I just want to know if my declaration would seem logical and well organized and persuasive to a judge.
PERSONAL DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF FL-320
CASE NUMBER: KD071470
PETITIONER: Bruce O. Solheim
RESPONDENT: Heather E. Owens (Solheim)
I, Bruce O. Solheim, hereby declare that I am the Petitioner in this action, I am over eighteen years of age and if called as a witness I could and would testify to the facts set forth here from my own personal knowledge and experience except as to any matters alleged based on my information and belief and as to those matter I believe the facts to be as I have state here. The Respondent and I are the parents of Caitlin O. Solheim, born April 14, 1996, and Leif O. Solheim, born December 16, 1999. I would like to provide a quick background history of this case.
In 2008 the Respondent and I were divorced and the agreement allowed the Respondent to remain in the home with the children. By 2010 the home had been repossessed by the bank because the payments were not being met by the Respondent. I was paying the Respondent $3600 per month in Family Support. The Respondent then said that she was moving to Seattle, WA and taking the children with her for unknown reasons. She supposedly wanted to go to nursing school. I was forced to file an RFO to keep the children in California near me, their primary parent, and near their friends and in the Glendora schools that they had attended since Kindergarten. A stipulation order was approved by the court in June 2010 which granted me custody while she was in Seattle and worked out some visitation arrangements. At that point the Respondent then moved to Seattle on her own and I had custody of the children. By Christmas of 2010 she returned and was wanting to figure out a new timeshare. I worked with her as best I could, but then she was dissatisfied and filed an RFO in 2012 to change the custody and visitation agreement. We reached agreement on March 1, 2012. The children live with me primarily (actual timeshare approximately 66 percent with me and 34 percent with the Respondent) since I have them 4 nights per week and the Respondent has them 3 nights per week plus I live in Glendora school district which is where the children attend school. I paid for all legal fees up to that point ($16,145). That brings us to the present RFO filed May 30, 2013.
I agree to Guideline child support based on the incomes of the Respondent and myself and the actual typical time share which would preclude the Respondent from being granted an income tax exemption for the children since they are with me 66 percent of the time. Please refer to Attachment A which breaks down the typical actual time share during the school year in this case.
As for the alleged spousal support arrearages, I would like to bring your attention to lines 18-23, paragraph 14, page 4 of the June 7, 2010 stipulation (see attachment B): "This order shall continue until December 31, 2012. The parties contemplate that the Respondent will obtain her degree as a registered nurse by December 31, 2012. In the event the Respondent is unable to complete the requirements to become a registered nurse by December 31, 2012, the Petitioner shall pay support to the Respondent until June 30, 2013. Spousal support shall be reduced to zero (-0-) on June 30, 2013." I made my last spousal support payment in December 2012 and informed the Respondent that I considered my support obligations to be satisfied. I emailed the Respondent to notify her of such and said that we could negotiate this if she disagreed (see attachment C). She chose to not negotiate after attempting to explain her not going to nursing school.
The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that she never entered nursing school, never attempted to obtain a nursing degree, so I believe that this makes the extra six months of spousal support to be a contingent extension under which the conditions for the extension were not met. I am referring to California Code 4334 (see attachment D) which states that: "If a court orders spousal support for a contingent period of time, the obligation of the supporting party terminates on the happening of the contingency . . . If the supported party fails to notify the supporting party, or the attorney of record of the supporting party, of the happening of the contingency and continues to accept spousal support payments, the supported party shall refund payments received that accrued after the happening of the contingency . . ." Since the Respondent never attempted to obtain her nursing degree she did not satisfy the intent of the agreement. Please see attachment E where the Respondent says that "I promise you as soon as I have a job back here then you can stop paying spousal support." This demonstrates the circumstances surrounding the intent of the agreement. Therefore, I do not agree to paying the six month extension of the spousal support.
The Respondent has asked for a modification of a current child custody/visitation orders from the March 1, 2012 Parenting Plan agreed to in mediation. I must point out that the Respondent filed a RFO last year to modify the Parenting Plan. The Respondent now falsely claims that it provides a 50/50 timeshare. That is not correct. Oddly, later in her RFO, she asks for a 50/50 timeshare even thought she claims that it is already 50/50. The court order shows that the Respondent has visitation three nights a week (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday the first week, and Wednesday, Friday, Saturday the second week). The remaining four nights are spent with me (please see attachment F). Furthermore, I have attached attachment A that shows the typical actual amount of time I spend in charge of the children during the school year. I am responsible for the children on average, 66 percent of the time. This is because the children have their primary residence with me in Glendora which is the school district for both of the children. The children each have their own rooms in our house and this is their primary residence and residence of record for school. The Respondent lives in San Dimas in a 2 bedroom condo and works in San Bernardino and other branch offices of Life Care Solutions including one in San Diego where she has to go to occasionally. I work at Citrus College which is only a few miles from our home and close to both the middle school and high school that the children attend. Please see attachment G which shows the locations of the schools the children attend, my workplace, the Respondent's workplace, our home, and the Respondent's condo. On a normal week during the school year I am responsible for the children getting to and from school and their appointments and in case they are sick even on days where the Respondent has visitation. She picks them up in the evening and drops them off in the morning on her way to work. My work schedule as a professor at Citrus College allows me to be available for the children. I realize that the children need and want to have regular contact with their mother, but her living arrangements and work situation are simply not satisfactory for providing the support the children need. Her condo landlord returns several times a year and stays at the condo with his wife in one of the bedrooms. That means that the Respondent has to share one bedroom with both children. Even when the landlord is not present, the children still have to share the extra bedroom. Therefore, I see no benefit for the children to try to change the visitation and time share schedule. It appears as if the motivation for changing the timeshare is to bump up the child support that is now being requested by the Respondent.
In terms of the Respondent's request for attorney fees, I would like to point out that in previous actions (the initial divorce of 2008, the stipulation of 2010 based on the Respondent trying to move the children out of state and away from me, and the custody/visitation RFO from 2012, I retained an attorney and have paid more than $16,000 in legal fees. I do not agree that I should also have to pay the Respondent's current legal fees in light of the fact that I have paid enough already and her motivation here seems to be to increase timeshare and maximize child support. I am totally dedicated to my children and their health and comfort. I want to work with their mother but that has proven to be a very difficult thing to do.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing and all attachments are true and correct.
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