My stepson moved in with us over 8 months ago. His mother has seen him approximately 7 or 8 times, and he has only spent the night with her twice. We have tried to get him to spend more time with her, but honestly, she doesn’t seem that interested unless it’s the 50/50 that the current consent order implies. Truthfully, since this order went into place three years ago, it has never been 50/50, as my stepson has spent approximately 80% of his time in our home. My stepdaughter also moved in at the same time, just days after turning 18. There’s alot more to the story - but I don’t want to bore you, so I’ll stick to the facts.
Their mother will not contribute to their support in any way. We know there’s nothing we can do about the 18 yr old, but my husband feels strongly that she needs to support her son, just as he did all the years that she had sole custody.
He filed with child support enforcement in June. Papers were filed and a court date was set in September (for November). Surprise, the next day she files a motion to show cause accusing my husband of being in contempt of the order and estranging son from her. The hearing was continued, because she hired a lawyer at the last minute and even her lawyer told her she didn’t stand a chance, that the order was worded to allow the son to be where he wanted. Our attorney agreed to a continuance on the condition that she submit a proposal to modify custody closer to the actual situation. This has not happened. The problem is that now, because there’s a pending motion, the child support judge would not hear the child support case. He expects the custody to be worked out before the continuance date. This isn’t going to happen. She just keeps stalling, and will do so until son reaches age of majority (1-1/2 years away), even our lawyer has advised us to just let him “age out”.
The NC CS guidelines are worded “A parent (or third party) has primary physical custody of a child if the child lives with that parent (or custodian) for at least 242 nights during the year. Primary physical custody is determined without regard to whether a parent has primary, shared, or joint legal custody of a child.” Doesn’t this say, that regardless of what the order says - physical overnights is what determines support obligation? So, why would the judge refuse to even hear the case when we have documentation that he has lived with us well over the 242 nights, and my husband has been solely responsible for his support? What can we do, prior to going back for the continuance, to ensure that the case is treated appropriately. The CSE officer does not seem to be much help, and has mislead my husband several times already. He acts like it’s all just a cakewalk - but in court, he did not even speak to present the case.
Sorry for the long post. Thanks for any advice you can give. Rosen continues to be a wonderful support to the community.