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Child Support/Visitation

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Lifeexploded posted 8/14/2020 22:10 PM

I need to vent. I need support and advice if you have it.

My divorce was signed by a judge on July 22nd.
We had an easy, agreed divorce. He agreed to standard visitation, and standard child support based on what Texas calculates based on his income and the number of kids.

After the divorce was final, like literally 6 days later, he decided he doesn't like paying this amount of child support. It's a high amount; 40% of net because he is paying on FIVE kids. He has mentioned a few times that he is going to "file for 50/50 so that he won't have to pay child support".

Good grief.

There are many reasons why this would be very difficult to make possible. First of all, I don't know who he thinks would be watching the kids while it's his time. 50/50, means 50/50. Not 50/50 with a free babysitter. Right now, I do nearly everything for the kids. School, doctors, clothes shopping, rides to and from school, everything. When he has them on his weekends, he will give the older one rides to work and whatnot. He even took them to get haircuts on his weekend and I INSISTED that I will pay him back when his support payments start coming through. He's already behind $1400 and his first payment was finally taken out of his check this week. He pays child support, so I expect to pay for haircuts. That's fair I think. I also insisted on paying for half of his medical support. The kids are on state health insurance so it doesn't cost me anything.

If I thought he was a great dad, I would say fine, whatever. They are his kids too obviously.

He lives in an rv. 5 kids in an rv is not .... their favorite. They are already complaining about how small it is and he has only been in it for 2 months. Heck, HE complains about how small it is and how he is ready for them to go home at the end of his weekends.

He regularly has me get our 3 year old at night on his weekends because he can't handle her fussiness. I have this documented. The last time he asked me to come get her she told me "Daddy yelled at me and threw my tablet." She just turned 3 last month.

And finally what drives me up a wall is every time he brings up 50/50, it's because he doesn't want to pay child support. He NEVER says "I miss the kids." "I can't stand being away from the kids." "Not being with the kids is killing me." None of that.

And one more point, there is a huge difference between our incomes. He is a salary employee. I am a self employed work at home mom. I make about $20k while he makes $75k. Our incomes after child support are almost even. But I pay for everything for the kids and do almost everything with/for them. Even if we DID have 50/50, he would still pay a good chunk in child support.

For example, this week our oldest son started in a new school. I was the one who went to the school and helped him get his schedule set. When I found out they weren't awarding him enough credits from his last school, I was the one who spent hours emailing, calling, and researching to get him the additional 3 credits awarded to him that the school MISSED. I did that. And took time that I could have been working to do it. I took the day off work on Monday to take him to his orthodontist appointment. (Before you come at me, it's over an hour drive away, and I did still work an evening shift that night.) I could go on and on.

I honestly don't know what he's thinking. He doesn't work in the same town in which we live. He would not be able to get the kids to school on time and make it to work on time. They would have to ride the bus which in itself isn't a huge deal, but our youngest would have to go to daycare when he had her. Hey, genius, do you think that's free? Because if my child support is less or goes away then I have to work more, which is fine but that means I'm no longer available to care for her on his days. Plus, when our youngest starts Pre-K next year, she can't ride the bus. She would be too young. Also too young to stay at home alone with her older brothers. So he would have to pay for the special bus to take her to daycare after school and don't ask me how she would even get there in the mornings.

He seriously doesn't think anything through. He has less money than he used to so, wah wah wah. Our monthly bills are pretty much the same, and incomes after child support is paid/received except I pay a lot more in food, I buy clothes and entertainment for the kids, I take them everywhere and do more with the same amount of *&^%&^*^&*&^ money but he is the victim here for sure. I paid for the summer pool pass FOR ALL OF US this summer, INCLUDING HIS SUMMER PASS.

It's not about the money. I mean, a *little bit* but I am not afraid to work and I would get by even if I wasn't getting any child support. However, I don't think that 50/50 custody is in the best interest of the kids, especially since he only wants them because of the child support issue. I am so frustrated.

