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Child custody

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  • Child custody

    Hi everyone

    My brother finally decided to give up his marriage after 2 years of trying. He's done all he could but his wife seems to be more interested in hooking up with wealthy men than saving the marriage and the daughter. He asked me for advice and even I love my brother, I feel like there's nothing I could do to help him. Currently,

    1. He wants to fight to have his daughter living with him instead of his wife. Should the court grant him the right? Their daughter is only 2 years old and she's a world to him, my brother.

    2. About child support, if he pays child support but his wife using the $$ for herself instead of the daughter, can he sue her?
    Filed chapter 7 Jul 13, 2010 341 hearing Aug 12, 2010 Trustee's report of no distribution Aug 20, 2010 Discharged Oct 13, 2010 Closed Oct 28, 2010.

  • #2
    See below. Sorry for the mix-up.

    Comment


    • #3
      I know here in the wonderful state of Illinois, judges almost always lean towards the mother having full physical custody; and once granted, it is very hard to change. 9 times out of 10 all the father gets is visitation and a court order to pay child support.

      As far as the mother using the child support money for herself; she can't be sued. I went through this with my youngest daughter's father; he demanded receipts for every penny of child support that he sent me (when he did send it). The judge told him that I could use the money for anything that benefited the child; gas in my car to take her places, utility bills, groceries etc. Needless to say he was furious beyond belief that I wasn't going to be held accountable for the money he sent; as long as the child was taken care of, that's all the courts cared about.

      Sue
      Filed Chapter 7: 8/11/2010 341: 9/13/2010 Done!!
      9/14/2010 Trustee Report of No Distribution
      Discharged 11/15/2010 Closed 11/18/2010

      Comment


      • #4
        Everyone's situation is different, this is just my take on what you posted.

        Are you familiar with the term "Possession is 9/10ths of the law"?If not you and your brother will be soon. First off I would have your brother consult an attorney and find out what his legal options are. If he then thinks divorce is in his and his daughters best interests he can then file for divorce and child custody and let the chips fall and get on with his life.

        Just my opinion but "if" I was your brother and after talking to an attorney I felt that divorce was the best option and felt my daughter would be better off raised by me, I would then make sure he has his daughter in his possesssion and then I would file for divorce and temporary child custody. If your brother makes the first move and has his daughter in his possession the court will set a hearing for temporary custody and his wife will then have to make a case that their daughter is in immediate danger and/or your brother cannot properly care for her or the courts will grant him temporary custody and then both him and his wife will go thru a long drawn out process in determining who is the more fit parent. A final child custody order with visitation and support payments will then be enforced.

        That is just my opinion and if your brother truly believes his daughter is better off with him it is his duty to look out for her best interest. I would not wait around for his wife to pull the trigger. Once the mother has possession of the child and court proceedings have started there is almost zero chance of her losing custody and the courts are both very biased and punitive towards fathers in general. Keep in mind the moment that they stop living together as husband, wife and child somebody is going to be financially responsible for that child. So let's say your brother moved out 2 months ago and his wife files for divorce/child custody the court will go back 2 months and may order back child support and temporary child support going forward if she is awarded temporary custody.

        It is all time consuming and expensive but if his daughter is truly better off with him then he owes it to his daughter to fight for her well being regardless of the costs involved. If his wife is a good mother then its possible they could have a mutual divorce/child custody agreement and alot of heartache could be avoided. I will say this in the event your brother does not have custody and is ordered to pay child support make sure he bites the bullet and pays on time and doesn't fall behind. Child support will not and does not go away and to fall behind just makes matters worse. He will also find that the courts don't give two squirts of poo what the custodial mother/father spend the child support on. I hear the BS of "I use it to pay rent, utilities and groceries" which is a crock, everyone has rent,utilities and groceries regardless of having children or not. The system is very punitive towards the non-custodial parent so he needs to be made aware of what he may be up against. Make damn sure he doesn't look at the situation with rose-colored glasses on or he will be in for a rude awakening.

