Transferred Venue

It sounds like you have been doing everything possible to follow the order and have also been going above and beyond that to ensure that you get to see your children.
I can suggest that the next time you get to see your children ask them if they know their address. Ask them the name of their school or doctor. Anything that you may be able to look up on the internet to find out an area.
I’m not sure about some of this but I do know that legally, you have a right to their medical and school records since you are their father. I suggest contacting Medicaid to report fraud and what to do about her using this program. Since there is private insurance provided, Medicaid can only legally be used as a secondary insurance. My husband’s ex did this also. Medicaid will have her address and should be able to at least get you the county that she is in. They will want to contact her and if they need verification then they will ask for a copy of the insurance card since she is supposed to provide to them. Medicaid fraud is serious and your insurance company will end up paying Medicaid back for any charges that it should have been covering.
The only thing I could tell you about filing the child is that if you have a court order giving you rights to file, then file the child. The IRS will only let one of you file and possibly will halt both tax forms from going through until it’s found out who should NOT be filing. It used to be whoever got their forms in first and the second one would be held up. It may still be this way but you can contact the IRS to find out.
There is no certain age that a child is allowed to choose. The child’s wishes are taken into consideration but nNormally this is worked out between the parents. The courts choose who has been the primary caregiver for the majority of the time and what is best for the child. The best situation is for both parents to be involved as much as possible in the child’s life and the courts do recognize that.
If you want to modify custody you would need to file for that. If you’ve moved from Florida to TN it’s possible that the custody/visitations should be changed since it would be easier for you to see your children. For modifying though you would have to file in the county where the child lives…
If a judge decides that testimony can only be gotten straight from a child then it would be up to that judge whether or not the child could testify. It would not be in open court.
You can also record telephone conversations. In NC it’s legal to record a conversation as long as one party knows it’s being recorded. I am not sure about TN…keep good records and document everything that is said, done or paid for…

As a side note, your children are old enough to understand now what their mother is doing. When you talk to your children have at least one of them memorize a phone number for you. Don’t tell them it’s because you can’t always contact them due to them moving, but that you want them to always be able to contact you. If you have to…explain to them how to call collect. Let them know that you would like to see them more frequently and talk to them at least once a week. When you find out the school, contact the counselor there and let them know this situation. Find out if there’s anything you should know and find out if there’s a way for you to talk to your children while they are at school. During school hours they are in the school’s custody so their mother can not prevent you from visiting there or monitor a phone call…
Maybe some others have different suggestions.
Good Luck.

I did contact Marie Rice who is the medicaid fraud supervisor in beaufort county, and made her aware of the situation, her response was that as long as I was doing my court ordered part then I had nothing to worry about. I had requested from her a certificate of coverage that would include the date that the children were put on medicaid, and any claims for the children that were processed. They refuse to give me anything. I am in contact with the principal at my children’s school, but the only thing that he will provide me with is the children’s report cards, he will not let me speak to my kids at the school because both my ex and her husband are working for the school. I have contacted the children’s doctor, dentist, and eye doctor and have given all of them the proper insurance information, but there have been no claims submitted from any of them. my wife did record a conversation this summer that she had with my ex and the kids. My ex had also had an affair on her new husband, with another married man in the communtiy, and was using my children to go out and meet up with this man. She had also moved into this other man’s mother’s home at the end of summer last year when I had returned the children to her. The children state that they have been evicted from the homes that they lived in and had to even move in with some members of their church for a while. I have tried to ask them their address, but their mother never tells them anything but the po box, and I did give them my home,work, and cell number in August, but they are never allowed to call me because she only has a cell phone and she has control of it. They live in a trailer somewhere in the middle of nowhere and they do not have any neighbors close to where they could call me. I call every week sometimes 2 to three times and she never calls me back, will not answer her phone, and the children told me this summer when I had them that sometimes on the rare occasion that she does answer the phone that she will tell me that the kids are not there when they really are there. She has even sold the gifts that I send to them, so now the children have asked me to keep all of their presents at my home. Is there anyway that I can file any criminal charges myself against her for the medicaid fraud?

