out of every week all last year and this year they are with me 10 out of every 14 days. They don't want to live with him anymore at all (but that's not why I'm here - I know it's their dad and they must visit). The problem now has become financial. I don't want to be shallow because my kids mean more to me than any amount of money, but I'm still paying their dad child support every week yet they are with me 75% of the time now. It's been very very straining on my finances and a few weeks I've had to downright tell him - I can't pay you.
Thing is the girls are getting smarter as they get older and they've asked their dad - why does mom pay you when we are at her house? What are you using the money for? He gets very angry at them and blames me. When they ask me - I tell them the history but then honestly say that now, I don't know why.
The thing with my X is he is very very money hungry and even though he loves his girls a lot - everything takes a back seat to money. He is here like clockwork every thursday (my payday) for his check. He has told my kids he will take me to court if I don't pay him anymore.
Both daughters want to live with me. Not their dad. He knows this and we've had "family meetings" on how to make things easier at their house. The thing that bothers me the most is he has told them he'll take me to court without realizing that 1) my older daughter will get to chose where to lives if we go to court (state law) 2) My younger daughter will grow to hate him for being forced to live at his house alone 3) his child payments he's getting will get cut by 50% because he'll only have one child.
As I said, the money is not the thing here. I'm worried though that it's going to take precidence over what his kids really really want. They had it out again today. They asked him again today why I was paying him and he again threatened and said he would take me to court and my younger one would be living with him.
There's so much more to this story, but I guess I"ve been torn myself as to what to do 1) keep my mouth shut and continue to pay him whenever I can hoping he doesnt take me to court for the weeks I can't pay 2) take him to court and "roll the dice" - where will the girls live? what will child support be? what will lawyers cost? 3) keep refusing to pay him when they are here and see if he takes me to court.
Bottom line is - he doesn't make a lot of money. I know this and I feel bad for him so I'd love to keep just paying him and helping him out. It really doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that I can't make ends meet sometimes now and he's not giving me a break.
And to be completely honest here - I guess I"m also afraid that all of this might backfire if I go to court and I might wind up having to pay him more. My income has gone up over the years and so has his, but we've never ammended the child support. Another reason why I am so scared. If it backfires (again it's not the money) it's the fact that I have so much trouble making ends meet now it would mean losing my house. That I know. And we are all so happy here.
I guess I'm just looking for opinions, ideas, anything. I keep toying with what to do. Weeks I can pay him I don't even think about it, but weeks I can't a struggle with what to do.
Thanks guys! I just figured I'm always here and you guys would be the best to ask.
post #2 of 13
Have you had the Parenting Plan amended at all since the change in living arrangements? If not, I'd say my first stop would be a consultation w/a good Family Law attorney to see about doing so.

It's obvious that your financial situations and living arrangements have changed since the divorce, and the Parenting Plan and the child support agreement need to reflect those changes -- there is no need for you to be paying him so much that you can't cover your own bills if you are now the primary one providing for your daughters.

Your girls are smart enough already, bless them, to see that all he cares about is the money, but that's truly none of their concern either way. (You may want to talk to them about not discussing this w/their father, since he may not be able to respect that boundary as well as you do.) You two, as the parents, need to modify the original agreements -- and if that means taking his butt to court, AGAIN, do NOT let him scare you into thinking that he will be getting custody of either of them. Just because he did originally doesn't necessarily mean he will again, especially if you've been caring for them AND upholding the now-obsolete child support agreement.
post #3 of 13
If I were you I'd contact a lawyer, and see what your rights are in your state. I'm not saying take him to court, but I am saying you need to do some major homework so this doesn't end up in front of a judge. Here is what I would do: 1. Try to calmly tell him. 2. If that doesn't work, then I'd try to make arrangements with some sort of child agency that deals with child support to see if you can have a meeting with a mediator. 3. If it goes past this you may end up in court.

