I tell any Dad he needs to grow up and stop shifting the responsibility for children he sired off onto other people. It isn’t a mother’s place or her children’s place to pacify a Dad’s desire to pay less child support.
Hello…I have been divorced from my ex for about eight years. We have two boy’s ages, 9 and 15. I have sole custody of both my children. He lost custody because of his drug addiction back then. I have remarried since then.
My ex and I lost communication for about 5 years until I found out about his girlfriend’s death due to giving birth to their son. I felt really bad for him; no matter how ugly our divorce was, I thought nobody deserved what he went through losing the mother of his child and left his son motherless.
My husband, children and I went to her funeral to pay our respect. Ever since then, we’ve kept in touch. I found out he sent his son to the Philippines because he couldn’t take care of him alone so he let his family there take care of him.
It seems like he has changed, has a job and is recently in a relationship with a girl who also has two kids of her own. He calls once in awhile to spend time with our kids on weekends and had them spend the whole weekend with them once. Lately, he’s been complaining about his child support payments because he says his income is not enough to support him and they even put a hold on his bank account due to late payments.
Now he’s asking for more time with the children because he wants to get the child support decreased. I’ve talked to my 15-year-old about having them spend time with their dad every other weekend, but my son didn’t like the idea. He likes it the way it is; no set day, just anytime whenever he feels like it. Should I go ahead and let him have that every other weekend plan anyway or should it just stay the way it is because my 15-year-old is happier that way?
How about my 9-year-old? Would it be fair for my 9-year-old to do the plan even if his brother doesn’t want it? I honestly want my kids to spend time with their dad, so every time he calls and asks if they’re available, I always let them spend time together unless we already planned something ahead of time.
Another problem I have is that he doesn’t have a stable place at the moment. He seems to move around a lot and most likely staying with his girlfriend at the moment, so I’m a little concerned if we do go through with the visitation schedule, I don’t know where they’ll be staying.
The thing that jumps out at me in this situation is the reason he wants to spend more time with the children. If he is only interested in more time with them so that his child support payments can be reduced, my answer is NO.
For me to allow my children to spend more time with a father who abandoned them for five years, that father would need a better reason than saving himself some money.
Add to that the fact that he is not responsible enough to provide himself with a place to live and one has to wonder how responsible he will be with the children when they are with him.
Here is the bottom line for me:
1. Wanting to be with the children so he can pay less child support does not show that he has a high level of paternal feelings toward his children. It isn’t more time with them that he wants, it’s less money spent on them. NO!
2. How long after he buried his last girlfriend and sent that child off to be raised by family did he become involved with the new girlfriend? He doesn’t seem to be able to form emotional attachments to people. Not even his own child that he sent away to another country to be raised. Do his choices in that situation reflect positively on him as a father? NO!
3. Your 15-year-old likes the arrangement as is. Should you force him to spend more time with a Dad who wants more time with him so he can get his child support reduced? NO!
4. Would allowing your 9-year-old to spend more time with a Dad who doesn’t even have a place to live be far to your 9-year-old? NO!
5. Your concern for where your children would be staying when with your ex is valid concern. Should you ignore that concern? NO!
I suggest you tell your ex that your children’s well-being is your main concern, not the amount of child support he pays. That as long as they are comfortable spending some time with him you are in favor of that. But, there will be no regular overnight visitation until he can prove to you that he is a responsible father who can provide a safe place for them to stay when with him.
In other words, tell him he needs to grow up and stop shifting the responsibility for children he sired off onto other people. It isn’t your place or your children’s place to pacify his desire to pay less child support.
Mandy Walker says
While the circumstances vary, this is a common situation: one parent motivated to seek more parenting time by finances rather than a genuine desire to be actively involved with the kids. One way to avoid a legal battle over this is to separate the child support from the overnights. The reader here, if she is in a position financially, could offer to adjust the child support while keeping the parenting arrangements exactly as they are. And based on what the reader shares here, I would be reluctant to make parenting time changes until there’s more evidence of stability and commitment.
Question please says
mediation in 5 wks to a cop who works graveyards always has. Only one of my 3 children bio his. He ignored other two once Decemeber came like trash. Dec our.bio son turned 3 he got extended visitation then. We been mediation last March. We both did our best so baby spent time in no day care etc. Baby never spent night without me or him EVEr. i left and he used our home as a tool bc he has temp of home and i the car. He has truck and unit for work but taking car bc he gotit a month prior marriage.
Married 4 years together 6.
His visitation he works nights all night and flipped our sons world by leaving him w grams gramps sister and her bf alll at our home when hes never had but mom dad. iv never left my son overnight ever
The parents did not come to birth of our son. Have been vial to me my kids. THEY HAD me fooled.
