Couple of questions

My boyfriend is fixing to go through a divorce and they have a 10 year old together. At one time, they mutually agreed that the minor child would spend a week with her and a week with him since they do live in the same school district. The child can ride the bus back and forth to each parties house. She now has been keeping the child from him, making excuses as to why the child cannot come to his house and stay with him. The excuses vary but most of the time it is because she has made other plans for the child. She always sends her to the childs best friends house or her parents house. He doesnt want to cause a fight with the mother so he just lets her get away with it. He is filing for custody, based on this would he be able to win custody of his daughter? She has also on numerous occasions had their 10 year old call him and ask when he was going to pay certain bills… Also, he has pictures of the unsanitary living conditions of the house (ex: Dog pee stains and poop stains everywhere, dishes and food left out for days at the time and many more…) She is also living in the house and has been for the past 2 years and he has been paying with mortgage payments and she obviously has not intent on getting a job to support herself or her kids since she decided to homeschool her son (this is not his biological son) anyways… i have more questions but I will save them for a different time… This is just for my sanity to help me to obviously understand certain things…

If he is seeking sole custody (as opposed to joint), that is a much higher burden to show to the court that she is unfit. If instead he is trying to have joint custody with him having primary physical custody, that will be somewhat easier. Depending on the county in which he lives, some courts heavily favor 50/50 and others don’t. The burden will be on him as the Plaintiff to show that him having custody lies in the child’s best interests. He can use all of the things you describe to strengthen his case, and the judge will ultimately decide the result. He should keep track of all of the times she changes plans on him at the last minute and/or refuses him contact or visitation. That will generally reflect badly upon her in court.

Yes, we keep everything that is said… we write down dates and times and keep up with when he is supposed to have her and when she does come… so we do keep up with all of that… How would alimony worrk in this case? Would she be entitled to alimony? I know there are certain general statutes that I assume they go by and one of them is contribution of spouse as a homemaker… he left her because she would not keep house… meaning she would leave piles of crusted over plates by the bed in the bedroom, when she would do laundry it would sit in the washer for 2-3 days before she decided to dry it and multiple other things that he has pictures and video of. He would have to do his own laundry because she wouldnt do it. She did not work at all while they were married but she was attending school which she graduates in december… It has been almost 2 years since they have been seperated and she still refuses to get a job… he at one time was paying all the bills after he left and when he found out the money he was giving her for utilities and stuff she would take and spend it else where and then go beg the church for money saying he left her high and dry… So I dont know if he could get out of alimony… obviously there are more reasons than these few but if i put them all it may take a couple pages!

Alimony is based on several factors, the first being a finding that there is a dependent spouse who is actually and substantially dependent on the supporting spouse, and a supporting spouse who has the ability to pay. Alimony is intended to allow a dependant spouse to maintain his or her standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage. Alimony is based on a number of factors including the length of the marriage, the ability of the supporting spouse to pay and the need of the dependent spouse. Alimony is awarded by comparing the reasonable and demonstrated needs of the dependent spouse, and the ability to of the supporting spouse to pay after considering his or her reasonable expenses. The amount and duration of support is specific to each case, you may want to read the list of factors relating to each in the Statute which you can access under the alimony tab of the home page, there is even a video you can watch which describes all the factors involved in an alimony case. Poor housekeeping is unlikely to prevent her from obtaining alimony if she’s otherwise eligible.

Ok, I guess that makes sense, however, I assume that judges do use recorded conversations and stuff in civil procedures such as divorce. If he even has her on recording talking about she just wanted to see how long she could milk no having a job and what not would that factor into it? What about the part about essentially “Stealing” from the church… she was taking money from him for bills then spending the money elsewhere then begging the church for money… which that is obtaining property by false pretenses… so I guess to me it seems like she shouldnt get a dime from him since she couldnt keep house, she just plain out refuses to get a job (shes even told him this)… hes filing for interim distribution of the house that shes been living in and hasnt had to pay a dime for because she refuses to get a job or do anything to support herself or her kids which she is perfectly capable of doing.

Yes, a recording of that sort will definitely help his case. She would be basically admitting to suppressing her income in bad faith. When a person voluntarily suppresses their income in bad faith, the court can calculate child support based on the income they would be earning, rather than the income they are actually earning. You would generally show bad faith by proving that your spouse had the ability to earn more money, had a job where they were earning that salary, and left that position to avoid paying support. If his ex’s refusal to work is in bad faith the court may impute income to her which would reduce your child support obligation, but you must show that she is not working so that she can get more money from child support.

Your last response kind of confused me… Did you mean to say alimony instead of child support? His lawyer has already told him what he will have to pay in child support but I was meaning alimony. She has not worked the whole time they were married because she wanted to see how long she could milk it, its been 2 years since they have seperated and she still refuses to get a job. She was taking money from him that was for bills and spending it elsewhere and then begging the church for money to pay her utility bills saying he left her high and dry. Either, way… I wasn’t sure if you meant child support or alimony in your above response.

Sorry if I was unclear. The above information I posted will apply to either child support or alimony determinations. If the dependant spouse is not working in order to increase support, the court can impute income to them in the amount they are capable of earning for purposes of alimony calculation. The judge should not order an amount above what you can reasonably afford. Your ability to pay is based on your current income, and your spouse’s standard of living is based on the reasonable expenses incurred during the marriage.

My boyfriend has his court date set and I know you said voice recordings and emails can be used… What about school discussion board forums that she posted talking about how at one time she was going to commit suicide and the only reason she didn’t is because a complete stranger knocked on the door… Can that be used in any way?

Yes, that post can be used as evidence.