Custody Crap

Well, interesting‐I didn’t see this from until after court:

The Five of Hearts speaks of changes and restlessness in your heart which can manifest in many ways. At the deepest level, you will probably be feeling dissatisfaction with your current relationship or home situation and desire some sort of change.

When this card appears there is always the chance of a separation or divorce with someone you love, but there is an equal possibility that you will be taking a trip or moving to a new home. The highest manifestation of this card is that of going out and meeting new people, telling others about what you are doing and who you are. You can make important contacts when this card is around.

As those of you who have seen sambear‘s post know, R&G will be going to live with their mother on the West coast. They’ll be with us for a visit through August 13.

This is really turning out to be a case of “be careful what you ask for” as far as Sam’s ex-wife goes.

She’s getting both kids to live with her, but the child support that (I believe) she was counting on living off of is 1) far less than she expected; and 2) won’t actually start for almost a year.

Our records show that the ex-wife owed over $10k in child support and medical expenses. The judge gave Sam credit for $5k, and he doesn’t have to pay out a dime until that’s paid off, which will be in almost 12 months.

Happily, the amount of child support was based on Sam’s current, rather than his historical, income. While the ex-wife tried to claim that Sam had deliberately left his previous job for one making less money to reduce child support, the Guardian ad Litem immediately refuted that claim and the judge went with the GaL. The judge set the support at 25% of Sam’s current gross income—legal guidelines are between 23 and 28%, GaL had suggested 26%.

The ex-wife had wanted 28% of what Sam used to make at his old job—more than twice what he was ordered to pay.

The support is to be paid via PayPal, which is how the ex has been paying support to Sam for the last couple of years. She wanted it paid through the child support enforcement office, but the judge said that 1) it’s too complex with an interstate case; 2) it’s stupid of her to want that since they run 1-2 years behind all the time. And she actually tried to get the judge to have Sam pay extra to cover the less than 2% fee PayPal will charge her! He’s always absorbed that himself, never a squeak about asking her for it. The judge said, “Nope, even with a fee it’s still within the guidelines.” Now THAT is money-grubbing (and the judge was SO not impressed with her on that count).

The ex-wife was trying to claim that she didn’t owe a dime, Sam owed her money, etc.—except that, oh my, she couldn’t actually provide any RECORDS, and it was all her ex-employer’s fault, or the old daycare’s fault, etc. Then she said, “Oh, I have records stored at my father’s house and I could get to them now, but I couldn’t before.” (Her father was present in court with her.) The judge said, “Nope, we’re going on what we have here today.”

She has to provide health insurance for the kids, and she and Sam split what isn’t covered by the insurance 50/50 (Sam paid 75, her 25, before). If she lets the coverage lapse, she’s liable for whatever amount SHOULD have been covered by the insurance.

And she’s to do all this when she’s been unemployed for two years. (I still don’t understand how the court could give her the kids with no visible source of income, but hey, it wasn’t my call.) She’s living in a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment off her boyfriend, who is an only child who has never been around kids before. She claims that rent out there (Bay area) runs $1k a bedroom—I know some of you are there, is that about right? Anyway, the place was quite crowded just for a two-month visit. With no child support for almost a year, I can’t help but wonder how the boyfriend is going to feel about funding a bigger place—and I rather doubt the ex-wife is going to be trying very hard to find a job (still). We figure that if the boyfriend leaves, she’ll try to get more money or send the kids back.

Sam pays for travel and she reimburses him 50%. Since she’s been using a friend’s frequent flyer miles, and he’s likely to want to keep “paying” her for the “work” she does for him in FF miles, we figure she’ll try to do some haggling over that when it comes down to actually giving Sam cash.

I’m still worried about the kids, but if that’s where the universe wants them at the moment, that’s where they need to be. I’m relieved that the battle is over. All that remains is the rest of their visit and getting their stuff out there (she hasn’t made any arrangements for that, either).

Thank you for all the love and support. *hugs* to all of you!

Current Mood: 🙂relieved
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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