Ex wife keeping child from me

NO! She can’t deny you access or visitation with your son because you’re behind on support/bills. Period.
Any court would see that you have made valiant efforts to catch up and repay the money you were in arrears.

It AMAZES me how many parents withold their children away from their other parent because of money. They’re damaging their kids by denying them time with the parents that they love. Child visitation doesnt equal money or child support. In the end, the child loses. [V]

I agree. Custody and child support are separate issues to the courts. The would not deny you visitation because you are behind on child support and she does not have the power to do that either. Please try to document everything, and get a recorder for your phone to record her refusals of contact. Even if you’re only recording her not answering the phone. Date stamp each event. Keep records of it so that if/when she wants to take it to court you can show that you have made the efforts. Also, you may look at the calculator on the home site and see if what you are paying is more than what you should. That may help somewhat. My husband specifically went through the state on his child support so that he would not have to deal directly with his ex about the money. He pays the state every month and they pay her. The only draw back to this is of course in a situation you described, you would have to file for a modification of support. But it would probably keep you from paying all that child support, plus day care, plus any extras. You pay one payment to the state once a month. Everything else would be up to the custodial parent…

Custody and child support are separate issues. Failure to support your child can be an issue the court considers in child custody, but I think the court would notice the fact that you are doing what you can to bring these payments current. Custody is not a hostage situation, if she is withholding your son and trying to use him to bargain for money, then you have every right to go to court and address the issue of custody.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com/live for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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I will try to best summarize this and make it as easy to understand. My ex and I have been divorced now for over a year. I have a 5 yr old son. on our court sep papers we agreed to me having my son every other weekend and also one day a week. The one day a week has changed because my girlfriend (now wife) lives in Fayetteville and I chose to move there because her house was just bought. I was ok with giving up the one day because I also didn’t feel it was fair for my son to have to get up so early to drive to pre-school and be on the road so much. The agreement was going fine until I lost my job back in may/June of 07 which I had been employed for over 5 yrs. In our current agreement I am paying her 250 a month plus half of a 20k credit card in her name but we did buy things together on it which was to be paid by a certain date and all of his day care which was about $1040 a month. I even agreed to pay half of the attorney fee which was about 2,200 to me. I moved out and she kept the payments on the house/bills we owned together and I had to rent a home and pay my own bills etc. I of course got behind when I was let go and this of course started our first signs of trouble. I admit I did get behind when I did not have a job last summer. Her recourse was to not let me see my son and not return my phone calls to him and say because I hadn’t followed the agreement she could do it. I did not fight it knowing I would be caught up soon and I was embarrassed to say the least. I did not at the time keep records of her not allowing me to see him or when she didn’t let him answer my calls. I found a job 3 months later and from about august to about Jan I was able to get caught up on his school and pay her all of the 10 grand. I was giving her 2k a month and paying my sons school which is just shy over 1k plus of course trying to keep up with my own bills. So last year in 07 I paid all of the 10k plus kept up with his childcare (12-13 thousand) and over all it was pretty smooth when I was paying and how we communicated and exchanged our time with him again. That leads us to the current time. The job I took as a consultant ended abruptly late Dec and I was out of a job from Jan till my new job which I am in now since March 17th 08. Needles to say because of all the money I have been paying I got behind on the 250.00 to her per month and I was having trouble paying for his school. Instead of being consistent with payments I was playing catch up and I still am. We have been in constant arguments about paying for his pre school and her 250.00 support. It has been very hard for me to not even declare I was broke. I certainly can show I wasn’t just not paying her and buying stuff for me. In fact, I lost my car (repossessed) and haven’t even bought a thing for me. So for the last 4 months I got behind so much that a few weeks ago his school wouldn’t allow him to go back to school till I paid 1k of the 3k I owed. When that happened she completely has cut him off from me with out a court order and will not answer my calls and says until I am completely caught up on everything which may take me another 3-6 months I can and will not see him. Now last check I was able to pay the school 1k and he was able to finish out pre-school. I set up payments with them and he has now started kindergarten. So I owe her somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3k. Which is the interest left on the 10k when I was paying and payments of the 250.00 I am behind on and a draft I forgot to cancel for my gym and car insurance. I don’t dispute anything I owe and I plan on paying but I cant afford to hire an attorney at this point to fight it. Can she just stop my right to see him when we have joint custody and she is the primary on the agreement. her last call to me today was not to call again and she would determine if and when I can speak to him. I even called Sunday night to find out about his first day of school and never told me what time I could be there or when. Any advise is appreciated…sorry it was so long.