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holiday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 10:12 AM
Original message
Mother keeping son from father
My brother trusted his ex girlfriend when the baby was born and no custody was set up. Well now she won't let him have his son. He is only $900 behind in child support and he is struggling to pay. His business is doing bad now. We all have offered to do anything to make money or give money to him so he can pay for a lawyer to get his child support reduced and he refuses because I think to him he sees it as failing, or feeling like a loser.

She just won't anwser her phone for his calls. He calls everyday hoping to see his son.

My opinion is you never keep your children away from their parent. I don't care if they are thousands behind in support. That is a matter for the courts. You don't hurt your child because of money. You don't use them as pawns. Denying your child their father and all his family (aunts, uncles, grandparents) is a thousand times worse than a little support owed. She is living with a man she has only known for a month and he is paying for everything and she gets support from my brother as well.

Because his business is doing bad, and he is broke he doesn't even have the money to get caught up on support and hire a lawyer to get a custody agreement. I just don't even know what we can do. Am I off on thinking what she is doing is horrible?

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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. he doesn't need a lawyer-find a copy of NOLO press book How to modify Child Support
http://nolopress.com/resource.cfm/catID/BC93B1DE-97D2-4... /

http://nolopress.com/resource.cfm/catID/50577D19-965B-4... /

CHILD SUPPORT

Who Must Pay Child Support FAQ

Establishing and Calculating Child Support FAQ

Child Support and Taxes

Enforcement of Child Support Orders FAQ

Modification of Child Support Orders FAQ

Paternity Issues and Child Support

Getting a Divorce

Child Custody and Visitation







Paternity Issues and Child Support

http://nolopress.com/resource.cfm/catID/AC0903D2-C845-4... /
CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. Find out how much a lawyer would cost and pass the hat around family and friends so he
can get a proper custody agreement set up? :hug: for you and bro
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. sadly, the deeper underlying emotional issues will prevent them from taking
a child-centered approach. The unfortunate child can only begin to attain an emotionally healthy life is of his parents get their acts together.

I can't make a judgment for or against anyone in your family based on a few sentiments you expressed. I feel very badly for you because you are essentially helpless and you obviously care for your family.

The ultimate tragedy is that the child is likely to learn the behavior he sees from his parents and continue the cycle.
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fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
4. custody arrangements are pretty straight forward-use money for care of the kid instead of lawyers nt
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. There are always two sides to a story, and sometimes
one is unreasonable, but unless one hear's (the other side), it is hard to tell.

How old is the child? Is the 900 in arears after having kept up for a period of time (and fell behind due to poor business climate?), or is the child relatively young and the $900 represents most of what has ever been owed (that would be a very different story).

Has the mother always rejected the father's participation, or the second he fell behind did she start threatening rejection, or was it only when the father fell so far behind?

What are the circumstances for the mother in terms of affording to care, clothe, feed, tend to medical issues, etc for the child? Sometimes it seems that while the courts (fairly or not fairly depending on the case) side with the mother, public sentiment often flows to the father - in absense of discussing the mother's situation and/or (and worse) the current conditions of meeting basic needs for teh child.

Prior to the mother rejecting the father's attempts to see the child, when the father was falling behind (or not paying at all? very different scenarios), was he trying to defray costs or tend to the needs of the child in other ways? Was he providing, or arranging (through family?) child care to offset costs and allow the mother to work? Was he contributing foods or household items needed for care for the child or trying to rally family to do the same?

My point is that it very well could be that the father is being screwed and the mother is being irrational and harming the child in the meantime, but it is also possible that the circumstances led the mother to be isolated in terms of getting help to care (and pay) for the child and this was the only way to try to change that situation. Without more information, it is hard to "take sides".

In the end, if it were to come to a choice of spending resouces on a lawyer or on the child, I agree with fed-up - tend to the needs of the child. Then in the future, if/when there ever is a custody suit there is a longer track record of trying to put the needs of the child first, and a stronger likelihood that the father's rights would be more greatly respected.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. He could go to the Family Court and represent himself pro bono.
They have the forms ready and the staff will likely help him "fill in the blanks" and advise him to the extent they can. He should ask to modify the arrangement due to his circumstances and ask for visitation or custody if he wishes.
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. don't think he needs a lawyer to ask for custody rights

and shame on him for not sending money for his child.

what? the child should do without food/clothing/housing because his business is doing poorly. he should let you all help with the money.

it's for the child! for pete's sake.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
8. Just the other day a man I know was arrested for non payment of child support
right in front of his kids. He noticed an unmarked car a few doors down from his house when he pulled in his driveway after picking his kids up for a visit. He also saw a cop car drive by his house a few times that night and wondered what kind of criminal activity was going on in his neighborhood. He lived with his mother, who called a few neighbors to ask if they knew why the cops were in the neighborhood.

