Trying to be the father he always wanted to be
Organized by: Amelia Hill
My boyfriend is trying to pay off back child support so he has a chance at winning custody battle. 8 years ago when first judgement was made, child support was set at $200 a month even with no employment due to the needs of the child. Payment was scrapped together for a while, but he quickly got behind when he could not find work. After falling behind, they started adding fees as the state does. Now $200 a month changed to $244 a month. After another year of not being able to make timely payments the payment with interest came to $288 per month. For the last 2-3 years, his daughter has been living with another family member other than the mother. For a year and a half, my boyfriend and his daughter have finally been able to grow a close relationship. Previously, the mother would move, change her number or out-right deny visitation. Being young and inexperienced, my boyfriend thought he had to 'deal' with these head games. He didn't realize that he could have any fighting chance of getting a better arrangement or that the mother could be held accountable for withholding visitation. He believed it was her right to do so, since he was behind on child support payments. In the past year and a half, we have paid for school supplies, two different wardrobes of clothes (one for where his daughter was staying and one for our house), taken her to church as regularly as they allow him to maintain his visitation, and have taken her with us on many family outings. His daughter is a very important and special part of our family. Her teacher even told us that his daughters grades and demeanor went up when she stayed with us. The visitation is still somewhat sporadic. Every few months the mother decides either no visitation at all, to his daughter spending two whole straight weeks at our house. In an attempt to maintain stability for his daughter, my boyfriend filled for full custody with the court. He does not want to take her away from people that she loves, but more just give his child a loving stable home. She has been jumping from her great-grandma's house(where she stays most of the time) to our house, to mother's boyfriends house, to her grandma's house. The girl never seems to know where she will be spending the night or where her belongings are. During a recent conversation between my boyfriend and his ex to attempt to agree to proper living arrangements, my boyfriend mentioned that he thinks it would be in his daughter's best interest if she lived with a parent instead of her great-grandma. The mother became upset and tried to bargain with him, saying she would give him every weekend if their daughter could live with great-grandma. So the mother is hoping to retain full legal custody and have her daughter live with great-grandma from Monday-Friday. And my boyfriend would have her from Friday night until Sunday night. This would leave no parenting time with the mother, but yet she would be cashing child support checks(which she does not give to great-grandma), collecting LINK, and tax-refunds. So instead of agreeing to such an arrangement, my boyfriend is going ahead with the full custody. There is plenty of evidence to prove how the mother pushed him out of his daughters life and what she is trying to get him to agree to now. He shouldn't have too much trouble winning this fight. The only fight that the mother has is my boyfriend being behind in child support. She has never pushed the issue before since he was making attempts at paying, but could not keep up. But when he filed for full custody, she decided to press charges against him. Court is on 7/13/16 for child support. They could sentence him to 6 months in jail. Then, the custody court is on 7/18/16. I am trying to help him raise this money, cause we are out of options at this point. If he can pay off the back child support, then the mother really won't have anything else to fight with. If you have gotten this far, thank you for reading. I apologize there are no pictures, for privacy reasons. Thank you again.