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NWR-Child Support Question

I asked this in thebump, but I just love talking to you ladies so if anybody has any advice let me know. We are breaking up and I will have our one year old son. He has a daughter from a previous relationship that he pays $600/month for. He makes 2500-3000 per month depending on his commission check. The $600 he already pays for his daughter is a strain on him so I dont want to burden him by asking for a lot but I really need his help. I was going to ask him to just give me 350/month but that will only cover half our sons daycare cost, which leaves me with the burden of paying for all our sons other living expenses on my own. I doubt that I would get much more if I file for child support since he already pays $600 for his other child. Im also afraid that if I ask for too much child support that he will try to just take physical custody of our son instead of having to pay too much in child support. I dont know what U should do. I'm not trying to "take him for all he has" I dont want any more that what I need to really care for our son.  Does anybody have any advice or experience with child support. Also, I know the laws vary from state to state, Im in GA if that matters at all. 

Re: NWR-Child Support Question

  • Thank you so much 
  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Go to court! Protect yourself legally. 
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Go. To. Court.  Unless you have a written legal document he could just not pay you and you will have no recourse.  You need to protect yourself and your son legally, not just by a casual agreement.

  • pinkcow13pinkcow13 The Concrete Jungle member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm with PP's here, please go to court. Not to sound like a negative nancy, but you never know what can happen, and you need to secure your son's future. Things may be civil now, but they may not always be, and you need to have that court document to ensure things will be handled the right way.


  • Definitely go to court. You usually don't have to request a specific amount they have a formula that they use to determine a fair amount of child support. If there is a court order for the $600 he already pays that should be deducted from his total income before determining how much he owes you.
  • What HisGirl said. They'll likely adjust his payment to the other child's mom to balance things out. You need to have everything in writing and have the courts behind you to enforce it.

  • melbensomelbenso Hoth, apparently member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary First Answer
    ***Lawyer disclaimer - I do not know what state you live in.  I am likely not licensed to practice law in your state. I am not giving you any legal advice by saying this, only conveying information as I know it to be true***

    That being said:

    1. In most states (I can't guarantee all) an unmarried mother has full legal custody of a child.  When parents are unmarried, the father usually has to go to court to get legal custody/visitation rights.  This doesn't mean that mother cannot allow father to see child.  Just that legally, unmarried mother gets to make all custody decisions any way she wants to unless and until there is a court order.  Provided no danger to the child, it is usually a good idea to allow contact with dad in a way you both agree upon anyway.

    2. It would be in your best interests to get a child support order.  To the best of my knowledge, this can be done in all states without going to court if you do not want to.  Simply contact your local Child Support agency (often a branch of the welfare office) and apply.  At least in my state (and I presume others) the fact that a party has another child that s/he is supporting is taken into consideration when an order is established, whether through court or through an administrative order.

    So, to sum up.  It would be a good idea to get a child support order so that you have some recourse if he doesn't pay child support.  You can do this either through court or through an administrative order - whichever you think is best for your situation.
  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I understand that you don't want to burden him, but it's not like you popped out a baby on a whim one day. He contributed to your son's life and needs to continue to do so. Take him to court, for your sake and your son's.
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  • in NY I know that child support is based on percentage of income.  The percentage is different for the amount of children being supported.  I'm interested to see if once paying child support to you a court would decrease the amount he pays for his other child.  hmmm.
  • raeah219raeah219 member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited April 2014
    Now he is saying that we can just share custody and that we can base it off his work schedule. And our son can be in both homes equally so nobody has to pay child support. The issue I have with that is that I am our sons primary care giver. Im the one that takes care him the most. His dad is a great father dont get me wrong, but Im still with him majority of the time and Im the one who takes care of him the most. Plus ex-fi work schedule is unpredictable and sometimes he doesnt even get off work until 10:00 at night. That just wont work with a toddler. 

    Also @melbenso I have one quick question for you if you dont mind. Here in GA they have something called "legitimization" where the parents can basically put in writing that the child belongs to the father if they are unwed. We did that when our son was born, my ex is on the birth certificate and everything so does that mean I still have custodial rights until we go to court? 
  • Thats EXACTLY what my dad just said 
    KatWAG said:

    Well, of course he is suggesting the bolded. The schedule would be convinent for him and he would get out of paying you what you deserve. It is teh perfect scenario for him.

    Stop talking to him about this. Move out and contact a lawyer.

  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I always say my parents have the worlds friendliest divorce. They stupidly married because my mom got pregnant (with me) and four years later realized they were terrible for each other and got a divorce. My mom set my dad up with the woman who is now my step-mom. That level of friendly. They make great friends but terrible husband and wife.

    Having said that, they also drew up legal documents concerning custody and who would pay what for me. They were covering their own asses, but also making sure that I'd be taken care of no matter what.

    Contact an attorney. 

  • You need to get a lawyer and legalize everything. Right now, your priority needs to be making sure that you have the resources to keep your son healthy and cared for. Yes, it might put more of a strain on your relationship with your ex, but in all honestly, that cannot be your priority right now. You've done the hardest part, moving out, and now you need to make sure that your son is cared for. 

