Long distance visitation-this is long

I don’t know about some of this stuff but IMHO it was not an intelligent thing for him to go to the CSE in your town to refuse in person to pay medical bills or child support…
I think they will go back to the date that he stopped or lowered the amount he had been paying. If he set a standard of paying you $x a month and then drastically lowered his income intentionally so that he could reduce the amount of child support, the courts will have a field day with this information.
You have documentation that from August until December he was helping or paying the household bills and paying you child support…then when he moved in Jan and left his higher paying job…that was 4-5 months that he was providing finacial support for you and the children and then chose to reduce or stop that support all together.
I do hope that you are keeping a record of the events and timeline. Every accusation that you have heard from him and/or his family, make sure that you have facts to dispute and back up the truth. Have the sitter ready to testify. I do not know if CSE hearing would need to have all this but from the sound of it, you will need it eventually.

The courts may decide that you will have to meet him 1/2 way for visitations but again, I do not know if this will come up in the child support hearing. Child support and custody are two separate issues. Just because visitations are not happening does not give your stbx a legal “out” for not paying child support. The same is true for you. Just because he is not paying child support does not mean that he can not have his visitations. I’m not suggesting that you have refused visitations due to this reason, I’m just stating a fact.
Your oldest son, 17, can make his own decisions about visitation. The courts may state that he should be visiting his father but at 18 he is a legal adult and the courts would not force this on him.

I agree that you should NOT sign the separation agreement unless the inaccurate information is corrected and even then if you do not agree. I’m very glad that you have met someone and that you are living the way you want your children to believe is right. I’m also glad for you that you have someone in your corner that only has your best interest in mind. Hang in there and keep us posted!

Because your Husband is the party that moved it is likely that the court will put more of the transportation burden on him. They will certainly order the visitation to occur in a way that gets your son into bed at a reasonable time. You should prepare yourself for the idea that once you start receiving child support you may have to bear some of the travel expenses. However, child support enforcement will not decide this, it will be decided when and if you go in front of a judge regarding 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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To keep you from having to look back over my old posts, here is a summary of what has been going on:
I asked my STBX for a divorce in August. He refused to sign a separation agreement. He is a long distance truck driver, so he lived in his truck. Almost every weekend he would come into the house on Fridays, and I would leave. I’d come back on Sunday, and he left. The day I asked for the divorce, he stopped paying any household bills and no longer contributed to the running of the house (even when he was in it). He did give me 1/4 of NC calculator child support each week, and that was it. In December, I moved out with our now 5 year old son and 17 year old son. Because of STBX past actions, 17 year old doesn’t want to visit him or talk to him on phone. In January, STBX moved 4 1/2 hours away from our marriage area (which I’d stayed in). He said that he was taking a job for significantly lower money, and moving in with a friend. He lowered the amount he gave me weekly. Then, he said that he wanted me to drive our children 1/2 way to see him every other weekend. I told him that was impossible since it was so far and the gas is so high. It would entail me leaving my sons sitter at 7pm, he’d eat dinner in the car, arriving at close to 10pm at the 1/2 way point, when I would go back home and he’d travel another 2 1/2 hours to my STBX, getting him in bed after 1am. Then, on Sunday, STBX wants visitation to end at 8:30pm, so he’ arrive at 1/2 point at 8:30pm, get home around 11pm, and then go to school the next day. I recommended a non-every other week visit, or he can come here and stay in a hotel and have son, which with gas prices would probably be cheaper anyway. He refuses, and since I don’t agree to his version, he has stopped paying all child support as of February. He also hasn’t seen little one since January 13, although I’ve repeatedly told him that he could come here anytime to see him.

In February, our oldest was hospitalized for a week. I hadn’t heard from STBX since January 13, and didn’t have a phone number or address for him. When he happened to call during the hospitalization week, he didn’t get the hospital number. I called the next day and gave it to him. He called a day later and talked to son, telling him how mad he was that son didn’t call him on his birthday in December. He didn’t call son back, and didn’t even know he was released from hospital til I called and told him. Then, in April, our 5 year old broke his arm in two places and had to have surgery. I called STBX, telling him what happened, and told him that I now had another deductible, and couldn’t afford it since I wasn’t getting child support and was still paying off first sons hospitalization. I told him I needed some money from him. I never got it. He didn’t even ask which hospital the surgery was in, and never offered to come to the hospital. I haven’t heard from him since early April when I called him after surgery to say he was OK. He calls about every 2 weeks to sitters and talks to little one. His mother is now calling the sitters and is really talking bad about me, and has told the sitter repeatedly that she thinks little one has autism (which is completely out of the blue and untrue) even though she hasn’t seen him in 3 years. The sitter won’t take her calls anymore.

So now that you’re up to date… STBX and I have a CSE hearing on May 21. CSE told me that he came to their office (yes, in my city and didn’t see the kids) and doesn’t want to have to pay any medical bills. He is going to fight the child support on the basis that he shouldn’t have to pay that, that I supposedly make more money then him now (last year, he made $12,000 more than me), and I won’t drive them to him. He has also sent me a separation agreement (which I won’t sign) from a lawyer that has many errors. (the youngest birthday is wrong, and he called him on the wrong day for his birthday. He says we owned our old home, but we rented. He has wrong separation date, among other things).

I haven’t been perfect, and I’m dating a wonderful guy. He doesn’t stay overnight at my place. I initiated the divorce, so I know STBX is very mad about this. We hadn’t had an intimate relationship in 5 years at the time (and haven’t since) and we’d talked divorce for many years, so I just think he never thought I’d really go through with it.

What is normal for visitation that is 4 1/2 hours away? What can I except to happen at the court hearing? There hasn’t been any yet, and I’m a little apprehensive. Will I receive money then? Will they go back to the date he stopped paying, the date I contacted CSE (February) or the date CSE filed (April)?
Thank you.