Phoenix1 posted 8/14/2020 23:05 PM

He better be careful what he wishes for!

First, he can't turn around and file for modification before the ink is dry on the D. Typically there is a time period involved, often three years, and there MUST be a substantial change in circumstances to justify it. Him simply *wanting* 50/50 is not enough. And judges have seen this dog and pony show before, i.e., parents filing for a change to avoid CS.

Second, his cramped living conditions do not support him getting more time and/or custody. If anything, it supports YOU possibly getting an increase in visitation or possibly full custody. Especially if he is calling you to pick up youngest because he "can't handle her." He's her father! Are you saying after four previous kids he hasn't learned how to parent a toddler yet? Sheesh! Please tell me you are documenting this every time it happens!

Let him whine all he wants. Tune him out unless/until you actually see court documents.

Pay whatever you are obligated to pay in your decree. That's it. He is their parent too. As such, his responsibilities go way beyond a paycheck deduction.

Document, document, document!! This could bite him in the ass if he presses the issue.

Lifeexploded posted 8/14/2020 23:35 PM

Thank you Phoenix; that's exactly what I needed to hear.

FIVE previous children. We have an adult child who he obviously doesn't pay child support for, but who also lives with me. LOL.

One day when we were still together, I was helping our oldest son with his Algebra homework in the evening. Ex thought that was too late in the day and we should have done it earlier. I asked him if he would like to help him with his homework. He said, and I quote, "Fuck You." This is the guy I am dealing with.

Yes, all of my phone calls are recorded. The important ones get emailed to my uncle for safe keeping.

I will ignore him, but I needed to bounce this off other people. I am frustrated and pissed and I don't want to blow up at him or say anything stupid so I decided to let it out here.

For him to try to file something anyway, he would have to A)try to do it himself and he is not smart enough for that or B)hire a lawyer, and I have more money than he does so I'm not worried about that either. Plus, I imagine a lawyer would lay out the reality for him and he would likely back down.

Sometimes I think he just likes to say it to feel some sort of control over me. He's the type to make snide remarks when I spend time with friends, or ask me why I'm not working if I'm out for a drink with a friend (always on his weekends; I never do these types of things when I have the kids).

The1stWife posted 8/15/2020 03:34 AM

Ignore his crazy thinking. He can say whatever he wants.

Heís D ó- so he pays. Period. He cannot change anything without an attorney so itís just idle talk.

I guess reality and consequences are foreign concepts to him.

Phoenix1 posted 8/15/2020 13:17 PM

Sometimes I think he just likes to say it to feel some sort of control over me.

And this is where NC (as much as possible with kids) is your new best friend. No idle chit chat, nothing but bare answers with no emotion. Total gray rock (you can Google it). Don't give him any insight into your emotions. He may try to get to you, thinking he has control, but you can deny him the intended result through your behavior and words. When I say bare answers, I mean just that - yes, no, what time, etc.

Dish him up a big ol' bucket of steaming crickets. Not only will it starve him of ego kibbles, but it will also allow you to emotionally detach. Once that happens, you truly won't care what verbal diarrhea he spews. When you reach that point, just be careful your eyes don't get stuck up in your brain from rolling them so often at his pathetic antics.

Hang in there, Lifeexploded. It gets better in time.

homewrecked2011 posted 8/15/2020 15:11 PM

As a person threatened by xh to go back to court numerous times-hereís what my atty told me. Donít even let it enter your thoughts until you are served papers. AND anyone can take anyone to court for any reason, that doesnít mean they are going to win.

Your xh is now having to face consequences and doesnít like being a big boy with consequences.

