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Law Pro
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 24870
Experience:  20 years practicing family law from divorce, custody, support, alimony to equitable distribution
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I have a 17 year old daughter who has been living with me since

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I have a 17 year old daughter who has been living with me since April 1 of 2008. The custody papers says that her mother is the primary care giver but we have joint custody. Up until April of 2008 I lived in a different state than my daughter, so she would spend her school year with her mother and summers plus a week around Christmas with me. All that time I provided child support as listed in the decree.
Since my daughter and her mother were not getting along well, I moved to the same city (Albuquerque, NM) where they lived so my daughter could begin living with me (April 2008). Her mother and I did not change the custody document and I did not pursue child support from her. Now I would like to have my daughter's mother take her for about a month and a half this summer and she is not wanting to do that. One, do I have any recourse and two if she does take her for that amount of time, do I have to give her any child support?

Now I would like to have my daughter's mother take her for about a month and a half this summer and she is not wanting to do that.

 

If she (the mother doesn't want to take the child) you do not have any recourse - you can't just dump the child off and abandon the child with her. That's even though she is listed as the primary custodian.

 

No, you don't have to give her any support - your the primary custodian and have been since April of 2008. You should have filed a motion for modification of child support way back then so that she would be paying you rather than you paying her.

 

So, you should immediately file for a modication of child support. You are the status quo regardless of what the custody order/agreement states.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So the mother does not have to take any responsibility for caring for this child at all even though we have joint custody?

No, the court cannot mandate that a parent fulfill their custodial obligation. What the court can do is place the child(ren) in foster care, refuse custody/visitation for them in the future for not wanting the child(ren), etc.

 

So, I would gather evidence (documentary, recordings, etc.) that she refused the custody, that you have had the child all this past time, and then go after her for support.

 

Additionally, the court can make her pay (pursuant to the support guidelines) whatever it would cost to provide other shelter or accomodations for the child(ren) if they would have to go somewhere during this time period.

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