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my son has a 5 year old daughter from a first marriage and

they share custody. They...
my son has a 5 year old daughter from a first marriage and they share custody. They live in Arizona. The divorce decree says that they will split the costs of her expenses, which he has done. Hes even gone beyond and paid car payments and insurance that he didn't need to do, because it wasn't in the decree. She is now wanting to go to court to get more money from him. They both have remarried and no longer works. Her husband makes more money than both my son and his new wife do combined. The mother of this girl is dictating what he has to pay and has told him he needs to pay her to take care of her. I have been watching her since she was born. Now she is going to school and wants more money, that they havent got and is taking him to court to get more money. the mother hasn't let his have her on his days, because he works and she is home and wants him to pay her to take care of her. I have watched her for free and am still willing to do so. She doesn't want me to watch her anymore, because she says I help him out too much. So now he has been paying for child care. So what rights does he have and what can he do to get her to stop getting more money from him that they cant afford. They are supposed to agree on expenses, but she will go and do what she wants anyway and expects him to pay half whether he can afford it or not.
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
8/1/2013
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you this evening.

I am genuinely sorry to hear that he is in this situation. From your comments it appears that she has primary (or sole) physical custody. Do they share legal custody as well, or is she the primary? Is she pursuing additional expenses or just more support (or both) at this time?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

They are supposed to share custody equally. She feels that she has all the say in this situation and he doesnt rock the boat, because she is a difficult person to deal with. He doesn't want it to get ugly. The original divorce decree, has split the bills and she is the one who wrote it up and he went along with it. He has followed it and given her more than she asked for because he wanted his daughter to be safe and happy. she is persuing more money, because she thinks she needs more. She was asking $400.00 a month and he told her no because he cant afford it.


She went to $200.00 but it isn't in the divorce decree. She was supposed to pay him. But she never did.


 

Thank you for your follow-up, Rosanne.

It sounds as if it has already gotten somewhat ugly. Please allow me to share a few thoughts based on the facts that you have provided.

First of all the fact that she remarried to someone far more well-off is a non-issue. The child is your son's and the other person's, so it is their responsibility to care for the child. Unless the other party formally adopts the child and in process severs your son's paternal obligations (obviously not likely or happening), he is never going to be responsible for any care or maintenance.

As for your son's obligations, have him go to the link below:

http://www.azcourts.gov/familylaw/childsupportcalculator.aspx

This link would allow him to formally estimate and calculate what his real obligation is. If he is paying more than the minimum and she is demanding additional costs, have him file a formal petition for modification to the courts, AND if she is withholding the child, also file a separate motion to compel, which is a request that the courts take formal notice of her not following the terms of the agreement. Then, if she still fails to allow him time to see the child, he could then file a petition for contempt of court and pursue her for intentionally refusing to allow him access or time as provided. He likewise can also go to court and state that the expenses have to be decided upon jointly and if he can care for the child (via you) and not via childcare, those expenses and their lack of necessity should also be taken into consideration.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
Verified
Dimitry K., Esq. and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hello Dimitry,


In the divorce it states that as long as the time split between parents is equal there will be no child support for either party. Now with my daughter going to school full time, the time will be more equally split. So with the mom filling for child support will this make her request obsolete?

Thank you for your follow-up, Roseanne.

Which request, for support? It may be possible for your son to claim and show that since there was an agreement in the divorce, the parties cannot pursue additional benefits. But typically child support conditions are not fully honored--the courts look to substantial changes if any, and if those exist, they may intentionally choose to allow modifications to take place. If, for example, at the time divorce was granted both parties made about the same, and now one party makes significantly more, that party can be made to pay support based on change in circumstance.

Good luck.

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Dimitry K., Esq.
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