Do NOT start paying him for the haircuts, etc. Heís testing you. If he went to court and asked you to pay for kids haircuts, his atty would walk out on him.
My friend in TX did start reimbursing her xh. It got way out of hand fast. Every time he had her son, he bought video games, clothes, shoes and demanded she give him the child support.
Her xh DID take her back to court for more custody. The judge said-they are not to fight over the child (where child can hear)r she would find parents who didnít fight. The judge then set up a place to do drop/off exchanges with a neutral party present(parents were not there at the same time). Her xh lost his summer visitation that year bc he didnít give her notice of what month he wanted child. Do a search on TX I think it has to b a year for more custody, 3 years to change child support. You might call an atty and set up a hour consult to see what you should be doing to lessen the chances he would win in court. ...also, if he comes over unannounced or causes trouble, call the police and get a police report. It helped my case.

I live in SC, xh also moved into a camper. My atty said no judge in this county would give him more/full custody when they have a home already.,

I also agree to grey rock him. Do not let him know you have any fun.
I would also say if you have a domestic violence center in your city -see if they have counseling. Mine was $1.00 a week. They will really help you with the games xh is playing and how to deal with the craziness the kids are going to be subjected do. Emotional abuse is domestic violence-itís the beginning of the cycle.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 3:21 PM, August 15th (Saturday)]

Lifeexploded posted 8/15/2020 23:14 PM

Thank you everyone.

I am working on grey rocking. It's hard. I am used to so many years of making small talk and just trying in general to keep him happy. It's a hard habit to break.

Especially since I fear retribution (being brought back to court if he gets mad).

I am learning every day though. Today I asked him if he wanted some of the kids for extra time because I needed to take one kid school clothes shopping. He just decided he would be the one to take the kid clothes shopping and told the kid without even asking me. I let it slide but did tell him I wouldn't be paying for the clothes. Now I have learned in the future to not tell him what I am doing with the kids on my time if he doesn't need to know and not offer him extra time with them if he isn't going to respect my time. Next weekend he is only taking them for half of the weekend because he signed up to take a gun safety/first aid class that will take much of the day Saturday.

suckstobeme posted 8/16/2020 02:51 AM

Agree with what everyone else has said. Donít allow him to intimidate you into thinking that all he has to do is file papers and his wish will be granted. The law likes finality. There is a reason why you get time and opportunity to make arguments and proposals before a final order is entered. Once that happens, modification is not so simple.

That said, Iím curious as to why you insist on reimbursing him for basic items for the kids. If he chooses to take them for haircuts on his time, he should expect to pay for it. This is a slippery slope so I definitely agree with the poster who said to pay for what is ordered and to not constantly negotiate reimbursement with him. He chose to have a family. If he wanted out, great, but they are still his responsibility. He doesnít get to push all responsibility onto you.

And five kids in an RV? I would love to see a judge order that. Unless they had no place else to live because you were burning them with cigarettes and feeding them dog food, there is no way a Judge would find That to be an appropriate accommodation for that many people for 50 percent of the time. Waywards and their dumbass ideas never stop.

Lifeexploded posted 8/19/2020 20:53 PM

Suckstobeme: He really does pay a great deal in child support. 5 kids, it's 40% of his net pay. I'm being nice and I'll drop it off slowly after he has a chance to chill out and calm down.

I could have taken the kids the following Monday but he insisted. I went along with it because why not? Now I see why not. He wanted to make me look bad. I'll be damned if I ask him for help again. My broken down car will be fixed by my bff's husband. (Side note, once ex finds that out I'm sure he'll spread around that we're having an affair.) One of my sons needs a new charger for his phone. Rather than ask the ex to pick one up the next time he's by the AT&T store, I will take care of it myself. I am planning to purchase a car from a friend, and rather than ask him to look it over, I took it to a mechanic. I didn't think it would be an issue to ask him for help with his OWN CHILDREN. But apparently I was wrong.

Here's the kicker, I found out from his sister that his stepmom is under the impression that he "has to help me with stuff ALL the time." WHAT THE ACTUAL F?

