Do we have a leg to stand on?

momof3_stepof1November 14, 2011

Does anyone know if bm doesn't pay anything between now and Thanksgiving and she hasn't paid in over a month, can we tell her we will not transport him to her? She'll be over 2 hours away and want us to drive him to her at that location. We have done so in the past because it was on our way to where we were going but we are staying home this year. We would be driving an explorer, so mileage would be for over a 4 hour drive with an suv... one that holds 7 people. Her support isn't much anyway but I don't see how we can be forced to take him to her when she hasn't been supporting him. I want dh to tell her if she wants him to come get him at our home, it's not denying visitation, it's simply.... she's not helping out so we can't afford that gas. For real.... we can't right now. I really needed her to make a payment on time... and she didn't. It's getting later and later all the time. She's going 5-6 weeks between payments and only paying for 4. We don't get paid till black Friday.

I don't think she'd take us to court over this because she's so far behind, plus she's got a job now so I think her support could be raised significantly. Any opinions on this? SS doesn't even want to go but we told him he doesn't have a choice. I think he'd want to go if he were going to his real family, like her moms but they don't do that. They go to his new step dads families house. He doesn't like them to much.... he hardly knows them so I can't say that I blame him.

Just to clear things up. Our court order states that we drive him to a town in the middle of our town and hers. It's 2 1/2 hours away. BUT... she wants us to actually drive him to the home that she's going to stay at in her old town. She probably won't be there until much later then she'll want us to drop him at. Can the court force us to transport him if she's not supporting him? I know we can't deny visitaion but what happens with transportation?

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If it's in the court order that DH needs to transport, then you'd be violating the court order by not transporting. At least in CA, you cannot deny visitation or contact with the child because the other parent is not paying their support. It's considered two seperate issues. But, if there is a court order that states you must do something, then you will be in contempt of court if you willfully refuse to do it. There's not much she can do if you "can't" drive him... the car broke down, ran out of gas & have no money... etc. You may still be in violation of complying with the order but the court would probably give the benefit of the doubt if you have car trouble and offer to let her come pick up her child. Then you are not denying her contact or visit. And you are only obligated to transport him per your court order. If she wants to have him dropped off elsewhere, it's up to you to do so if it's more convenient for you.

My son's father had to meet me halfway to exchange. The place was specific to an hour north of where he lived/an hour south of where I lived. Then I moved two hours south of him but he would only meet me an hour north of him so I would have had to bypass his town to meet him another hour north. He just wanted to be a jerk instead of agreeing to meet halfway to my new place. When I went to court to change it to meet me in the middle, the court ordered me to do 100% of the transport because I had moved.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Hmmmm, DH hates speaking to her, so I can't see him arguing with her and telling her he's only going to meet in the one town. I'd love him to do that though. Just to put her in her place. We are definately not denying visitation. We wouldn't. It does say in that other town though, nothing about half way from where she decides to be at the moment. I think the judge would've made her do all the transportation but dh and our lawyer told the judge he'd meet at that location before she even brought it up. I just don't see why we have to take him to where she wants to go to, that's definately more convenient for her. We aren't going anywhere around there, she is. She should have to at least meet us half way between here and there. (That's what the old agreement was.... no court order, just what we agreed on)

You're right though, I don't think a judge would hold it against us if we simply don't have the money for the transportation. I also think he'd look at it as though it's not the designated meeting location. DH is just such a softy with her and won't argue anything. He won't even text her or email her to ask where his support is. Though he gets up every morning yelling at me for not having money. UGH!!!! Last argument about it he actually told me to text sperm donor and tell him I needed his support paid right now too. Uh Duh... he's in jail because of it.

Your ex is a jerk!! I've always tried to work things out with the other parents, they just make it so hard!!

You know, I just thought about something. There were numerous times when bm had custody that she'd tell us that she didn't have any gas or money for gas and if dh wanted to see him he'd come all the way to get him. So why the heck can't we do the same? We aren't denying her. I'm going to bring that up to dh.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 5:03PM
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A court order is a court order. So yes, she could make a stink if you refuse transpo. A judge would not be amused that the lady who is also basically in contemp is dragging a 'contempt' case in herself...but again, a court order is a legal order meant to be followed.

