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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19630
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Hello, We live in Michigan (myself, my ex-husband, my son

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We live in Michigan (myself, my ex-husband, my son and my daughter). I have been divorced since 2005. My 16 year daughter lives with me and the court order was that she would see her dad every other weekend.

Since the time we divorced, she REFUSED to spend the night with him so he would pick her up and spend a few hours with her on Saturday, bring her back home for the night and then pick her back up on Sunday again.

We divorced because he is an alcoholic and was verbally, emotionally and mentally abusive to both me and my kids.

It has gotten to the point where she does not want to go and see him and their visits have gotten fewer and fewer. Sometimes he will go for 2 months without calling her or wanting her to come over.

However, over the past year he has started treating her really badly. He will call her (she says that it sounds like he is drunk some of the times) and yell at her over nothing, put her down telling her she is stupid and treating her as such and just about every time he calls her, she ends up in tears.

Now, my daughter is anything but stupid. She is one of the 'good' kids. Gets all A's with maybe 1 or 2 high B's in school, she takes all advanced classes, all of her teachers (even the ones that she hasn't had for classes) just love her and are always talking about what a great girl she is. She has great friends, is against drinking and drugs. She just has really great morals.

She plans on going to college to get her Doctorate in Psychology and even when she told him this, he laughed and put her down telling her "Good Luck with that". Her grades are never good enough for him, he accuses her of running around with boys and thinks that she is forever hiding things.

But this is a girl that is mostly concerned about her education, doesn't have a boyfriend and spends most of her time either studying or reading. (She just loves the Classics!)

He is the type of guy that when our 15 yr old son didn't call and thank him for the $20.00 he sent to him for his birthday, wrote him off, stopped talking to him and didn't even acknowledge his graduation.

He has been calling her this week about coming over for Father's Day but instead of being nice about it he has been his same old self and she has been a nervous wreck all week.

He told her today that "he needed to sit her down and have a serious talk with her about the way she is and that it is his 'right' to see her". He told her that if she didn't come over to see him on Sunday that he would call his attorney and take me to court.

He fought me in court a few months ago because ever since the divorce he has only been paying $25.00 a week in support for 2 kids. He is lazy and never holds a job for very long so when he finally did get a good paying job, I petitioned the court for more support. (He was also supposed to be providing her insurance but didn't so I had her on my policy and paid for it myself). I was granted the increase.

He called her after he got the petition for more support and told her that if his child support was raised that he would just take a voluntary lay-off and go back on unemployment so he wouldn't have to pay it and that is just what he did. He took me back to court and got it lowered back to the $25.00 a week about 5 months ago however I have not received support for (4) four months now.

So, today as he was yelling at her and threatening to "call his lawyer", she just hung up on him deciding that she wasn't going to take it anymore. He called back and left a voice mail threatening her once again which of course made her cry because she doesn't want to 'make things harder on me'. (I had to go on Social Security Disability last summer and there are days that I can't even walk due to a degenerative disease that is causing me to have to have both of my hips replaced and then lower back surgery).

She says that she wouldn't mind going over there to see him if he would stop threatening her and stop yelling all the time and stop implying that she is stupid along with all of the other rotten things he says to her but that she doesn't want to go and deal with it this weekend when he is acting the way he is because all he is going to do is be abusive toward her which after being married to him for almost 14 years, I can totally understand because he can be really mean and once he starts going on and on, he honestly will not stop until he breaks you down. I lived through it and so did my son and I refuse to make her have to go through that. She is 16 and does not deserve to be treated that way.

Like I said, she is a very 'good' girl, or rather 'young lady' that works really hard in school so that she can get into a good college and only hangs out with a few other kids that have the same values as herself.

I don't know what to tell her to do. I told her to just not answer her phone until I could try to get some sort of answer for her. Can anyone please help me?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.

I am truly sorry for your difficulties.

I don't know what to tell her to do. I told her to just not answer her phone until I could try to get some sort of answer for her. Can anyone please help me?