    This means you need to get your custody and child-support finalized. You have an assumed custody, your ex can file for custody as well. Get a lawyer as soon as you can. 

    Your ex's child support will be determined by the court or welfare office, although likely the court if you are going in for custody issues. Do NOT set an amount yourself. This is not about "burdening" your ex--this is about making sure you have the money your son needs! Neither you nor your ex comes first anymore, your son and his needs come first. Your ex is clearly not thinking about putting his child first, he is trying to manipulate you in order to pay you the least amount of money. It sounds like you already know that he is trying to take advantage of you and that his system won't work. Do not let him do that to your son--as your son will really be the one negatively impacted by this!

    Get a lawyer as soon as you can, your ex could already be speaking with a lawyer and not sharing that with you. 
  • I dont think I can afford an attorney but I will look into some in my area
  • So should I file for the child support first, or look for a lawyer first? And what if I cant afford a lawyer?
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Check in with your local legal aid office. http://www.georgialegalaid.org/ They'll work with you on cost.

    Another option might be to seek out mediation. You can avoid going to court that way. Of course if it doesn't work you can go to court afterwards, so it might be a good jumping off point. I'd start with legal aid though. They can better go over your options for your state.

  • Thank you thank you thank you!!! @magicInk

  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    raeah219 said:
    I dont think I can afford an attorney but I will look into some in my area
    Contact your state's child support office. My sister just took her ex to court for child support and the agency represented her for free in the case.
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    You are most welcome! 

    Completely unrelated funny note: I'm engaged to an attorney (she does mediation mostly now, which she likes better). But I know about legal aid from the musical Rent. FI did some work with them when she was in law school as well, and I went around singing "I did a bit of research with my friends from legal aid" and "those unwed mothers in Harlem need your help too!"...and she's still willing to marry me!

  • Always2014Always2014 member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited April 2014
    Another option for legal representation... If you have a law school in your area, they may have a clinic that is free of charge.  I participated in my clinic in law school and all we handled were divorces, custody and child support issues, and orders of protection.  It is another option to consider in case legal aid has a case load that won't allow them to take on additional clients at the moment (which happens in my area sometimes). 

    This. My law school didn't have a Family Law clinic, but the others in the area did and would always get spillover from the NGOs and legal aid. Sometimes legal aid will refer you, but other times it's better to just put in an application with the clinic itself. 

    ETA: grammar.  

    “Rose, before I go, I just want to tell you: you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I.”
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    I agree that you need to get something written up legally.  Even if you do decide to have shared 50/50 custody and no support payments, you should get that in writing and filed with the family court. Even if you do split custody, it doesn't address other financial aspects, like who pays for day care? Who pays for medical bills? Do you split those 50/50? What do you do if he doesn't pay you for those?  Will one or both of you plan to save for education? Working with a family court can help you navigate all those decisions. And going the legal route doesn't just benefit you.  It would benefit the father too.  It will legal define what visitation he gets, so you can't deny him visitation with his son. It keeps you from demanding more money than you deserve. It really just puts everything in writing and keeps everything fair, so it really is in both of your best interests.  Plus, it will help decide and regulate what will be best for your kid, which is the most important part. 


  • Go to court, as others have said.

    I know here in Texas, CS is based off father's income.

    My son's sperm donor has 2 children living under his roof, along with his wife.

    The court factored in all 3 children, his income, and I received a portion of it.

    Part of my CS order (I'm sole custodian, thank GOODNESS) is that he reimburses me a pittance each month for health insurance.  It was that or trust him and his wife to carry my son on their health insurance; I just don't trust him, so I fought the courts like a mad-woman to keep my son on my health insurance.  Yes, it costs me more in the long run financially, but it saves me MILLIONS in peace of mind.

    For medical reimbursements (doctor's visits, mental health visits, dental, etc), I am to mail him a copy of the receipt via certified, return receipt mail each time I incur a cost.  Once this total balance hits $500, the state will pursue him to reimburse.  Suffice to say, I've just written that off for the most part (except for any large expenses) because the hassle's more than the end result to me.

    If you do end up with joint, both of you need to sit down and calmly and rationally figure out how you are going to parent.  Everything from who makes medical decisions, how punishments will work, who attends school meetings, etc.

    DH and his ex-wife co-parent, but I've noticed DH allows her to walk all over him in regards to...well, just about everything.  Their joint custody order doesn't have a CLEAR statement of visitation, just a suggestion, which means she'll call us on a Friday evening to say she's coming to get SS, and DH says he feels guilty telling her "No" and depriving SS of time with his mom.  She's also been known to make medical decisions and over-ride DH's wishes (this is the one that truly chaps my ass). 

    Get it ALL in writing.  Every.Little.Thing.  Yes, it's a PITA, and SO unfun, but in the end, it's all about your SON. 

    And, speaking from personal experience; as the custodial parent, that child support payment you get?  That's not going to help much.  Doesn't matter how large it is, you'll still end up paying out the lion's share, financially (if nothing else), because your son lives with you.  It goes a little easier if you understand that from the word go. 
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