So your order says 'Dh must drive Jr to Town A which is halfway to where she lives' but she actually wants Dh to drive jr to Town B instead? Actually that could get iffy as Town B is not what order says. She is not asking for what the order states...but I would not test a judge's sense humor by being too bullish in the language though.

I will assume that there is nothing in the order that states the parents can NOT mutually agree to occassional one time incidental arrangements?

When the call comes in from BM about Thanksgiving Dh could try for a reasonal request of a mutual agreement for this one time. He's low on cash because he has not received CS and that you're staying home, a real hardship blah blah blah. She might be guilted into coming your way and/or meeting Dh half way between where she is actually going (making your trip only 2 hours, one hour each way).

He could even politely remind her not only has he not received CS which has put him in a pinch but that the CS when it is received does not cover the cost of actually driving the son for meetings...he's not requested much of her prior to this one visit blah blah. Not in a confrontational way, but merely 'for the record' so to say. She had no problems calling him and saying she could not make CS one month because she was putting a down payment on a car. That event may show she is willing to give him a break this time around because she has asked for favors herself.

It would be better to go after the sense of 'it's really a hardship' and can we work this trip out to a mutual agreement for both of us' then to flat out tell her to 'drop dead'. Two wrongs does not make a right and orders are orders. Being honest and openly asking for a onetime agreement would be better than playing hardball.

If BM can drive from where she lives to her old town two hours from you, she could likely put herself out to accomadate a one time request. Her way or the highway attitude might be different this time around, especially as she's in contempt herself. It'd be pretty silly to scream in the phone that she's going after contempt charges if Dad does not do what order says.

Perhaps if she squeals over coming all the way or at a closer place, Dh can offer to bring him on Friday instead in exchange for an extra day for her the next holiday or something. I think trying to 'work with her' (no matter how that idea taste and no matter what a selfish jerk she is)may be a better approach. Get her to agree, not fight.

I'd rather ask for a 'favor' and hope she plays nice then start out with a 'no, ain't bringing him'. Even though she might not pursue a contempt charge this time she could note the event of refusal to transport aka 'according to order' and make it hard to prove at a later date that he is willing to abide by court orders also.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 5:20PM
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I'll give you the legal answer and then my 2cents.

If you are not willing to work with Mom because of whatever reason (whether it's a money issue, CS issue, gas issue, SS issue or blue sky issue) then that is your right (dh's right). His court order says 1/2 way, you offer 1/2 way. Regardless of CS, or money or whatever, you meet 1/2 way. The two issues are seperate and legally speaking, you need to keep them seperate. CS is not a ticket to see a kid and no CS is not a do not pass go do not collect $200 order. Regardless of what Mom pays, has paid or hasn't paid, your Dh is court ordered to meet her 1/2 way. Will she take you to court for contempt? Probably not but let's say you do end up back in court for something, Mom will use this along with any texts or emails that have been sent to prove it. I say 'legally' Dh needs to meet her 1/2 way as ordered. Didnt she pass up seeing SS so he could go to New York? If it were me, legally speaking, i would do whatever the order says, nothing more nothing less.

Now my personal opinion is 1. If Mom has a job and you know that support can be garnished and/or raised, I'd do whatever to get that process started thru IVD. 2. If you are going to pursue that, don't even consider making up your own rules concerning transportation bc you do not want this held against you. Can you hear Mom now? ' I had to drive 4 hours to and from at Thanksgiving bc they refused to meet me 1/2 way as court ordered and it drained me, I have no CS to send' judge: Dad why did you refuse to meet 1/2 as ordered? Dad: because she hasn't paid CS in two months and we couldn't afford it Judge: you are both in contempt.

Don't give Mom any ammo. Keep letting her give you as much ammo as you need but don't give her even one tiny bit. Play it by the books, follow the order and even as hard as it is, just do it. Document - keep track of everything and when the time is right, as my lawyer has always told me, then you hand her the rope to hang herself...