        I paid $1200 monthly child support for 14 years. It wasn't easy at the start but I never missed a payment and over time it really didn't affect me financially or emotionally. Where people run into problems is running from paying, they then get into arrears and it sets off a vicious cycle. After all he should want what's best for his daughter even if it means dealing with child support and a visitation order.

        I wish your brother could luck and hope things work out for the best for him and his daughter. I hope this post helps him but he really needs to consult with an attorney.

        Comment


        • #5
          Meatstick

          Thanks very much for your detailed and valuable info/advice. I felt helpless in terms of helping him legally and financially. I know he is a good father, as all of his family expenses are paid for by him. He took very good care of the daughter to the point that he might spoil her. The reason I truly believe his daughter is better off with him than with his wife is that his wife is addicted to gambling. He had to travel to Indiana to work and left the daughter for his wife at home in Illinois to take care of but she just left her all day and night at home with my other disabled brother to watch out for her and went gambling and hooking up with other guys. Needless to say, I was also furious to learn that. When the daughter was hungry and she needs the care of the mother, she just ignored her most of the time and talked on the phone for hours with different people. The money he left home for her to take care of the daughter she blew it on gambling and expenses for herself, and the child didn't even have enough nutritious meals. That just enraged me.

          It seems that my brother wants to keep the marriage for his daughter's best interests but he couldn't. He struggled for the last 2 years because of his wife's destructive behaviors (didn't want to talk, blatantly talked and flirted with other guys in front of him didn't take care of the daughter, etc.) cornered him. I'll let him know what he needs to do. He consulted a lawyer and it appeared that he was advised to have joint custody because in Illinois, the court usually doesn't take his side, even he's a better and more fit parent. Again, thanks for your very helpful input. I appreciate it.

          storm

          Thanks for your input. I can't understand why the judge refuses to take a look at the husband's requests. It's legit. At least he has a valid reason to ask for. Like Meatstick points out, everyone has to pay for rent, utilities, groceries, regardless of having or not having children, and when one parent can't prove that he/she uses the money the other parent pay for child support to buy stuff that's beneficial to the daughter, it puzzles me why the judge doesn't budge. Not all fathers/husbands are deadbeat.
          Filed chapter 7 Jul 13, 2010 341 hearing Aug 12, 2010 Trustee's report of no distribution Aug 20, 2010 Discharged Oct 13, 2010 Closed Oct 28, 2010.

          Comment


          • #6
            So I am one of the very few fathers who has gained full custody of his child under contest. I can tell you it is no walk in the park. At the end of the day I was out $50k (that I didn't have and had to charge... good part of the reason I am in BK now) between the lawyer and the court appointed (at my request) child psychiatrist. I will say that in my situation my ex didn't work, didn't take care of my son, I had to drop him off at daycare in the morning and pick him up at night ( did I mention she didnt work), and it was STILL a fight. Was over 2 years from filing to decree (that being said part of the delay was the original judge retired during the case)

            The best thing that I did was agree to have the court appoint a private child psychiatrist (at my cost) to do a parenting evaluation. The court has counselors that can do this for free, but they spend like 20 minutes with you and make a recommendation. The psychiatrist spent many hours with us (me alone, ex alone, each of us alone with the kid, two of us together, each of our parents, ...) before making a recommendation. And the judge did order that she pay a small portion of this to me at the end of it.

            An interesting fact, because of the disparity of income ( she was working part time by the time it was all final), even thou I had full custody and she only gets him every other weekend (as long as she is still living with her mother), per the calculations I would have had to pay her $7.00 a month in child support, the judge just dropped that and said no child support either way.

            While everyone is correct that no one is going to care what child support money is spent on after the fact, if any support is given prior to the hearing keep track of everything out of the ordinary.( my lawyer had me giving her some amount of support as we had an emergency order establishing joint custody during the case). At the hearing I was able to bring up that she went and got a tattoo the day after my first support payment, and a tongue ring the day after my second support payment, it didn't look good towards her at all in the hearing.

