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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,139

    Child Placement - any attorneys here?

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    Hi there,
    I have been divorced for a year, we were separated for almost 2 years before that. My son is now 4 1/2 and lives with me during the week, and with my ex every 1st, 3rd and 4th weekends. We're each allowed to keep him for 1 weeks worth of vacation a year. This is our court mandated placement schedule.

    My ex just called and informed me that he wants our son for the summer, from June to August starting this year. He starts kindergarten in the fall and of course, would be with me during the school year. We live about 160 miles apart. He has never exercised his right to take him for a weeks vacation even with my urging. I let him keep him an extra day on a weekend if it's a holiday so he can spend an extra day with him. Any time I've offered to let him have him for more time the answer is always no - he has plans or doesn't have gas money.

    He is also an alcoholic. When he gets depressed he makes crank calls to me. The last one resulted in my calling the cops and him getting a verbal warning. If it happens again he gets a ticket and a restraining order.

    He is threatening me that if I don't work this out with him, he will take me to court and to fight to change the placment and child support (his big driver). My questions are this:
    - Since we are in different counties and my son lives here, can he go through the county were he lives (I do NOT want to have to take off from work to drive there for hearings). My son has residencey here, does that matter?
    - He says he was told he has the right to have placement reviewed every two years. Is that correct?
    - Where do I go to get questions answered - attorneys first, some family agency??
    - any time I've offered to have him spend time with our son the answer is always no. Will this have any bearing on this?

    Usually his threats are just that and fizzle out. This is the second time he's mentioned this so I want to be ready if he actually follows through with it. And I do not want this to go through his county - they are very liberal and it took almost 2 years and a lot of $$ because they made me bear the burden of proof that he's an alcoholic. I want whats best for my son but I don't want him hurt either. This kid is on the road a lot and I know he would like to spend more time with his dad.

    To be perfectly selfish, if I agree (or have it forced on me), it would really hinder my bike rides on the weekend, lol. I couldn't race if I wanted or do longer distance rides without the expense of not seeing him.

    TIA ladies....
    -
    Dar
    _____________________________________________
    “Minds are like parachutes...they only function when they are open. - Thomas Dewar"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Allentown, PA
    Posts
    587
    This is just awful. I am so sorry. I don't have kids and I can't truly empathize with the stress this must place on you, but just wanted to give you a big hug {{{Dar}}}

    If you can afford an attorney, that'd be my first call.
    ~ Susie

    "Keep plugging along. The finish line is getting closer with every step. When you see it, you won't remember that you are hurting, that anything has gone wrong, or just how slow or fast you are.
    You will just know that you are going to finish and that was what you set out to do."
    -- Michael Pate, "When Big Boys Tri"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,936
    Ditto. Call an attorney. Do you have any friends who have been through a divorce who could recommend one to you?

    I am an attorney, but I know nothing about family law and even less about Wisconsin law. But what he's saying just doesn't seem right.

    Good luck. And a hug.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,506
    The laws differ from state to state so only an attorney from your area can answer your questions with any specificity.

    Generally the case stays with the court in which it was originally filed.

    The 2 year thing may be Wisconsin specific.

    Talk to a lawyer, not an agency. I've seen more bad advice given by agencies and police officers.

    His prior history may offered in evidence.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    I went through a little cr@p with my kid and custody. I found a low-cost attorney through a women's resource center (money was/is not readily available in my little world). It was a great thing to do. I got to see what SKnot's dad could and couldn't do, and got my rights and the custody laws explained to me very clearly. The attorney also had other resouces I could contact.

    Document everything, get the papers you have re: his alcoholism and the police involvement, find a lawyer, and get covered.

    My custody and child support agreement is open for review every two years, but the restrictions on how things can be changed (and how much) are pretty tight. No major changes allowed for us without very good reason and a full review and more documents, etc. etc.

    Your laws may be very different, but if you talk to an attorney you can get a better idea of what can happen.

    Is he trying to cow you with the "summers" issue, to get you to accept less child support?
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    680
    sorry...no kids...no advice that others have not already said...just wanted to say good luck!!!
    ...and maybe something to keep your hopes up in the near future: you got yourself a little crew support (water-bottle-hander-over) for all those races when this is over and he is a bit older
    well wishes your way------>
    I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,139
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    I went through a little cr@p with my kid and custody. I found a low-cost attorney through a women's resource center (money was/is not readily available in my little world). It was a great thing to do. I got to see what SKnot's dad could and couldn't do, and got my rights and the custody laws explained to me very clearly. The attorney also had other resouces I could contact.