I would personally contact Mom and tell her, we cannot afford to do the drive, we are not traveling this year due to finances and we just can't afford it since you aren't paying the CS on time. We would like to offer that you can come and get him and bring him back. If she says no you meet me, then I really see no other way to keep Dh from getting a possible contempt over it in the future. Will she do it? Who knows. But I wouldn't chance it. I also wouldn't continue to give your SS any idea that he might get out of going to BMs if you don't have to transport him. He needs to go. Seriously. My Dd doesn't like going to her dad's either and she spends her holiday with SMs family... But I believe she needs to go and be a part of the family. Even as much as she says she doesn't want to go, she's going. AND as much as I don't want her to go, I'm even being the bigger person by doing something for Dad that is making his life easier and making mr rearrange my schedule a bit. Does he deserve it? Hell no! But my Dd is more important at the moment than my annoyance with him... Mentally that pendulum changes often but in all honesty, it never really changes, I always do right by Dd.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 8:24PM
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I had not read your most updated response before responding... If your Dh agreed to meet 1/2 way then he either needs to ask her to meet 1/2 way of where she will be or 1/2 way where he is supposed to meet her. He agreed to it in the order so honestly no going back on it now. My ex is doing this on every single issue he agreed to during mediation and saying 'I don't know why it says I agreed to that I wouldn't have agreed to that'. It's jerky and a$$holish and I honestly would suggest your Dh not do this... He agreed no changing it until he goes back to modify it.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 8:31PM
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We have always done everything by the book, she has repeatedly told us we couldn't get him unless we drove the entire distance. We really can't afford it right now unless she makes a payment. It's either we drive him to tin buck two... I'm ok with going to original agreement... it's all interstate.... I'm NOT ok with going to her new in-laws... it's all back roads and it does use more gas. Like Ima said, it's not in the agreement to go to her in-laws. Anyway, it's either we drive him all the way there to her in-laws and my kids eat bologna for Thanksgiving or she comes to get him. Simply because she has absolutely refused to pay her support. Seriously, if she pays I'm fine with driving, if she doesn't I can not afford it. It's not fair to my kids to have to eat bologna, especially when my ds16's dad pays his support... but he doesn't get junk over nighted to him... I just really hate her.

JMT... she already gets all of Christmas break because of the summer issue and baseball. DH gave up any and all of his Christmas time to her so ss could finish baseball.

Oh and myfampg.... we are soooooo close to garnishment. I just don't know when it's official. I've asked dh to call his caseworker but he's a pain in the $ss to get him to call anyone. If I could change my voice to a guy I'd do it myself. LOL! She asked ss if he wanted to come the weekend we went to NY, she had had him Sept 18... so the weekend we went would've been 6 weeks laterish.... It's just the random whenever she wants him no set schedule thing. She didn't really give up that weekend, she just asked if that's when he wanted to come and he said no. Remember.... it's NOT us that decides this, if she really wanted him dh would've made him go sometime in October, she told him to forget about it.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:13PM
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Ya she's a piece of work! No way do not drive to her in law's. I don't agree with doing that unless she will do something to compensate ... Say give you gas money BUT you can't rely on that ... Or meet you in the direction but not 1/2 way.

Honestly, if she doesn't want to meet y'all at the point that was agreed on then it's up to her to do the transportation.

Could your Dh say 'I'll met you at the agreed place'. When she says no, Dh should say 'then we'll be at home for you to pick him up, what time will you he by?'. Seriously. Get your Dh on this forum and let me talk to him! He needs to realize that changing to going to the inlaw's is causing you financial problems and it's not about what's 'fair'. Life ain't fair. But what is right is that they agreed to X and she wants to change it to B and B is so far from X that he needs to grow a backbone and say no but don't say No to the agreed to meeting point.