            If he can in any way prove neglect, the best thing to do is to request an order of protection (restraining order) for the child from her mother, but you have to have some level of proof. My lawyer had recommended that I do this, I did not as I was trying to be "nice". Well my niceness was repaid by her turning around and trying to get one against me, under false pre-tense. This got overturned, but complicated the case whereas if I had gotten one against her with the right documentation ( I had medical records from her visits to more than one mental hospital), it would have significantly simplified my case.

            My divorce was final 6 years ago. one of the best decisions I ever made. Thou it cost me quite a bit in money and emotions it was well worth it in the end.

            Comment


            • #7
              If it is in the best interest of the child - go for it - make sure you are realistic in your expectations. I understand "custody" is not even used anymore. They are now called parenting plans and visitation is called timesharing -- then majority timesharing. It takes a HECK of alot to deem one or the other unfit. Good luck - we are 20k in now just DEFENDING ourselves, if you will. :/

              Comment


              • #8
                First of all, if the father were to take the child leave the family home, chances are a court will order the child to be returned. If he wants custody, he needs to stay put. File for divorce and work out custody while living with the child and the stbx. Just leaving with the child is not a good idea. And if the stbx moves out with the child, the father would need to file to have the child returned to the family home.

                As for rent, utilities and groceries being a crock. That's just BS.

                While everyone does have to pay rent, utilities and groceries. Not everyone needs an extra room or two or more to accomodate a child(ren). Children do eat and do cause an increase in the cost of utilities. And are valid expenditures of child support money.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by helpmeout View Post
                  First of all, if the father were to take the child leave the family home, chances are a court will order the child to be returned. If he wants custody, he needs to stay put. File for divorce and work out custody while living with the child and the stbx. Just leaving with the child is not a good idea. And if the stbx moves out with the child, the father would need to file to have the child returned to the family home.
                  The comments above are so full of holes it's laughable and appear to be written wearing rose-colored glasses. If the father/mother would leave the home with a child, then file for divorce and/or temprorary custody the court would set a hearing for an emergency temporary cutody hearing. During this hearing the court will hear both sides but in general whoever has physical custody of the child at that time will be granted a temporary custody/child support order and the other parent would be granted some type of visitation. There is no court out there that is going put the child back in the home with the other parent unless that child is in immediate danger with the parent who left. Then over a period of time both parents will go thru a long drawn out process before a final child custody and visitation order is granted. One parent leaving with the child and then filing is neither illegal or morally wrong and the courts are under no obligation to return the child to the "family" home.

                  Originally posted by helpmeout View Post
                  As for rent, utilities and groceries being a crock. That's just BS.