I know you want what is best for your daughters, and I hope all goes well with this. Good luck sweetie.
post #4 of 13
You don't want your girls to think that you shouldn't stand up for what's right either! He shouldn't get away with blackmailing you like that, especially if you are supporting the children.

There is absolutely no reason why you should have to support him as well!

I don't have kids, and have never been through anything like that, so don't have any legal advice, but I'm glad the girls can see through what's going on!
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisasha3 View Post
Bottom line is - he doesn't make a lot of money. I know this and I feel bad for him so I'd love to keep just paying him and helping him out. It really doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that I can't make ends meet sometimes now and he's not giving me a break.
And to be completely honest here - I guess I"m also afraid that all of this might backfire if I go to court and I might wind up having to pay him more. My income has gone up over the years and so has his, but we've never ammended the child support. Another reason why I am so scared. If it backfires (again it's not the money) it's the fact that I have so much trouble making ends meet now it would mean losing my house. That I know. And we are all so happy here.
Just went and re-read this bit.

Honey, I'm really glad that you are able to have a civilized relationship w/their father (God knows I'm thankful my parents did), but the child support is just that: money to support the children. If the children are with you the majority of the time, then you should NOT have to pay him since he makes less than you do. It is no longer your responsibility to help him in making ends meet, ONLY to see to it that your children have what they need. If paying him is going to jeopardize that, i.e. losing your house, then by all means get the agreement modified!!! I agree that you should start by talking to him, but from the comments he's already made to the kids, it doesn't sound like he'd be real rational, so it may need to go to mediation or ultimately to court.

That you continue to abide by the original agreement and pay him despite the living arrangements will ONLY work in your favor if you wind up in mediation or in court. And if he doesn't make a lot of money, how does he expect to take you to court? Lawyers cost money!! I think he's just angry that his girls have gotten wise to his money-hungry ways and is trying to scare you into keeping the status quo.

If the girls really do prefer to live with you, then first pursue altering the custody arrangement. If the custody arrangements change, then child support should also change to reflect that. JMHO, so do yourself and your girls a favor and at least talk it over with an atty.
post #6 of 13
The very first thing I would do is talk to a lawyer to find out what your options are and what the outcome might be for each scenario. If you have that knowledge then the next "discussion" with your X might be more productive since you will probably realize he is just trying to blackmail you by frightening you about taking the children.
post #7 of 13
I agree with everyone else you need to see a lawyer, or at least see if there is a mediation dept in your state "child support enforcement bureau".