Like you said.. Not denying visitation just not agreeing to change the order.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 12:08AM
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Ok, just to let everybody know.... I about stroked out this morning. BM paid $300. I don't think this is a garnishment yet because for two weeks it should be $152 because of the back support owed... or $304 for 4 weeks. I think she actually sent it in. Totally in shock here. It helps a ton! Plus my support posted this morning as well. So, I am not going to argue driving ss wherever it may be. DH did say he will not drive more then 2 hours no matter what. (He makes the normal meeting spot drive in 2 hours... it takes me a tad longer.. I'm a grandma driver) I told him not to let her bully him because she paid a little extra.... cause she still owes $708 in arrears. So she's not a hero. It was an ok effort though. I went to the grocery this morning without having a panic attack. LOL!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 11:09AM
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Glad things came together for you. Hope you were able to pick up a few totally not necessary items too for special treat for the holiday menu. It'll be kinda nice even if you have to do all the cooking to stay home for a change and be comfy on a holiday morning rather than fighting traffic...there is always a 'bright' side to gloomy days if you look hard enough.

Did you have to blink, rub your eyes, blink some more and pinch yourself to be sure you were seeing a CS deposit and not still half asleep? LOL.

Remember though, even with the CS payment coming in time and making things easier than you thought they'd be, DH does not have to jump if BM starts demanding. If she wants something not in the order, she can request and they can discuss it. Not just cave. The order says Town A, there is nothing wrong on his part if Dh informs her that Town B is not convenient and he'd like her to met half way between your home and Town B (or whatever). She's taking advantage of the assumption that Dh is a pushover. She should be asking not demanding on issues like this change of place thing. She should also realize that she is not the only one to necessarily set the time. If she says SS must be there at 9 am, Dh can suggest a better time that is also convenient for him. Unless that court order states 'exchange will take place at x time' , he has just as much weight in coming to a mutual agreement on a time as she does.

Things not literally spelled out in the order should not be thought of by DH as being 'bad' on his part if what she demands is not ok. It should be a mutual decision after a civil discussion. He does not have to jump when she says jump just to keep the 'peace'. They have the same order, she can read it just as well as he can. He has a right to protect and pursue his rights of the order. It really is nothing to 'fight' over either. If the order says Town A and she wants Town B, or the order does not state a time and she demands time x, he has every right to speak up and say 'Im sorry that does not work for me perhaps instead we could blah blah'. If they can't come to a mutual agreement then they'll need to resort back to what court order actually does say they both have to do. No change. When it comes to changes it should be a mutual thing. She has no more 'rights' to pick and chose what she likes via this order than Dh does. It says what it says...anything else is mutual agreement.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, Mom3.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 11:52AM
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I'm glad she paid something. I know the feeling!

I work 67 hours a week. DH works 57 hours a week. BM won't get a job & lives off "temporary" spousal support she has been receiving for 15 years. She owes over $3k but started paying $158 twice a month in September because DH was pushing the DA to file contempt charges & have her put in jail for non payment.

She owed me for SD's dental bill I put on my credit card. She agreed to pay but then flaked so I called her a deadbeat. She retorted, "don't you talk to your husband? I made payment arrangement & he's getting paid!" At that point, he had received ONE payment of $158.00. She acts as if it's a big deal... a huge contribution to send anything. He's gotten 5 payments so far & assumes he can count on it. I refuse to count on it... she will stop as soon as she feels the DA won't put her in jail. (It's also funny that she just signed up for college classes & talking about spending $200 on a tablet [kindle] for school but won't buy SD a pair of shoes.) BM also tries to bully DH... whether she pays anything or not. Before she started paying, she would blame him for her DCSS woes because how can he expect her to work when she has a baby now... another mouth to feed? She would try to gulit him about putting their daughter's mother in jail... how that would hurt & upset SD so much.

BTW, SD came home on Sunday talking about the party they had for BM's BF's DD11. SD has been living with us since she was 8 & BM has not made her a party once during the past five years... but SD has gone to all the parties she makes for her BF's kids & her siblings. I just find it amazing that she treats SD like that.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 12:09PM
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These stories remind me of what a great mom I am! Lol I honestly think my mom would kill me if I ever acted like some of these people.

Congrats on the CS payment! I know the feeling!! It's excitement and relief all bundled up with anxiety over the next missed payment.

You don't have to argue over meeting 1/2 way but Dh can still stand up for himself. He can agree to do only what he is willing to do and nothing more.