                  While everyone does have to pay rent, utilities and groceries. Not everyone needs an extra room or two or more to accomodate a child(ren). Children do eat and do cause an increase in the cost of utilities. And are valid expenditures of child support money.
                  I can agree on the very last sentence in that rent, utilities and groceries are all valid expeditures. What I don't agree with is the "entitlement" mentality that most custodial parents put forth. That child support should be there 100% for the child, not used to subsidize the custodial parents way of life. The custodial parent should be able to support themselves and the child without regards to receiving child support. Depending on your child support to subsidize your lifestyle is so wrong on many fronts but is an acceptable practice perpetuated by an inept and punitive court system. Don't get me wrong, child support is a necessary evil and should be paid but there should be accountability and at this time there isn't any. Nothing stopping the non-custodial parent from upgrading their Honda Accord to an Infiniti and going on wild shopping sprees and then claiming the new found income is helping to make ends meet.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Meatstick View Post
                    I can agree on the very last sentence in that rent, utilities and groceries are all valid expeditures. What I don't agree with is the "entitlement" mentality that most custodial parents put forth. That child support should be there 100% for the child, not used to subsidize the custodial parents way of life. The custodial parent should be able to support themselves and the child without regards to receiving child support. Depending on your child support to subsidize your lifestyle is so wrong on many fronts but is an acceptable practice perpetuated by an inept and punitive court system. Don't get me wrong, child support is a necessary evil and should be paid but there should be accountability and at this time there isn't any. Nothing stopping the non-custodial parent from upgrading their Honda Accord to an Infiniti and going on wild shopping sprees and then claiming the new found income is helping to make ends meet.
                    I wholeheartedly agree with you. Some evil parents (yes evil) use the money for child support and then go spend all that for themselves. That just sickens me. In this case, my brother's wife is a clear example. She refuses to go to work just because it was "hard work" for her and wants to stay home and demands support from her husband (my brother) and doesn't even take care of the child. If the court just punishes the father in this case, it's simply just BS at best.
                    Filed chapter 7 Jul 13, 2010 341 hearing Aug 12, 2010 Trustee's report of no distribution Aug 20, 2010 Discharged Oct 13, 2010 Closed Oct 28, 2010.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I always had to laugh at my youngest daughter's father; he's the guy who owes me close to $10K in child support. Last time the State had him in court he accused me of using his child support to pay for a car I had just bought; never mind that I work full-time and support myself.

                      The attorney for the State looked at him and laughed; she told him if he had been paying his child support we wouldn't be standing in front of a judge!
                      Filed Chapter 7: 8/11/2010 341: 9/13/2010 Done!!
                      9/14/2010 Trustee Report of No Distribution
                      Discharged 11/15/2010 Closed 11/18/2010

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stormy View Post
                        I always had to laugh at my youngest daughter's father; he's the guy who owes me close to $10K in child support. Last time the State had him in court he accused me of using his child support to pay for a car I had just bought; never mind that I work full-time and support myself.

                        The attorney for the State looked at him and laughed; she told him if he had been paying his child support we wouldn't be standing in front of a judge!
                        I never really understood why people who are ordered to pay CS avoid paying. All running does is make a bad situation even worse and people then have dug themselves a very deep hole that is hard to get out of. In my case I never missed a payment and found that after the first few years I didn't really pay much attention to the deduction anymore, it was almost like having another tax taken out if you will. Then many years later when it ended I found myself with a nice chunk of change. Best advice anyone could take is pay your CS from the start and you will have so many less problems in general and one day it will eventually end.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Meatstick View Post
                          I never really understood why people who are ordered to pay CS avoid paying. All running does is make a bad situation even worse and people then have dug themselves a very deep hole that is hard to get out of. In my case I never missed a payment and found that after the first few years I didn't really pay much attention to the deduction anymore, it was almost like having another tax taken out if you will. Then many years later when it ended I found myself with a nice chunk of change. Best advice anyone could take is pay your CS from the start and you will have so many less problems in general and one day it will eventually end.
                          I agree! He was only ordered to pay $50/week so it took a long time to build up to $10K so I have no sympathy for him whatsoever. We were in the hallway after court this last time and all he was doing chewing me out for getting the State involved; he said they were making his life hell.

                          I smiled at him and told him to go find a mirror and complain; that's the person who put him in this situation, not me.
                          Last edited by stormy; 12-07-2010, 02:44 PM. Reason: left out a word :D
                          Filed Chapter 7: 8/11/2010 341: 9/13/2010 Done!!
                          9/14/2010 Trustee Report of No Distribution
                          Discharged 11/15/2010 Closed 11/18/2010

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No court, huh? You really haven't done that much research, have you? Because courts HAVE ordered the child to be returned to family home. And HAVE ordered the child to be returned to the state when one parent left the state.

                            What likely happened in cases where the courts didn't order that is that the parent who didn't move out sat around and did NOTHING for months. And ALLOWED status quo to be established.

                            And I stand by my statement that it's a bunch of BS to state that it's a crock to say child support is for rent, utilities, groceries because everybody has those. While one part of that statement is true, the part about child support is not.

