I have recently filed for child support against my daughter’s father. The court date is set for December 7th and I’m getting nervous. My daughter is 8 and I have tried for years to just work something out with him outside of court but he always said he would pay and did it just every so often. So finally I filed for child support and that set him off. I do not know how things are going to go because my case worker does not offer very much information for me. We live about 3 hours from my daughters father so she lives with me full time and goes to school here as well as does all of her extracurricular activities here. Howerver he is claiming that he has her for half the year. I read that in order for it to be considered joint custody in NC the non-custodial parent has to have the child overnight for 123 days out of the year. I let her stay with him for 4 weeks this summer (that was the first time I have ever done that) and she has been to see him on and off throughout the past year on the weekends (never a steady routine always sporadicly). The time that he has had her overnight is no where near 123 days. I just want to know how he will have to go about proving that he has had her for more than 123 days? I am afraid that he is going to falsify documents or something. The past 5 years I have claimed my daughter on my taxes because she has always lived with me full time. Will I need to bring these tax documents to the hearing? Also he is under the assumption that this hearing is going to be for custody as well. We were never married and we have been split up for over 6 years. Do I have to worry about this hearing being about custody as well? I do not have a lawyer I am letting the counties social services department represent me. I am just getting very nervous because I do not want her to get taken from me or anything like that. He is very sneaky and coniving. He has gone months before without seeing her and just calling her every 2 or 3 weeks. But now that I’ve filed for child support he sends me text messages almost every week (i think so there is written proof) wanting to see her that weekend. Well I have not let her go because she is involved in soccer at the moment and they have games every Saturday. I have invited him to come see her play but he just responded that he doesn’t have to drive to my area to see his daughter. I am just very terrified that something is going to go completely wrong. I just want to make sure this is just going to be a child support case. Do I need to bring anything with me like pay check stubs, proof of deposits (money that he has given me this year), phone records to show when he has called… Or is that stuff only needed in a custody case. Also one last question. My sister keep reassuring me that this is only a child support case. That if he wants to pursue legal custody then he will have to get a lawyer to do so and that I will be able to get a legal aid attorney (if he is the one that initiates the custody case)? Thank you in advance for your help.
Your testimony to that fact that your daughter lives with you full time, along with other evidence (school records, etc) should be enough to allow the court to find your child lives with you.
As for the tax records, it will be a good idea to introduce those into evidence as well, as they will properly document your income. It is also a good idea to have copies of your pay stubs in court. The phone records may also be helpful in that they show your daughter does in fact live with you.
The hearing will only be for child support, unless your ex has filed a motion for custody and noticed that for hearing as well. If you have not been served with a custody suit, then custody is not at issue before the court.
How much in advance notice will I get if he does file a custody suit? Since this child support hearing already has a set date will he need to notify the court by a certain date if he is motioning for custody? I just don’t want to be surprised. He has told me that he has a lawyer but I don’t really believe much of what he says. Thank you.
If your spouse files for custody you will be served with a suit, and have 30 days to file a responsive pleading prior to any hearing being set.