Let us know what happens!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 12:40PM
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HAHA, actually, JMT, I check the child support hotline for payments and I DID press repeat to make sure I heard it correctly. LOL!!! I've had to do that before with sperm donor's payments.... especially the one two summers ago when he paid $1500.

Also, a good thing for me is... my dh is the cook! Woohoo! He might make me make a pie or a desert but he cooks all the hard stuff. I really have no clue how. LOL! I've been sheltered. I moved straight from living with my mom to living with my dh... and he LOVES to cook. I did make potato soup yesterday though, so I do try every now and then.

You are right myfam, I do get anxious over when the next payment will come. I hate that. I have to plan bills around it kind of. I'm really hoping that before she'd send another one the garnishment takes place. We have to be to that point. It's been well long enough seeing that he filed with the IV D office at the end of August. By the end of November I would certainly hope we've gotten there. Especially since we know she's already gotten letters regarding this.... and we told the child support office where she works (Remember, she gave dh her email address with the company name in it... haha, idiot)

DH has made it clear he will not drive further then 2 hours. Well, he's made it clear to me, they haven't officially spoke about it yet. I was just going based on the last few holidays.... and last Thanksgiving. SS mentioned they may not be going to her in-laws this year... and he's glad "cause it's boring"... we will see. She obviously doesn't stick to any plans or anything that comes out of her mouth.

Ima, I still think our bm's are some how related. LOL! They both seem so selfish and only think of themselves. I haven't bothered to give bm any of the medical bills for the year yet. I'm waiting till the end of the year for dh to tell her the total that she owes for the year. I doubt she'll pay it. She'll say something like she never made us pay any medical.... which is a lie. When he was really little he was ALWAYS sick and we took him in more then she did, paid the copay, bought the meds... and even when she did she made us have our own supply of his meds at our home. She wouldn't send RX's with him. Then as he got older she just stopped taking him to the dr. The parties are crap! SS's bm promised him a big birthday this year and failed to deliver. My ds8's bday is this weekend, he'll be 9 and we've been planning. SS has repeatedly made comments that he didn't get much as far as celebrating for his bday. BUT, he was with her for that weekend and she promised HUGE things so we didn't think we had to, we ended up taking him out to eat at Don Pablos so we knew he'd get desert and sang to.

I'll let everyone know what happens for sure.... everyone have a good Thanksgiving.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 9:26AM
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Hey momof3. On the medical bills - what does your order say? Mine says I have to submit the receipt to ex within 30 days of my payment and he has 30 days to pay it back. If I don't submit within 30 days he doesn't have to pay. You might want to start submitting them immediately to her so that she isn't expected to pay an entire year all at once bc you know then, she will not pay. I know that might be doing her a favor if your order does not have a timeframe specified but actually you might get it if she knows right at the time that it's paid instead of getting a huge bill on December 31st. It's easier to pay out each charge as they are incurred rather than all at once. After all, you didn't have to pay an entire year of medical bills all at once, just at the time of service.
Just a suggestion.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 11:00AM
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Actually it states that dh is to pay the first $574 each year of uninsured medical bills. After that it's 60/40. She pays the 40%. It doesn't state how long you have to get it to her. I have read somewhere though you have two years to produce the receipts for repayment. (I've looked it up, just can't remember where. All Indiana orders are genaric with that. Mine both say the same only different amounts and different percentages)..... Everyone I know here waits till the end of the year.... Now next year when he gets full braces we won't wait for that. She's going to know she's paying for those from the get go. (And that'll be a HUGE fight!!! Her teeth are NASTY and she never cared to get him even seen for an evaluation before.... His top front teeth are somewhat straight but his bottom are all crooked and he has a HUGE overbite. Plus she didn't get a cavity filled when he was around 5 so he had to have the molar pulled... she was then supposed to get a spacer put in and never did... so now the space has closed and he has a space the size of a sheet of paper for 2 teeth to go into... on the top. So that'll make the rest of his now somewhat straight teeth go crooked.) It's not going to be a huge bill this year. Probably less then $200... I'm just not letting her out of it.