Response: I am truly sorry for your difficulties. I have a very easy answer for you: Your daughter does not have to go and see her father. If he is going to be unreasonable, he should not be rewarded for being a bully.

It is quite ridiculous that he is only paying $25.00 a week for two teenagers and the Court even allowed the reduction when he voluntarily quit his job as he promised to do. The Court should have imputed the income on him—the Court should not have reduced the amount of his support.

Let him call his Attorney and go back to Court. Then your daughter as a teenager would get opportunity to tell the Court how her father has treated and threatened her. You should also file contempt action against him for non-payment of child support.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is, you and the children do not have to take the abuse from him anymore. Let him go to Court and file contempt action against you and then you and the children would go to Court and tell the Court about his abusive behavior. Think of his Court case as an opportunity to expose his bullying tactics to the Court. Do not be intimidated by him.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So, should she return his call and tell him that she is not going to come over or just not respond to him nor answer her phone? Or, should I be the one to call and tell him that she won't be coming over?


He continues to try to contact her and I'm afraid that if he doesn't get a response and is possibly drinking that he may show up at our front door.


She is afraid to even not answer her phone as he keeps trying to reach her and it is worrying her so much. In his last message, he told her that he would have me arrested for not following court orders if she didn't come over on Father's Day. I told her that wouldn't happen and not to worry about that happening but he has her confident that something bad will happen if she doesn't return his call and go over there on Sunday but she is in tears just thinking about having to even talk to him again tonight.


I feel so bad for her and so helpless.


I think that she would be okay going into court and telling the judge how he treats her (my son is now over 18) unless she has to do it in front of him. He is very intimidating as is his attorney and I think that it would scare her too much if she had to talk 'about' him 'in front' of him.


When we went to court over the child support, he had his attorney with him and I was by myself as I just can't afford one being on disability. When I tried telling the judge how he had told my daughter that he would quit his job, his attorney interrupted me and pulled out a piece of paper from my ex husband's boss stating that he was laid off due to lack of work.


I know that he asked his boss to specifically write this because we used to work for the same company and his boss and him were/are very close friends so I know that he was just covering for him. Anyway, so I got shot down quickly.


And when the judge was working on determining the new support, his attorney was quick to point out that my daughter was receiving money every month as well as part of my disability which I don't think should have been added into my income but he had the attorney and I didn't.


Thank you for helping me with this. I let her read your last response to me and it did make her feel a bit better but she is still unsure as to how to handle the current situation with his calls and demands. I think that she should just ignore any phone calls and not listen to any more of his voice mails because they just upset her more and then just let him get the picture on his own that she won't be coming over on Sunday.


Do you think that is the best way to handle it?


Give him a call and let him know that your daughter would not be coming to visit him because she is afraid of him. Tell your daughter to ignore his phone calls and other contacts.

Next time you go back to Court for Child Support, do not let the Judge brush you aside. Demand to have your say. These things happen where the Judge let one side talk. It happens to Attorneys also. You should stand your ground. Otherwise, if you feel that the Judge is not being fair, you can file complaint against the Judge with Judicial Misconduct Commission (Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission):

His “former employer” should be ashamed for letting him get away not paying Child Support. You should bring that up again when you go back for Child Support.

Let me know If you need anything else,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I just wanted to thank you for your advise and assistance tonight. It ended up that we didn't have to contact him at all.


Right before I received your last response, her dad played the 'Grandma' card. His mom called my daughter and told her that her dad had called her telling her that my daughter was being 'mean' to him, hanging up on him and wouldn't spend Father's Day with him for reasons he didn't know and was really hurt by the whole thing. (I can't believe that he even went there!)


I was surprised but my daughter told her everything. How he belittles her all the time and threatens her - everything came out in the open - finally. By the end of their conversation, Grandma was pretty upset with her son and said she was going to call him and have a talk with him because it was inexcusable that he was treating his own daughter that way. (I don't think that went quite as he expected it to go! But it won't end there.)