Today he told me that if he does one good thing with his life it'll be going to Congress and getting changes made to the child support system because it always screws the Dads. Um what? That would be your ONE good contribution to the world? Not, say, raise great kids? ... lol

Phoenix1 posted 8/19/2020 21:56 PM

Today he told me that if he does one good thing with his life it'll be going to Congress and getting changes made to the child support system because it always screws the Dads.

Sorry, that made me laugh. Does genius not know CS is controlled by each state, not the feds??

He really does pay a great deal in child support. 5 kids, it's 40% of his net pay.

So? Should he get sympathy? Or an award? He chose to participate in bringing his children into this world. He also chose to drop a bomb on his family and break it up. It's called consequences. He has a legal and moral obligation to financially support his children in accordance with the guideline formula for your state. If he was so concerned with the financial cost, maybe he shouldn't have cheated. Risk v rewards. He had a lot to lose, but chose to step out anyway. Sucks to be him.🤷‍♀️

You now know you can't count on him for anything. Pretend he's dead when it comes to needing anything from him that he is not legally required to do and do what you would do under those circumstances.

wildbananas posted 8/20/2020 00:13 AM

Do we have the same XH? I think we might.

I have four kids, S/D for 13 years. During the D, my lawyer ran all our numbers through the state calculator and it said he should pay almost $1,500/month (he'd been paying $500/month at that time). I knew he was going to flip at that, so I (stupidly) told my lawyer to tell him I was willing to negotiate on that amount.

Yep, he flipped out... and promptly quit his job. He then proceeded to call me and yell at me for asking for so much. When I pointed out the letter said I'd negotiate, he basically told me I should have given him a heads up about it. Oh, okay.

Anyway, not long after that, he stopped paying CS altogether. He also never paid a dime of his half of medical, dental or activity costs. People always say "Oh, just take him to court" but it's not that easy with this yo-yo. He's moved over 20 times in just the last 5 years or so, and has had just as many jobs. I wish I was kidding. I don't even know where he is most of the time.

Anyway, the 50/50 so he doesn't have to pay CS thing is what spurred me to respond. Mine had that great plan, too... but his idea of 50/50 was we'd each take the kids for 6 consecutive months at a time. And the best part is we lived over 3 hours apart, so the kids would be in two different school systems every single year. He insisted his IC said it was a great idea! I basically told him to get bent. NFW would I allow that. He must have known on some level it was a crackpot idea because he ended up not pursuing it.

Outside of documenting everything and making sure you have support deducted from his check, I don't have great advice... but I have lots of understanding and all kinds of stupid XH stories!

[This message edited by wildbananas at 12:16 AM, August 20th (Thursday)]

thatbpguy posted 8/20/2020 10:13 AM

Once a court decision is made, it's hard to go back and change it. He has to show cause- and stating he doesn't like having to pay isn't cause. He has an uphill battle. Let him try and climb it.

taken4granted posted 8/20/2020 11:47 AM

He is full of crap. My ex tried a lot of the same things. I set a limit of everything needed to be in writing so email or text only. There no longer are any phone calls. And keep it only to logistics. He doesn't need to know what you do with your off weekends.

I have it in writing from my ex that I could keep the house and the kids would have a nice place to live while he goes and lives under a bridge. Of course, he didn't do that and asked the court for 50/50 shared parenting. He believed too, that it would get him out of CS. It didn't.

Don't lose a moments peace over him. He doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Lifeexploded posted 8/20/2020 21:30 PM

Thank you all. It is still worrying me. He brought it up AGAIN today. We were trying to make sure that he didn't owe me an amount of child support different from what the oag is saying. Because of the way they do it it seems like it should be a month's less, but basically the charge the amount on the day of the month it's due, and then he's paid weekly, so it gets paid down weekly until the next month and it starts over. However, because some months have 4 weeks and some have 5 (or pay days anyway) it's look like he's in arrears most of the time. The oag told me that that is totally normal. He didn't like that. He keeps saying he "can't do this". Literally, the amount that he has left over after child support is HIGHER than an amount we used to live off supporting 6 people (when we only had 4 kids). He should be able to make it JUST FINE. It's not my fault he doesn't know how to manage money or bargain shop.