Nathan our son has changed he does not want me or to be heresy home he act’s out he hides from my parents. i dontr feel they have his best intrest at heart. visiting grandparents is great Makin bonds etc. However my husband isnever w him and wants 5050 for more time. He has to drive parents bc they dont drive and have no car. Nathan never w daddy so takes ot out on me
my baby needs his dad but dad sleeps n day so gma gpa there n day to. he also works 20plus hrs week nnday as security.
My son is changing not for better. My husband has a wall up once what was of importance he wont talk to me at all…very calculating vindictive.Idk this man. I do know fact that his mom runs things partially as to why i left…
Cathy Meyer says
Legallly visitation and child support are two separate issues. One has nothing to do with the other except when it comes to figuring how much child support can will be paid. This father would need to petition the courts for increased visitation AND also petition for a reduction of child support. Two separate petitions.
The problem with mom offering to adjust the child support can come back to bite her. A verbal or written agreement between the two parties doesn’t trump the court order. to protect herself legally she would need to get a new court order stating the new child support amount. That plays right into his hands. That is giving him what he wants without having to spend more time with his children and is something he can use against her in court at a future date.
Hopefully, whatever she decides to do she will use an attorney and the changes will be stamped by a judge and entered as a new court order.
Jenny D says
I share custody and parenting time with my ex husband and I am all for sharing custody and generally bristle at comments where one parrent assumes that the other parent is only seeking more time only as an attempt to reduce child support. It’s and argument that can easily be turned. You are only denying it to maximize child support is probably what the ex would say. You seem to have posted a perfect example of someone who might be trying to simply reduce his costs, so there’s that.
I would recommend a prove it approach. Prove that you actually want the extra time and it’s better for the kids and once it’s stable, we’ll revisit the money aspects.
That said, usually to get a discount on the child support, there needs to be a pretty significant amout of parenting time. Switching from visiting on occasion to every other weekend is enough to warrent it.
As far as the two kids with differing needs, It’s OK for there to be two different plans for the kids if that’s what the kids are more comfortable with and there’s no other harm (like one is actually being or feels he’s being excluded). As kids get older their needs change. It’s not unusual for a teenager to want more control over their lives or for a younger child to want to spend more time with the other parent. My olderst daughter is a daddies girl, hard core. Once she got to high school, she wanted to spend more time at his place. It’s OK. we have a great relationship. It’s a bit more like what I would expect if she was in college, but were good.
Jenny D says
oops… a little typo that changes my point to the opposite of what I meant.
“Switching from visiting on occasion to every other weekend is NOT enough to warrant it.”
I’m sure it varies from state to state, I’ve heard of 1/3 time being the number in some places, but where I live, you need to have the kids 40% of the time to have it figure into the child support calculations.
If your concern is genuine and you know he doesnt have the means why don’t you do the right/ kind thing and allow him to decrease his payments? Surely thats the very obvious solution?
If they are court ordered, she can’t just allow him to pay less. And how do you know that he doesn’t make enough to pay? I have seen time and time again, men that make plenty of money, and just don’t want to pay. And considering he sent one kid off to be raised by other people, I’m inclined to think this is the case.
While I get feeling bad that he lost the mother of his son, if you hadn’t spoken in 5 years, why go to the funeral. Honestly, if I were a member of her family, I would wonder what in the world you were doing there. I see no reason to get involved in all that.
Secondly, if he isn’t stable, I wouldn’t let the kids visit. Not to mention, I’d worry about the drug issue. In this situation, I think more concern for your children is needed.
Child support has nothing to do with visitation. It’s all under the descretion of the judge. Since women have all the power in family court and men bsically have no constitutional rights (If they cant afford any) The ball is of course in your court.
I think if his only reason of wanting the kids, is specifically for the child support decrease, id say what a douche. A real father would say its cuz he love his kids and wants more time with them..etc.. not only cuz he wants the child support to decrease..like wtf, get outta here..
Going through a similar situation my ex is saying if I don’t stop the CMS trying to get payments he will go for 50/50 just don’t know wat to do..
My ex wants me to make a private child support arrangement as he thinks $160 a week is too much for 2 kids. He can afford it, why do I feel bad?
Nancy Perez Castro says
Hi do you recommend I get a lawyer if my ex got one and filled a motion to modify child support and parenting time we have 2 boys ages 8 and 6 who go Friday to Friday and my daughter who goes Friday to Tuesday based on court order and my 1 year old who practices Sundays and Wednesdays. We have a 5th child whom he hasn’t responded to the court as the legal father I dont know what to do the only reason he wants to modify parenting time is because he doesn’t want to pay support which he only pays 300$ for 4 children Any advice