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Old 07-24-2006, 07:46 PM   #1
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Divorce/custody question...

I don't know if this is the right board for this but....

Has anyone here had experiences with divorce and custody battles?
I am getting towards the end of a divorce, which so far we haven't used lawyers.
I originally filed for full physical custody of the kids. My soon to be ex and I made up our own agreement as far as visitation for our boys (they are 5 and 2 years old). We were supposed to be splittling their time equally and I would pay my ex $200 a month in child support. (I have a pretty high paying job compaired to his, that's why I pay him).
Over the past 6 months he has yet taken them the amount of time we had agreed on. I continue to give him his $200 a month though.
As far as the kids go, I know my house is a stable and solid home for them, they are happy and safe with me. And I just don't know that about my ex's house. I know the stability isn't there and my ex works every weekend, so when they are there now they are being watched by their 13 year old uncle.

Anyway, I'm hiring a lawyer to get my final judgement back to full custody of my boys. Anyone else have experiences like this? Was it sucessful? Any suggestions on what I should do?
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Last edited by Fireball76; 07-24-2006 at 07:48 PM.

 
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: Divorce/custody question...

yep, lots of experience here....I fought for full physical and shared legal custody. My ex wanted the kids but moved from place to place and isn't very stable emotionally, in 10 years hes had 5 different "the ones" gf's.

I digress, In most states custody and child support are two different issues. You can't deny support for visition and vise versa, check with the laws in your state for specifics. I quess I can speak to you about michigan law, that is where I had my battles. The friend of the court seperates child support and visitation. If he doesn't get the kids, you still pay. When you change custody, they will figure out the support for the non custodial parent based on a formula. If you get full physical custody, he will have to pay something, according to his income. You can't waive the child's rights to support from both parents in Michigan. The courts base custody on a 10 or 12 point program, they assess points for providing "essentials" to the children and whoever gets 51% of the credits, gets the kids. If you both have homes, and income, and stabiltiy then it will be hard to prove your the better home, unless he is lacking in one of the areas, they consist of education, emotional, religious, physical care, and housing.

One thing I really have to recommend, try to either keep him in or out. My kids were so messed up by the on again off again attention by their dad, we racked up many hours in counsiling to help them understand its not them with the issues, kids your kids age tend to feel if they did better, he would come around. That its their fault he has bigger issues. Good luck, you have a ruff road ahead....just protect the little ones.
keep in touch.

Last edited by angeleyes0906; 07-24-2006 at 08:19 PM.

 
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:46 PM   #3
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Re: Divorce/custody question...

Thanks for the info. Did you end up getting full physical custody of your children?

I have already talked with FOC about this and she suggested I get a lawyer. She did figure it out and if I had the boys with full custody he would pay me about what I'm paying him now. My ex moved to a different city, but still the came county. So we're in the same area some what.

The thing with my ex is this. When we decided on divorce, he wasn't working at the time, his first instinct was to go to his friend's (In Boston) or his Brother's (Charlevoix, MI which is three hours away from where we live.) to find a job. But once he found out things were going ot work out between him and his girlfriend, he decided to stay in the area and get a job. Now, doesn't that say something about where his head is? It's not with his kids, that's for sure!

That's not the reason I'm doing this though. He's never sure of when he can get the boys, he usually has to work when he has them so they are with an inexperienced 13 year old (Their uncle so I know him and that doesn't reassure me at all). When they're with their dad and he isn't working he lets them watch PG13 movies. The list goes on and on. I know he has emotional problems and can't deal with stress at all, gets frustrated easy and will either bit his lip and stalk around or he'll yell. (Like say when a 2 year old is cranky and not behaving) So I worry about the effect that will have on the boys in the long run.

My main thought is that once this all gets going he'll give up and go along with whatever is brought to the court by the lawyer, he's big on looking like the victim. But I know I can't count on that.

I don't know if you read my other posts about trust, but he cheated on me when I was pregnant 5 years ago. That is the main reason we are divorcing now. Well, he told me I had committed the ultimate betrayal by talking about his cheating with a mutual friend of ours. Um...no...that ultimate betrayal was when I was recovering from delivering our son and he had a girl at our house!

Anyway, that's off the subject...
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Last edited by Fireball76; 07-24-2006 at 09:50 PM.

 
Old 07-24-2006, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re: Divorce/custody question...

yes I did get full custody, and I remarried and later moved to florida. He only saw the kids a couple times a year and I figured he could do that on holidays and vacations. We had a great opportunity here and I didn't have to deal with the in and out all the time he was pulling. He would take the kids, but then call me in the middle of the weekend if he knew we had romantic plans to come get them they were sick, we would drop everything and go get them to find them playing outside and perfectly fine. Like you I was concerned about his stability with the kids, once he got mad at a phone conversation with me while they were with him, he kicked them out of the house and told me to come get them. they were outside in the rain with their suitcases when I got there. I was livid. I don't know how many times I got into screaming matches with his girlfriends for being mean to my kids.

I definatley protect my kids, noone or nothing will hurt them if I can help it, you need to do whats right for your kids, but at the same time he is their father. So its a fine line to walk about keeping them safe and letting him be a father. Just love them and keep communication open.

I do know that you can do a stipulation. An agreement between the two of you at your terms, and the court approves it. Ask the ex if he will sign it, giving you physical custody and share legal, gives him the sense that he still has rights, when you have the kids, it may not be as hard as you think to get him to sign.

Stip that you will let the friend of the court determine visitation guidellines and support, if he agrees to give you the physical. Worked on my ex.

Good luck, let me know how it turns out.

 
Old 07-24-2006, 10:14 PM   #5
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Re: Divorce/custody question...

Yeah, my original divorce papers that I filed asked for full physical for me and shared legal, but instead of the FOC guidlines for visitation I checked the "reasonable" box and we had our own agreement.
Problem is, that has been our "temporary order" since then, so how hard will it be to change that? The lawyer said no big deal, easy to do, but of course she wants me to hire her too...

Thanks!!
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Last edited by Fireball76; 07-24-2006 at 10:15 PM.

 
Old 07-24-2006, 10:17 PM   #6
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Re: Divorce/custody question...

not hard at all, I did most of my own paperwork. My attorney showed up at the final just in case, I knew my ex would try something, we have changed our paperwork twice and both times we did our own, the papers are pretty fill in the blank. Call foc and ask for the packet and check out if your comfortable with doing them yourself, save some money if you can, if he refuses, you havent lost anything, you can still hire the attorney.

 
Old 07-24-2006, 10:25 PM   #7
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Re: Divorce/custody question...

I have the packet and I saw in there the blank Motion pages. But I don't know if I'm comfortable filling that out myself. I'd hate to do it wrong. Plus we have debt issues that I'm not sure what he is liable for or not. So I'll go with the lawyer anyway, just wanted to see if this could be done.

At this point i'll only need the Laywer for the filing of the motion and then the final papers getting written up.

Thanks, you've made me feel so much better!! I know he'll get mad and give me a few angry calls at first, but I have a feeling he won't put up a big fight to keep things how they are. So, hopfully within a few months things will get into a routine and the kids will be better off for it!!
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:52 AM   #8
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Re: Divorce/custody question...

I would not call $200 child support money if you are both sharing custody. I would call it spousal support for your hubby, esp. since he isn't taking the kids half of the time.

 
Old 07-25-2006, 06:26 PM   #9
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Re: Divorce/custody question...

Yeah I know it doesn't go to them, but nothing can be done about that. Like Angeleyes said, they separate support and visitation. They have some phrase for it, but they try to equal out the time spent by the amount you each make and they have some formula that gets it down to a $$ amount. Who knows?!
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