When my son was first born in January 2004 the father and I
agreed he would pay $800 a month for child support. In May
2004 he decided he didn't want to pay that amount and TOOK
me to court. The final determination was he was to pay
727.14, he got every other weekend for visitation and we
At the time we went to court my mother was watching our son
fulltime. In September 2005 my mother started a part time
job, she works 2 days a week. So I enrolled our son in
daycare for 2 days only and he stays with my mother for 3
days. I took my son's father to court to get the daycare
amount included. In March 2006 the court ordered him to
pay $1195 a month in child support.
Now my son's father is taking me back to court requesting
joint physical custody. He claims that he can watch our
son while he works or he can work 4 days on 3 days off. I
totally disagree with him watching our son while he works.
That is not possible. I feel our son will be sat in front
of the TV or given toys while he pounds away on the
keyboard (he's an engineer). In addition watching a 2 year
old is a fulltime job itself. My mother is a retired school
teacher. She has a set schedule for our son in which she
teaches him letters, numbers, takes him to the library,
checks out books, takes him to the park & zoo etc. She is
committed to being with our son all day and giving him her
We have discussed him wathcing our son Mon. Tue & Wed the
days (he says he has off) but wants to get him every other
weekend in addition. I have stated if you have Mon, Tue,
Wed off that means you work Thur, Fri, Sat & Sun. You can't
watch our son. My son's father is married and it is my
suspicion that his wife (she does not work) will be
watching our son instead of him. Then he changes his mind
and says he can watch him while he works (total mind games).
A year ago when we were in court I proposed midweek
visits. My son's father told the judge he could not do
midweek visits because his job was too demanding. He is on
call a lot, travels and sometimes has to work evenings.
For the past year he has not done midweek visits, has
forgotten to pick our son up for Father's Day, New Year's
Eve & New Year's Day and has never gone to any doctor
He also has not followed the court order to pay the correct
amount for child support. He paid $500 every month when
the order stated for him to pay $727.14. He also
fraudulently claimed our son on his taxes (he is in arrears
therefore he is not to claim our son) and refuses to
reimbruse me for part of our son's medical expenses. He
also claims that I am alientating our son from him, which
is a lie. I had to move back home because of finances and
him not fully following the court order so I have my
parents as witnesses to prove that either he didn't show up
or our son has gone with him for every visit when he came
to get him.
I feel our son is in a stable environment, is very attached
to his grandparents (especially his grandmother & me)and is
receiving the attention he deserves and needs. In addition
we live 45 minutes to an hour apart (in traffic it can be
an hour and a half drive). I do not think a 2 year old
going back and forth is emotionally healthy.
How do I prove to the judge that my son's father is only
trying to obtain more days in order to lower is support?
How do I prove that in NO way have I attempted or have
alienated him from our son? I have followed the court
order to the letter. I believe it's quite obvious to me but
I want to make sure I present my case the proper way. I
have an attorney but I don't think he is diligently working
on my case & I can't afford another attorney. I want to
make sure I'm properly prepared. Thank you.
I don't think you've got much to worry about.
First, I'd encourage your attorney to attempt to negotiate (once) with father to arrange a payment schedule on the child support arrears. Then file contempt, if father refuses to negotiate. That alone may get father to say, "Why don't we both just drop our motions?" and then you're done for now. Father can get in serious trouble for being in contempt of child support orders, so don't use this "weapon" arbitrarily. You can screw up his life for a little while; and that's not good for anyone.
As to how to prepare for your response, argue it from a "best interest" perspective.
Remove all the suspicions you have as to father's motive or as to what he'll do with the child during his time.
Instead just lay out the facts that you included... 1 hour distance each way is not good for child to endure daily, child has routine and stability already, you've followed court orders to a tee on the parenting schedule (but father has neglected to exercise his custodial time frequently, on THIS plan, let alone a more extensive one).
You can't disprove any false accusations. All you can do - for each false allegation - is say, "That is absolutely untrue, and there is no evidence to support the father's accusation."
An ineffective attorney is a dangerous attorney. It sounds like this person has done well for you, so make sure you're not judging the attorney on your feelings of how hard he's working. Instead, take an objective look at the results he's produced to date-- if you've gotten nearly everything you wanted, you have a GOOD attorney. Bedside manner or diligence is irrelevant. Results is what counts.
This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.