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"Friend of the court" makes custodial schedule recommendation prior to court hearing; and writer also asks about impact on child support when ex decides to have another baby and stay home

Your Question:
I wrote you before (concerning mother keeping me from seeing my 5yr old daughter for weeks and there was nothing ordered by court). Thanks for the advice.

Anyway, on to my new question. After going to court the judge ordered us to go to a "troubleshooter" from Friend of the court. I went there, and it the lady said she will most likely suggest the following to the court:

  • Every other weekend (Saturday 9am to monday 2pm)
  • Every Wednesday
  • Every other Thursday
  • 4 weeks in the summer (2 consecutive, or 4 non consecutive)
  • Alternating holidays/spring break, etc

With this in place what can I expect my child support to be? Here is other personal information that I believe you will need to determin this. (if there are calculators to do this or anything that would be helpful as well):

I currently make about 38k/yr
Mother makes about $7/hr
I pay health insurance
I have a child with my new wife, my new wife is also pregnant with 2nd child.
Mother is also pregnant.

Second question... The mother says she is going to be quitting her job in 3 weeks for maternity leave, and not returning to work. She wants to be a stay at home mother. When she does this will that cause me to pay more child support or will they figure out what her potential income would be (as mentioned in another one of your answers).

I know that being "fair" has little/nothing to do with child support or anything, but I dont want to be responsible for supporting the mother as well as my daughter. I also hate that fact that I would love to have my daughter all the time, but mom/court will not let me so I have to pay mom to do a inadiquite (in my opinion) job in raising my kid....Oh well, just venting a bit.

Thanks for any answers to the above questions. I have been reading your page since it started and have learned a lot. thank you, you are doing a great service to us.

Custody and visitation problems? We can help. can help you win custody, change custody, or reduce child support. Recommended by mediators and therapists and used every day by thousands of parents and families worldwide.

My Answer:

Glad to hear you've got some movement on your case, and I hope that you've been able to see your daughter.

First, it's likely that what the friend of the court recommends will be very close to what the judge orders. However, I'd suggest that you attempt to get a bit more by arguing in a reasonable way (focused on child's best interest) with the court, when it comes time to look at the recommendation:

    "Your honor, I understand that this recommendation carries a lot of weight with what your decision may be. Even though it's not what I would have wanted, I respect it. However, I'd appreciate the court considering a couple of things that I think could make this better for my daughter:

    A) Saturday 9AM to Monday 2PM somewhat limits my family's (and extended family's) ability to spend long weekends with my daughter, and she's spent far more than 48 hours in my home before. I'd hope that we can change those weekends from Friday at 4PM (or 2PM or 5PM) until the Monday time.

    B) I'm looking at the recommended schedule and see that my daughter and I would go nearly a week twice a month without spending time together. From what I understand about child development, this length of time for a 5 year old to go without seeing a parent is hardly ever recommended by child development books or experts. I'd suggest that it would be better for my daughter if I had a Monday afternoon/evening dinner with her after the weekends she isn't in my home. Or alternatively, if we just did every Tuesday and Thursday instead of the recommended mid-week days, that would also address this concern.

It's possible that the judge may agree with you and give you a bit more than the recommendation. It won't hurt to try. But if you ask for something totally different than what the friend of the court recommends, you likely won't get very far. Keep in mind that this is just Round One in a court outcome. You'll likely go back to court at some time in the next 13 years, if your speculation about the mother's parenting abilities prove true.

Okay, on to child support. I don't know what child support will be with the information you've given. They have calculators online (search for "YOURSTATE child support calculator") that supposedly give you the correct amount, but I don't know how accurate they are.

The court has jurisdiction over this one child. It expects both of you to support this child, and no other child matters to the court (unless other court orders exist for other children to support).

So, supporting your other kids aren't a factor. Your ex's new kid/pregnancy don't matter. If your ex wants to be a stay-at-home mom, or chooses to get pregnant again, it is her choice.

It would be very reasonable of you, and you'll likely be successful, to ask the court to impute her income at $7 full-time, as that's what she was making before she DECIDED to stop working.

One step at a time, though. Right now, try to get the best custodial schedule for what you think your daughter needs to thrive. Child support will be determined thereafter.


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