                            I can live quite comfortably in a one bedroom apartment. But since I have 2 kids (and they aren't the same gender), I can't. One bedroom apartments are cheaper than 2/3 bedroom apartments.

                            Accountability? Well, if the CP is not feeding the child, not clothing the child and not putting a roof over the child's head, call child protective services and report him/her for neglect. But giving a listing of expenses? Well, a simple spreadsheet, starting with rent, utilities, childcare, health insurance, food, transportation costs (not talking car payment here),medical, activities, etc.... would probably point out that the child support should be increased so that the NCP is actually paying his/her percentage based on the guidelines. Not to mention how very expensive this is going to be for the state to run. That's probably a can of worms that NCP's will regret opening if they are ever successful in getting that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by helpmeout View Post
                              No court, huh? You really haven't done that much research, have you? Because courts HAVE ordered the child to be returned to family home. And HAVE ordered the child to be returned to the state when one parent left the state.
                              Before you start popping off and exercising your ignorance maybe you should re-visit your original post. At no point did I say that the child would never be returned. I simply said it would NOT happen unless the other party could prove the child was in immediate danger. Furthermore no place in your original post did you mention anything about taking a child from one state to another. That alone opens up a whole different set of circumstances, but I guess that is how you deflect the epic failure of your original post.

                              Originally posted by helpmeout View Post
                              What likely happened in cases where the courts didn't order that is that the parent who didn't move out sat around and did NOTHING for months. And ALLOWED status quo to be established.
                              Once again your looking at things with rose-colored glasses on and stating them as fact. If one parent leaves the household and files for temporary custody they will be granted temporary custody UNLESS the other parent can prove that the child will be put in danger. Both parents and the courts will then go thru the long drawn out process to determine a permanent custody order. You stating as fact that a parent should never leave the household with their child and then file is horribly wrong. Actually I find it quite amusing that it has been posted in an open forum.

                              Originally posted by helpmeout View Post
                              And I stand by my statement that it's a bunch of BS to state that it's a crock to say child support is for rent, utilities, groceries because everybody has those. While one part of that statement is true, the part about child support is not.

                              I can live quite comfortably in a one bedroom apartment. But since I have 2 kids (and they aren't the same gender), I can't. One bedroom apartments are cheaper than 2/3 bedroom apartments.
                              Let me put it this way if I didn't make it in plain English before. People who have children should make sure that they are able to care for their children regardless of receiving child support. If your dependant on that child support to make ends meet then you have already got issues and maybe that is where your bitterness comes from. The custodial parent is entitled to and should receive child support. But if for some reason you don't you had better be prepared to do without, not doing so is blatantly irresponsible.

                              Originally posted by helpmeout View Post
                              Accountability? Well, if the CP is not feeding the child, not clothing the child and not putting a roof over the child's head, call child protective services and report him/her for neglect. But giving a listing of expenses? Well, a simple spreadsheet, starting with rent, utilities, childcare, health insurance, food, transportation costs (not talking car payment here),medical, activities, etc.... would probably point out that the child support should be increased so that the NCP is actually paying his/her percentage based on the guidelines. Not to mention how very expensive this is going to be for the state to run. That's probably a can of worms that NCP's will regret opening if they are ever successful in getting that.
                              It is quite simple as many parents who are divorced are both responsible and accountable towards their children without documentation. Why would the custodial parent who receives CS be against accountability anyways unless they feel guilty and are trying to hide something. I agree as it stands right now it would be difficult to track. Maybe use debit cards that can only be authorized for food,clothing,childcare and medical expenses. A monthly printout could very easily be generated that would show an itemized accounting of where the funds were used. Stop putting a cash payment or CS check in the hands of custodial parents with no accountability. I will just add that using the accountabilty argument as a reason to avoid paying CS is a cop-out plain and simple but is used by the non-custodial parent all the time.

                              Comment

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