We weren't sure if her dad would call her again and hopefully apologize to her after that or if he would be so angry that he wouldn't call back and would go ahead and contact his attorney tomorrow as promised.


He didn't call back so I'm assuming that we'll end up back in court. He's not only mean but will also go out of his way to make sure that he 'gets' his way. (I think that you will find the next paragraphs interesting...)


The judge that was originally assigned to oversee our child support case unfortunately passed away so our case was deferred to another judge on a different day. I showed up for the hearing 'when' and 'where' it said on my paperwork that my ex's attorney sent to me but when I went to check in, they told me that my hearing was actually 3 hours earlier and with a different judge so it was showing in the system that I was a 'No Show' for my court date.


I showed my paperwork to the Court Clerk and she was stunned because she said that it appeared that my ex's attorney had intentionally put the wrong information down on my paperwork that his office sent to me so I would purposely show up in the wrong courtroom at the wrong time and miss the hearing. His lawyer is the one that wrote out the paperwork not his assistant or anyone else in his office and there was only (1) one date and time in the court computer system for the new hearing so she didn't understand where he would have even gotten the information that he sent to me unless it was done deliberately.


The judge that put me down for 'not appearing' then set it up to where we would just go before a magistrate so they could get set the figures for the new support order. I had already lost the case when I didn't appear.


So, my ex and his attorney had me set up for the whole thing and I didn't have a chance at all in winning my case. I did try to bring this up before the Magistrate and his attorney solemnly told the Judge that it was an honest mistake on his part. And then here in Michigan, you can only petition the court to review child support once every 2 years and they knew that after I lost this time in court and it was lowered back to the $25.00 a week, in 2 years my daughter would be just about 18 so I wouldn't have another chance to get it raised. Very sneaky.


'That' is the type of man he is and why my daughter is scared of what he may do next. I have to say that it frightens me a bit as well knowing how sneaky both him and his attorney are. There is no telling what they will try to do to me if it goes to court if he pushes it about her not coming to see him. And I just can't afford to have an attorney represent me to stand by me in court to stop anything him and his lawyer try to do. If they lie in any way as they have done in the past in order to make her 'have' to go and see him or to try and get him full custody (which he has also threatened to do), there is no telling what will happen. I can't fight a dirty war all on my own and expect to win it. And not only is my ex mean but he is also a habitual liar so I understand why my daughter is so scared about what he is going to do.


I will file that contempt action about the child support and am going to also make an appointment to talk with my Child Support caseworker at Friend of the Court so that I can let them know about him quitting his job as promised so that he wouldn't have to pay more support. Maybe with their help, I can get it back before another judge to have another look at it but he is still collecting unemployment so I highly doubt they will raise it.


Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your advice about this weekend and to also tell you what had transpired over the evening. I appreciate knowing that she doesn't have to go over to his house and put up with his abuse. Plus, it has actually been really nice to share what him and his lawyer have done with an attorney even though I know you can't help me. It has also reminded me just how ruthless he can be.


I wish that I could hire a lawyer to help us with this situation knowing how unethical his lawyer operates. I'm almost positive that his attorney is a close friend of his because I don't see how he could even afford to hire one when he complains all the time about not even being able to afford the $25.00 a week in support when the only income he has coming in is his unemployment. Thank you once again. Most Respectfully.

Thank you for the update. I am glad that your daughter did not have to deal with his dad. Nevertheless, that is quite said.

Anyway, do not let the fact that he has an Attorney and you do not intimidate you. You know your case more than any Attorney. All you have to work on is to make sure not to lose your temper. Yes, I know it is easier said than done, but do try. Try writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper and take it with you to the Court. So, if he starts lying, you just use the note to calm yourself down.

Yes, you need to pursue the Child Support. It is quite outrageous that he is only paying $25.00 for his kids and he calls himself a dad.

Hang in there, stick to the points when you go to Court and you would be alright.

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