Todd Zimmerman

IMHO, if what you say is true, and you can prove it to a judge, I would go for full custody of the kids. Their life with her is unstable, right down to where they are going to lay their heads down at night. If have a stable home environment, I’d file for full custody.

I’m not sure that you can file charges for insurance fraud. I think that the doctor, dentist and eye doctor would be the ones that would be required to submit the claims to your insurance company. In that respect you should be able to get claims submitted to them since it’s your coverage. Your ex’s name, not yours, would be on the Medicaid card and that is why you could not get copies of claims. And she is right that as long as you are doing what you are supposed to do YOU don’t have anything to worry about.
You could contact the doctor & dentist and ask them for a copy of their records or at least dates of appointments. You may have to show them the order where it states that you have joint legal custody to get copies of this, but that would be a small price to pay. Ask the office after getting this why there has been no claim submitted…
If you do try to gain custody, this would be information that a judge would like to hear about. Legally she can not carry Medicaid as a primary insurance if there is private insurance coverage, Medicaid must be secondary.
I agree with trbotina. Go for full custody. The worst case scenario is that custody doesn’t change, but get this back into court and bring to light all these issues about the unstable environment and inconsistent visitations and contacts.
As far as the gifts and things, there have been other’s that have posted similar situations. My suggestion is to keep sending cards and letters; make copies of them, send them registered mail addressed to the oldest child. Do not send money or gifts. Start an account for them instead of sending them the money. Keep the gifts at your home. If your children have asked you to do this then they are beginning to see the issue.

The point is that you are going to have to do something if you expect this to change. If you allow her to continue to shut you out of their lives, then it will only get worse. Consult with an attorney and see what your options are…

You can proceed in one of two ways:

You can file a "Motion and Order to show cause and ask the court to enforce the Order as it is written. When it comes to custodial issues, especially the type you have described, it is often difficult for a court to stop the other spouse from engaging in alienation behavior.

You could file a motion to modify custody alleging that your former spouse’s alienation of the children is a substantial change in circumstances. If the court believes her behavior is having a negative effect on the minor children they can and will change custody.

There is no specific age when a child can make a decision about where to live. You can ask for the Judge to speak with your child/children and the older your children are, the more credence a Judge will give to their wishes.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

The venue of my case was just transferred from Florida to North Carolina. I live in Tennesee, and my Ex lives there in Plymouth. She has been alienating me from my children and has violated nearly every order of the final divorce agreement. I have only had 3 conversations with my children in the last four months, each of them lasting not longer than 10 to 15 minutes, the conversations between us are always monitored by her and her new husband via speaker phone. Each year she claims our oldest daughter on her and her husband tax return when the court in Florida granted me the right to claim her. The court had ordered that pick up and drop off be at a designated halfway point between our homes, but for the last 4 years if I do not drive all the way then I do not get to see my kids. When I do get my kids they are always telling me of abuse that has occured to them or to their mother by her new husband, but I can not get this verified because she never gives me a physical address of where she is living. She always has a PO Box. We have joint legal custody, but she refuses to list me as their father or as emergency contact on school, doctor, dentist and other records pertaining to the children. The court ordered me to provide insurance for the children which I have done, but I recently found out that she has my children on the state Medicaid program because she refuses to use the insurance that I provide because then I would have access to the childrens records. She has been neglectful of some of their dental and vision needs. She has moved 4 times in the last year according to my children. I need to know where do I go from here. I make a modest living and can not afford the high prices of most attorney’s. Is there paperwork and legal forms that I can file myself? Do I stand a chance of possibly getting custody of my children who have told her and myself that they would prefer to live with me? At what age in Nc is a child allowed to let the judge know their wishes, and be allowed to testify in court. My children are 10, 11, and 12.

Todd Zimmerman