Oh.... and Dh and I are not going to let ss go without the braces just to avoid her fight. Both my ds16 and ds11 have had them... ds11 still in them... going to court 11/28 to fight him to get him to pay his low 30%. I'm not letting ss end up with nasty teeth while my kids have pretty teeth.... plus I'm a HUGE teeth person. First thing I usually notice on someone.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 1:05PM
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Right now her portion of the medical bills is only $195.85. So it's not a huge bill. She'll have a certain time frame in which to pay it or she'll be in contempt. She won't pay it.... we'll have to fight her.... which we will do if/when we go back to court. We won't take her just for that.... or we'd have to go it pro se.

The only reason I'm now going for my son's braces on the 28th is because it's the day he's getting his support lowered to $0 due to incarceration. I figured I'm in court for something rediculous... may as well make him pay me for the braces while I'm there. I'll win... and it'll even out... 30% of the braces... or his portion is just about what he's getting away with not paying in support. AHAHAHAHAHA! Jerk. LOL!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 1:25PM
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I'm a huge smile person. First thing I notice. I was blessed with not needing braces but both kids will need them. Speaking of... DS has a grey front tooth. Got hit with a baseball. He is only 4!!! It's so ugly!!! I can't wait for it to fall out. My poor baby!! Looks like we are trash and never brush his teeth!!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:46PM
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--"Looks like we are trash and never brush his teeth!!"--

Pfft. He's four, it's a 'battle wound', hard won in a tough 'game' of baseball... be glad it's not an upper lip full of stitches. If you were not taking care of the child's teeth, they all would look like crap. Think of it as the skinned up knees he'll get when he rides a bike, the bloody elbow he'll get when he first tries to pop a 'wheelie'...he's a boy, Myfam, they do these things. Baby tooth, it'll be gone soon.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 7:38AM
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JMT I was not cut out to be a mom of a boy. First site of blood and I'm crying. Lol I have many long years ahead of me no doubt.

Momof3 any word from BM on what the plans are for next week.

I'm bummed bc Dd went to dads yesterday and won't be back until Monday. I get her monday night and then he gets her Tuesday to sunday!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 11:36AM
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LOL myfampg.... you do have some long years ahead of you being the mother of a boy. Try 4. LOL! My brother had his front tooth knocked out when he was just over a year old. The dentist put it back in and put braces on his top front four teeth. The tooth stayed put but it died and was nasty looking. It was so much better once it fell out again.

My dh's brother got in touch with him and really wants us to come to his house for the weekend. We can get there if we don't have to spend the money on dinner so I think we are doing it. BM's in-laws on really on the way there so we are dropping him there. I hate that it has to be there but it's actually convenient now. BM did ask ss if he wanted to be dropped off on Wed night and he told her absolutely not. (She won't be there till Thursday) I think it's funny cause she just assumes he likes these people. He is upset he has to go there at all.... "cause it's boring" Oh well, he'll get over it.

Last night SS was talking to BM. I was on the computer and he was sitting right behind me. She was just going on about nothing.... he wasn't responding. Then I heard her say "are you there?".... he said "yeah".... then all of a sudden he says "I've gotta go".... then he said "I have to take a shower" I turned around and looked right at him with my mouth wide open. He just smiled at me. Then he hung up. We walked into the other room where my dh was.... I looked at ss and said "you just wanted off the phone.." He said "well, my throat hurts and laughed".... I told dh what he did and dh laughingly yelled at him telling him "now your moms gonna think I made you get off" SS just laughed. Trust me we don't encourage this. We usually tell him to be nice to her... and we actually make him call her sometimes. I think he's just over her. I think he's starting to "get it" IDK.

So.... you all know how worried I was about not getting her support. Well, guess what.... ds16's bd... the one I can count on. He got laid off. OMG!!!! He just told me this morning that he's been laid off since Nov 1. So apparently this was my last support check from him till unemployment kicks in. He says "I'll get you caught up"... Nope, I called the IV D office right after hanging up the phone to get that IWO changed to his unemployment. I'll bet I still miss one or two checks... and his was biweekly. I just can't win for nothing. Serious panic attack this morning! Chest got tight, hyperventilating, you name it. I'm still shaking. I guess at least he finally told me and didn't leave me hanging like bm and sperm donor do. UGH!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 2:41PM
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