How should I legally approach my child custody situation? 5 Answers as of March 01, 2011I am currently in the process of a divorce. I have been separated from my wife for 2 years, which she was having an affair online and then proceeded to kick me out. Due to unfortunate circumstances, I had to take a job 115 miles away from her and my children because I was unable to find anything close by. I currently live with my girlfriend and our 10 month old son. My girlfriend also has two children from a previous marriage who stay with us during their visitation time. My daughter has accused my girlfriend's son of hitting her, he's 9 and she is 5. My wife has cut off all visitation to my two kids as long as my girlfriend's son is staying at our home. There is no police report, there were no visible signs or marks showing any type of abuse, I believe this can be chocked up to simple sibling type rivalry. My ex took my daughter to a pediatrician who stated that due to stress, my children should not come back to my home, even though he found nothing wrong. Now my wife is suing me for custody, stating that my kids cannot be around my girlfriend's son leaving me only one weekend visitation with my children a month and only from Saturday morning to Sunday. She has not allowed us to correct any issues in our home, by prohibiting my normal visitation which we have had in place for a year. Currently she lives at home with her mother and step-father, who combined make $10,000/month. She pays no rent or has any expenses of her own because her parents pay for everything, yet she is stating she wants me to pay $600/month in child support. She has a job, but claims she only makes $100/ month. I need help and advice. Is she legally able to request that my kids have no contact with my girlfriend's children? Is $600 a month for child support reasonable when she has no expenses that she pays herself? I currently make $13/hour and have my own household expenses as I pay rent, insurance (car), utilities and a family that I support 100%?
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
With regard to your custody matter, generally, one party does not get to make unilateral decisions such as the one you have outlined. I would suggest that provided that you are capable of insuring your daughter's safety, you should receive reasonable visitation regardless of who is living with you. As for child support, it is a statute driven calculation which is dependent upon the relative earnings of the parties, the timeshare percentage for visitation, and other relevant factors. It is impossible to tell you how much, if anything, you should be paying, without more information. I would be happy to speak with you, run a basic calculation, and discuss your options with you. Please contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
It is not her parents that are responsible for your children. A mother and father are the ones to support and care for their children. And you say that you have a family to take care of. Your children from your marriage need you to help take care of them. Expenses do not count when figuring support. You need an attorney to help you. If you can not afford it go to the court and ask to speak to the facilitators.
Answer Applies to: California