Next morning, his mom left for work and 5 minutes later, as he was pulling from the driveway to take his kids to school, he was surrounded by 3 cop cars and the unmarked vehicle that had been there all night.

And the cops actually told him he should thank them for waiting until his mother had left so she didn't have to watch him being arrested! He asked if it was okay for his kids to see it.

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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. he should have paid his child support


if you are going to make a child then you have to pay to raise that child for the next 18 yrs.

end of subject.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. He had been laid off; company went bankrupt
and he immediately went to the judge who had ordered the child support to get it reduced. Judge wouldn't help, told him to get an attorney. But of course he had no savings, since he had spent every dime he had on the divorce. He was even living with his mother so he wouldn't have to pay rent. So he gave as much as he could afford to his ex but that wasn't the full amount.

It is really a sad sad story. Yes, men should pay their child support and this guy did until he lost his job.

The part that got me was arresting him in front of his kids. That's just cold.
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. and yet they do nothing to deadbeat mothers
Edited on Tue Dec-25-07 11:14 AM by Ghost in the Machine
I haven't seen a dime of support in almost 12 years... they say they "can't find her", even though she has worked...

To top it off, this year she lied and claimed the kids as dependents on her taxes to get a big chunk of change back, screwing me and the kids in the process... and yet she's still walking around free when she should be in prison for theft by deception and tax fraud.

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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. it's "deadbeat" parents ....
Obviously, irresponsible/ selfish behavior is not gender specific; neither is good or bad parenting. so sorry, that your children do not have the support they deserve from both parents.

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. My cousin's ex quit his job and started his own business
He remarried and bought his wife breast implants for Christmas. And never paid my cousin a dime. She finally decided to look for a better job and it was in another state and the bastard actually went to court to try to keep her from leaving the state with his kids!

Since he was self-employed and grossly under-reported his income, there wasn't much my cousin could do.

This whole child support system is so broken.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. Nothing new. Over 50 years ago my mother had my father arrested "right in front of me" ....
... for non-payment. I can assure you that it's not fun for the "kid."

Maybe that's why I'm such a twisted, "elitist" monster today.

:silly: :evilgrin:
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
10. First and foremost ...
Visitation is NOT contingent upon child support ... unfortunately, sometimes court ordered visitation is the only way to increase the odds that visitation will be allowed in a reasonable manner.

Despite your brothers financial hardships .... HIS child still must be fed, clothed and sheltered ... child support should not be the last financial obligation he meets, it should be his first.

For the sake of the child I hope these two grow up, get over their differences .... quit using the child as a pawn / punishment ... and become mature and loving parents that want to provide the best life possible for the child.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. Thank you. These are two separate issues.
One issue: figuring child support. We were always able to do that through Friends of the Court, and it changed several times depending on earnings.

A completely different issue: custody. I strongly recommend setting something up legally through Friends of the Court there as well, because if the parents are fighting, that's one area where I think dehumanizing the process actually helps everyone involved, so they can aim their anger at the courts rather than at each other, and it doesn't need to be a big drama between the two parties for the next 18 years. And I would be very specific about how it's set up. Not "twice a month on weekends" - but "on the first and third weekend of the month" for example. And if the parties get to the point where they can peacefully trade weekends when both agree, that's great, but otherwise the agreement is what it is.

Parents aren't allowed to withhold visitation in violation of a court order even if child support isn't paid. The courts are very clear on that.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-25-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
14. He needs to find the closest Fathers for Equal Rights chapter.
They know the good lawyers, they can help him deal with the depression issues, and they can help him represent himself, should it come to that.

First of all, he needs to put together a plan for paying back the money he owes while paying his current payments. If he has that and can show that he's trying, it will help in court. He needs to start a log of all of his phone calls and attempts to contact her.

Just because they don't have a written court order, that doesn't mean anything. My parents mutually agreed to modify the court order when I was six, and when my mom sued for full custody when I was in high school (to get me out of an abuse situation), Dad tried to say that the stuff we'd done in the intervening years should go against Mom because of the original court order; the judge threw that right out. If your brother can prove that they had an agreement, it'll help.

No, she shouldn't be keeping the child away from him. The reality is, though, he doesn't know the real reason since she's not talking. The child could have told her something scary, she might be upset about the money, the guy she's living with might be an abuser, all sorts of things could be happening. He needs to at least get a mediator involved, but getting a lawyer would be best. He at least needs a set visitation schedule and a better support payment plan.
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