    Document everything, get the papers you have re: his alcoholism and the police involvement, find a lawyer, and get covered.

    My custody and child support agreement is open for review every two years, but the restrictions on how things can be changed (and how much) are pretty tight. No major changes allowed for us without very good reason and a full review and more documents, etc. etc.

    Your laws may be very different, but if you talk to an attorney you can get a better idea of what can happen.

    Is he trying to cow you with the "summers" issue, to get you to accept less child support?
    Knot, I know that's where he's going with this. I expect him to ask me to pay him child support for the time he has him, which I doubt would happen. I did find documentation on the 2 year review from the initial agreement but only under certain circumstances. I'll talk to my buddy tonight and see if he has any info for me. Thanks for the ideas - I'll keep you posted.
    Dar
    _____________________________________________
    “Minds are like parachutes...they only function when they are open. - Thomas Dewar"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,295
    I agree with Knot about trying a women's center. A friend of mine is going through a nasty divorce with a man that has some personal issues (drinking, some emotional). The shelter considers her enough of a mental abuse case to help her find a low cost lawyer. I hope this works out best for you and your little guy.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,716
    Well, this sounds horrible. I don't have kids and I have no idea how hard this must be on you.

    I wonder though... for him to challenge the visitation agreement... won't he need a lawyer? Lawyers don't come cheap and you mentioned something about him not having gas money to drive 160 miles?

    Will he even have the money to pay for a lawyer?

    And like Knotted said... I think he's trying to get an extended visitation with him so he can skimp on child support... and yes, even get it from you. Sounds like he's doing what he can to get money.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in broadside thoroughly used-up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW WHAT A RIDE!!!!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mississippi Delta
    Posts
    218

    a little help

    I used to work in Child Support- an 'enforcement officer'.- main goal was to obtain & enforce support orders, especially for folks on public assistance.

    Anyway- your court order will remain tied to the original court- if you divorced & neogotiated the settlement, including custody & support, in your home county, that county retains jurisdiction. He's partly right, the support & visitation can be reevaluated every 3 (at least down here) years. You can also petition the court for a review - especially of the support if there has been a dramatic change in your circumstances- like if he got a new job making a LOT more money.

    He can threaten not to pay CS, but it's illegal. If you can't get any help
    enforcing the the support- you can contact your county Human Services office- they can track where he works- even if he goes job to job-
    He would be in contempt of court if he refuses to pay- so once you get a contempt order- he can go to jail.

    (It's not REAL easy or fun or fast, but don't let him push you around.)

    Good Luck
    & keep pedaling!
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Trondheim, Norway
    Posts
    1,469
    Unfortunately, he may have found some sleezeball attorney who's willing to do this for a percentage of the "take". There are such animals out there in the zoo. So I'd say follow the good advice you've been given: Find an attorney (sometimes there are good ones who offer services through women's centers), get some preliminary advice, and collect documentation ... just in case. He may be bluffing, but you'll sleep better knowing you're prepared should he not be. The last thing you want is for your son to spend a summer with him while he's spending the child support money on booze. Better your son should see his dad only when he's sober.
    Half-marathon over. Sabbatical year over. It's back to "sacking shirt and oat cakes" as they say here.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,824
    (((((((((((((((((Dar))))))))))))))))))))

    I have nothing to offer but my thoughts and prayers and contact an attorney.
    Jennifer

    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
    -Mahatma Gandhi

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."
    -Aristotle

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    269
    I don't know anything about this, but wanted to second some of the other comments.

    Get a lawyer if you can afford one.

    Start documenting all of this (even if this issue gets settled, it sounds like this guy is likely to be more trouble in the future). Get a notebook and start logging everything (dates, times: when he drops your son off, when he picks him up, when you offer hime more time, what his respose is, whatever)- if you do wind up back in court you'll be a lot better off if you can recite exactly what happened instead of being in a situation where it's your memory/word against his.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    the foggy wetlands,los osos,ca
    Posts
    2,860
    coming from parents that used us kids as weapon's during their devorce I think keeping this as legal as possible is the best. Trying to prove he is a drinker would be the first thing. get records of the complaints you made about he's prank calling etc...
    I am sooo sorry you are having to deal with this. There is nothing worse for a family then this crap! ( sorry)Good luck and hug your kids often and always let them know how much you love them! Mine got lost in all their junk and lost us kids.
    Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
    > Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vernon, British Columbia
    Posts
    2,226
    All I can offer is a hug {{{{{{{{{{Dar}}}}}}}}}} and my best wishes for a healthy resolution to this for you!

    Hugs and butterflies,
    ~T~
    The butterflies are within you.

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