But is is also very important that your girls see that you are willing to stand and fight for your and thier rights. It is not right for him to put them in the position that he is. Children are not a barganing chip!! We had a simialar situation with my DH and his ex. and his girls now realize that thier mother cares more for a paycheck than them
post #8 of 13
I agree with the others above, and you should be aware that if you are "court ordered" to pay him, then pay him you must. You do not have the right to "modify" the agreement your self, and you could end up in hot water for not paying. Get thee to an attorney pronto!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice guys. I did see a lawyer, but it was almost a year ago and the girls hadn't been with me the majority of the time as they are now. It was a 50/50 split for the last year (kinda - 4 days with me, 3 with him) NOT the original arrangement, but the lawyer was still hesitant. I think she basically scared me because she said in a nutshell - it could go my way and it couldn't. Really depends on the judge we end up with and if it doesn't go my way my child support might skyrocket because I'm making more money (and I had no idea what he was making, just that it's gone up as well). She scared me plain and simple so I didn't pursue it.
But - the one thing you guys brought up here that I didn't think of is to modify the parenting agreement first. No finances to change hands at all, just modify the visitation agreement legally, then maybe 6 months from now - go for the finance change. Maybe if I take it in steps it will fly with him. Only because (not to be rude to him), but he's also not very bright and if I just tell him I want to legally change how much the girls are staying with me just to make it official so we don't both get in trouble, maybe he'll go for it. Problem is I"m not sure you can modify one without the other (visitation and support) in Mass. Guess I'll make a trip to the courts and get the papers and just try to talk it over with him first. If that doesn't fly I think I'll wait till like January before I see a lawyer because my last visit to the lawyer she also told me that the judge tends to lean towards the parent the children are spending most of their time there already. Between that and my older one getting to choose - maybe it will go my way.
As for the money for lawyers? NO - he can't afford one at all! which might work in my favor as well. He's makes crap for moneyand he splits his mortgage with his parents and his uncle (it's a duplex). His brother owns the house and they all pay his brother. His mortgage payments are only $300 a month! So guess what - basically I own 2 houses is what I keep telling myself - mine and his! Problem is I'm going to lose mine so he can keep his?? Frustrating.
Anyways - Thanks guys.
and - Just for the record....this sucks!!
post #10 of 13
My brother has gone through 2 very messy divorces in Massachusetts, both with kids involved. In divorce #1, he was the primary caregiver, with his ex-wife paying him child support. Absolutely, positively do not stop paying him the money. You do not want to look bad in the eyes of the court. I agree with your plan to get the parenting agreement changed first, then down the road get the financial agreement changed. Make sure everything you change is done legally. You do not want it to come back and bite you down the road. At this point, wouldn't they ask the 12 year old her preferences also?
post #11 of 13
Not sure what the laws are where you are, but I definitely agree that speaking to a lawyer is the best thing to do. They can give you advice on what steps to take from there. You need to get the visitation agreement amended - otherwise, he could just say the girls can only visit you as spelled out in the agreement if he wanted to get nasty. It sounds like he doesn't have their best interests at heart at all, if all he cares about is the money and is using your younger daughter basically as blackmail. And then there's the matter of why the girls don't want to be with him - it may be nothing but there may be a reason too! I'd be investigating that as well. I know that you care deeply about your daughters and want what's best for them! Losing your house wouldn't be good for any of you! I hope it all works out for you - please keep us posted.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post
At this point, wouldn't they ask the 12 year old her preferences also?
You know what - I'm not sure, but was wondering the same thing. All I know is that I've looked it up and I believe Mass says that a 14 year old can choose. I would think that the judge would ask my 12 year old (especially since she will be 13 next March close to the time I would be pursuing this). Thing is - he'll probably ask her, but I guess still has final say and could tell her no. I think. I"m not sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LokisMum View Post
And then there's the matter of why the girls don't want to be with him - it may be nothing but there may be a reason too! I'd be investigating that as well.
I know that could be some concern to folks, but I know why they don't want to be there. As I said, we've had family meetings on it and we've all discussed it. I've discussed it with the kids and then we discussed it together with their dad. it really involves numerous things (there are too many to list here - so don't get me started on that stuff! ). Their main concern though is that their father doesn't spend anytime with them when they are there and they aren't allowed to really go anywhere cause he's always too busy to bring them. They don't eat dinner together or sit down and talk, play games, etc. When he takes them on an "outing" as he calls it to spend time with them it's almost always to one of his nephews sports games (which frankly the girls don't give a crap about). So then they say they don't want to go and he tells me he tried, they don't want to spend time with him.....arrggghhh - as I said - don't get me started!!!
It just rips me up cause their living room and kitchen are basically one big room and every gosh darn night they all assume the following positions for dinner: their father in a chair in the living room eating on a TV tray, their grandfather at the bar in the living room (it's like a counter between the living room and kitchen with bar stools), their grandmother STANDING at the counter eating and both my girls sitting at the table alone eating. Oh yeah - and the TV is always on during dinner. It gets turned on at 6am by their grandfather and does not get turned off until almost midnight - so they get ZIP for attention all godamn day. But they know all the the freakin shows on TV by heart!
Great! Now I"m all riled up! Gotta go pour myself a glass of wine and relax.
(But, at the same time - thanks guys for letting me vent! It does make me feel better to be able to talk to someone about this...or a lot of someones!
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Found some wine! Good - Had 2 glasses! Even better - Am now out and stores are closed.......
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Need some opinions on this please