Child support


#1

my childs father and i have joint physical and legal custody of our child. the judge never looked at either of our incomes to determine if child support would be needed. i am a full time student in college, and can only work part time. Due to the fact that our child suffers from severe separation anxiety DISORDER and possible PTSD, i dont work when i have her, as it has eased the anxiety to a slight degree, and have found that when I do work when i have our child, that the anxiety level increases drastically, so for the childs well being, i have opted to put our childs needs first. She is in therapy several times per week. The father works 2 jobs and makes around $20 per hour between both jobs. I make less than $8 an hour…on average my check is $60 every two weeks, which barely covers my gas cost for transportation to and from work and school. I have to solely rely on my parents to help me financially. I have been told that even though child support was not looked at, or ordered by a judge, that I can go to a Child Support Enforcement Agency to try to get some kind of support from the father, so that I wont have to be as dependant on my parents as I am. Before I waste my time or anyone else’s time going to the CSE agency, I want to know is this an option that I have given that a judge never ordered child support? It states in the order that we are each to support the child have the child in our care.
Also, we wanted to put our child in preschool, however, the father knew from the get go that I could not afford to pay for it. He told me that it was no problem that he would cover the costs each month. Now, he is asking that I pay half, when he knows my financial situation. Can this be used against me in any way given that he knew BEFORE he signed any papers with the preschool that I could not help with the cost and he agreed to pay all of the cost?


#2

Without seeing the court pleadings, it’s hard to understand why the judge would not enter a child support award. If the case was set before the judge on the issue of child support, the parties should have produced evidence and the court should have applied the child support guidelines and entered an obligation.

If there is not a child support obligation, or if there is and there is a reason to modify, the child support enforcement agency can assist you in either establishing or modifying an order.


#3

the only thing i can tell you is that child support was asked for both times during the 2 custody hearings (one was a custody modification hearing). neither judge asked for any proof of income, nor did they inquire about the income. i had been told that child support and custody hearings are not done in the same day during the same trial, but both were addressed by the judges, both times, at the same time as the custody hearings, but again, neither asked for any income information. the order just states “the court finds that both parents have a duty to support the foresaid minor child and that shared physical custody schedule will allow each side to shoulder the financial needs of the minor child while the child is in each partys respective custody”. the judges knew of my being a full time student, knew where i worked, knew that i was part time. they were also aware of the fathers 2 places of employment, and that at one point, when he filed papers, that i had not asked for any child support prior to him filing papers, BUT, he did voluntarily (when he filed papers to make it look good on himself) start paying $100 a month to me when the child was about 14 months old, prior to that he had made very little contribution to help with our child. a box of diapers a month BEGINNING at age 5 months, and a weeks worth of baby food per month. the father produced ONE receipt showing where he had bought diapers in the month of November that year…that was ALL he had to show the judge in the entire hearing…so the judge based her “facts” based on his word, and not on what I could prove in evidence (texts emails journals, etc) so in this finding, the judge said “the court finds that the plaintiff did buy some items for minor child prior to volunteering to pay $100 a month in child support in x month xx year. the court finds that no action for child support was instituted until the plaintiff filed for this action for custody of foresaid minor child and that neither the defendant nor any person acting on her behalf gave a specific child support figure or specific amount or request to the plaintiff and that no child support was paid until after the complaint in this action was filed”. The judge totally didnt care that I wasnt trying to be mean and cause trouble by making him pay anything (because at the time that we had split, he was not working, so I KNEW i wouldnt get much of anything from him had I taken him to court for child support…and he had not even tried to obtain a job UNTIL he hired his attorney…then suddenly he got 2 jobs and started paying child support. during the modification hearing, it was mentioned in the complaint that I filed for child support to be addressed again, and once again, this judge (a different one from the first) didnt ask for income info, he just stated in the conclusions of law that we were to go by the previous order regarding child support. and just to clarify…first case was for child custody from the father…second case was for child custody modification by me, but in BOTH cases, it was mentioned that I wanted child support to be ordered. also, our child is on medicaid…its my understanding that if one or both parents are able to receive health insurance through their job, that they must do so, and use medicaid as a secondary insurance. HOWEVER, this was also completely ignored by the judge, so again, the father doesnt have to do anything for his child. Whenever its my time for visits, the majority of the time, she has on clothes thats too small for her. She wears a 4t and 5t, but she is sent here in 3t clothes, and I KNOW he can afford to buy our child clothes!


#4

It sounds like you need to file a motion for child support and have that issue be heard specifically. It sounds like you were asking for child support at a child custody hearing, and the judges were trying to address the issue even though it wasn’t properly before them. If you do it the right way, you should have a hearing that addresses the incomes and expenses as well as applies the child support guidelines if appropriate. If you had not been getting sufficient child support in the past, you should request retroactive support.