Phoenix1 posted 8/20/2020 21:51 PM

Do yourself a huge favor and stop talking to him about this! If he doesn't like it, the remedy is a court ordered modification. He has a snowball's chance in Hell of getting it, but that's his problem.

Let it go. He can whine and threaten until the cows come home. Don't give him an audience.

Seriously. Back off the communication and only discuss logistics. Shut it down. Do it in writing so you have a paper trail.

Boundaries. Put them in place and enforce them.

fareast posted 8/20/2020 22:11 PM

This^^^^^^^^^^^^ is good advice. Go gray rock. The courts have spoken. Stop engaging. Good luck.

Buster123 posted 8/20/2020 23:40 PM

Sounds like you're spending too much time trying to appease him and talking to him, are you dating yet ? if not what happens when you do start dating someone else ? detach NOW and only talk about the children (preferrably by email or text) and only when absolutely necessary, everything else, just ignore.

Catwoman posted 8/21/2020 07:00 AM

First of all, as others have noted, unless there is a drastic shift in circumstances, he cannot, BY LAW, petition for additional custody unless a sufficient period of time has elapsed (this is determined state-by-state).

Secondly, it is not your responsibility to inform him of this.

Third, please stop engaging with him. Don't feel it's your responsibility to "nice" him into fulfilling his responsibilities. It's not. This doesn't mean you are "mean" to him; it means you don't engage. Keep conversations to text and email ONLY and ONLY speak of matters relating to finances and the children.

Fourth, your life is now your own. You do not owe him any information on what you are doing with your time. Period.

Fifth, document EVERYTHING with regards to him backing out of responsibilities. Every. Single. Thing. This way, if he does petition for more custody, you have a record of him not fulfilling current obligations. This is why it is important to keep communication to things like text and email--it gives you a trail to back up your position.

He doesn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, as my late father would say. Ignore his chatter in this regard, as he would have to put forward some considerable effort to even file for a modification, and it doesn't sound like he would put forth that effort. Stop allowing his threats to control you, as this is giving him what he wants.

Boundaries, Life. Boundaries.


Lifeexploded posted 8/21/2020 09:02 AM

Thank you all so much. I need the 2x4's. I know it. It's a hard habit to break. I have been conditioned to nice this guy into some palatable to live with for years. I'm trying.

No, I am not dating. I have ZERO desire to date whatsoever. I go out with my girlfriends but that's it. After the crap I dealt with with my ex I just don't think I could trust a man again any time soon.

I am getting my first tattoo next month. A kite to represent freedom. Anyone who has seen Wentworth will understand.

I have been keeping detailed records of every time he doesn't fulfill his visitation times, and also every little thing that I do for the kids during the hours he is at work. So at some point if he does take me back to court I'll have that as evidence that the kids are used to me doing all of this and I'm hoping that when he realizes that he will be expected to do half of it he will back down.

He HATES text and email. He can't type quickly and can't spell very well. He prefers phone calls. So I have apps on my phone to record phone calls. I try to avoid them, I rarely answer calls the first time he calls; I wait a few hours and then text him saying I was busy and what did he need. He calls though. I need to learn how to get off the phone more quickly.

taken4granted posted 8/21/2020 09:22 AM

I don't care if he doesn't like to email or text. Put your foot down on that one. It's a control thing for him if you let him continue. It will be much easier for you if you set this boundary. And as a bonus, if hates it, he probably won't ramble on about more than logistical things.

I understand that you're just trying to keep the peace, but that isn't your job. He's a big boy and needs to grow up and learn some adulting skills. That includes parenting.

What happens if you decide to take one of your weekends and go visit a friend or have a girls weekend and he calls and says he needs you to take the kids because he can't handle it?

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