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My ex is a pos and in his counterclaim is trying to make me…

My ex is a...

My ex is a pos and in his counterclaim is trying to make me pay spousal support, permanent alimony, and is trying to take primary custody of my two minor children

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Nc

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Yes

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Can I talk to another lawyer if I already have one?

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Answered in 5 hours by:
9/15/2017
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

JustAnswer experts are not representing customers. We're giving general information for entertainment/educational purposes only. You are allowed to talk to us even if you have another lawyer. Many people use the site to get quick questions answered for less than their lawyer's regular hourly fee.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Ok, so my ex left the marital home on 1/1/2015. He left me with a 2 year old and a 3.5 year old. In NC, youhave to wait 1 full year of separation in order to file for divorce. We had been trying to reconcile for awhile went to counseling, but I filed for divorce in July of 2016. He got a lawyer. We had verbal agreements about the custody of the kids as well as text messages back and forth regarding the agreements. He has multiple times tried to say I am withholding the kids. For the first 14 months, I asked him to take the kids overnight, but he was living at his parents house and thought that it was weird, so he declined. In July 0f 2016, he started to take them every other weekend until sunday at 6pm. we agreed this was fine. In November, he decided to take them until Mondays, again, I didn't want to keep him from his kids, so it was ok. He is now saying that I "withheld sex" from him and caused indignities that made his life burdensome. Oh, for the past 3 years, he has been one day texing me that he loves me and wants to be with me, to the next day telling my I am a piece of shit, and a sorry excuse for a human being. He drinks in excess which is what led to our divorce. I was the only one working a regular job and he wasn't contributing to his ability, nor was he helping out with the kids. B/c he wasn't working up to his full potential, he is also trying to now claim alimony b/c he wants to have the standards he had while we were married. I worked at least 20 hours/paycheck in order to cover our bills to make up for his lack of contribution. I feel very betrayed, and I don't know what to do. All of this information comes from a counterclaim of the divorce that I filed over a year ago. I got this in the mail yesterday, as he is now filing for custody of the kids. He is not involved in school with them, he doesn't even know their pediatrician's name, I bet. Can he really do this? or are these all fruitless attempts at getting something?

I'm sorry to hear that he's doing this.

It's extremely unlikely that he'd get the kids based on what you've said. He might get some visitation because courts want children to know their parents, but that usually starts with a couple of hours every other weekend and maybe a Wednesday night. It's nowhere near joint custody.

All of the text messages he sent you are evidence that go toward his state of mind and ability to parent. You can show them all to the judge when you wind up in court and mention them in your Answer to his counterclaim.

NC is a no-fault divorce state, so even if you did withhold sex, it would mean nothing to the judge. It doesn't affect your divorce in any way. But since he's asking for alimony, you can use his alcoholism and unwillingness to work a steady job to show that he's wasting marital assets and you shouldn't have to pay. Those things also count against him when looking at custody.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. If I did not address the specific thing that you wanted to know, it may not have come across clearly to me, so please restate that question. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
That was my next question, do I get a chance to file an answer to his counter claim. We have to go to mediation orientation on Monday, in which that day they will assign a mediation date and then if that fails, we will go to child custody court. I have emails and texts that offer time to spend with the kids. Is his counterclaim seen by the judge? I just can't believe the things he has asked me for...permanent alimony? he lives at home with his mom and dad...he didn't work to his full potential. I am barely getting by with all the bills now, but I am getting by...but I don't have extra $$ to give him b/c he was lazy!!For the past year, during the time that Chris and I were trying to work things out, he saw the kids pretty much every Thursday night in addition to the times he already saw them. On Thursday nights, he would come over for dinner, and the dogs would play and we would spend time all together. We were, at that point, trying to rekindle feelings. He did not ever stay over, and it came down to the point where we were unable to reconcile, but I have never stood in his way of seeing the kids. If anything, I have encouraged him to see the boys more often. For the past year, every birthday party the kids were invited to, all 4 of us would attend together, regardless of whose weekend it was. In fact, we made a whole weekend out of it. We would all go to Toys R Us together to pick out a present, and then we would go to the birthday parties all together, regardless of whose weekend it was. I encouraged Chris to spend more time with the boys, I never, not once kept the boys from him. We have been splitting the holidays, to the best we knew how to do. Last thanksgiving, originally, he didn’t want any time to see them. We had discussed it, and he said “just forget about it.” He decided last minute, that he wanted the kids on thanksgiving night overnight. Without hesitation, I agreed. The boys had dinner with me and my family, and then I dropped them off to have dinner with chris and his family at 3pm. The boys then stayed with Chris for the weekend. For Christmas, we decided that I would have Christmas eve with the kids, and he would get them at 1pm on Christmas day overnight. This is what he and I agreed on, and there was no argument. I invited him over for Christmas morning, but he didn’t want to, and that is ok. We then decided for New Years Eve we would follow the same plan. This time, he would have the kids on NYE, and I would get them the next day around 1pm. This is exactly what we did, and we both agreed on it. Anytime he has had family in town or it has been either his parents’ birthdays or his brothers’ birthday, I have asked him if he wanted the boys to visit, and if he said yes, then the boys were dropped off, and if not, then they weren’t. There has not been a time when I didn’t “allow” chris to see his kids. I have done nothing but encourage the relationship between him and his kids. The only “issue” we had this past year with the holidays is that his birthday happened to fall on Mothers’ Day, but we went out for brunch (all 4 of us), and had a lovely time. That afternoon, the boys went to Chris’ house for birthday cake and party with his family. The only issues we have ever had with who had/has the kids was when we had an agreement between the two of us, and he decided to go against it (like the Sunday night event). He and I had an agreement, he knows it, and I know it, and he decided to go against it. He decided that he wanted to bring the kids to school, so he decided to keep them overnight. What he didn’t know was that Brody had a project due that next day that was at the house b/c we had every intention of bringing it to the classroom together. So Brody shows up for school that Monday without his project. I brought it into the class that morning, but Chris did what he wanted, and didn’t think about the ramifications it would have on the kids.I have done everything for my kids and am the best mom I can be...but basically its my word against his? -- do I need to get witnesses and such? I don't want to drag anyone else into this mess...

Yes, the judge sees his counterclaim. Try not to stress too much about the things he's asking for. It sounds like a Hail Mary. He's desperate, he wants to make you suffer, and he's making outrageous claims that have no basis in the law or the facts of your case. You DO want to respond, and the counterclaim itself should give you a deadline. But everything you've said supports the idea that you should get custody, and you can share it all with the judge.

Again, the texts are evidence. You can bring in witnesses to his behavior. You can have the kids testify as to who they'd rather live with (depending on age - the older, the more weight it'll have). And your testimony IS evidence. I always find it interesting when people assume they'll lose a case because it's "my word against his." It's also his word against yours, and there's no reason to think he's inherently more honest or trustworthy than you. He has to prove his case the same way you do, and judges are pretty good at questioning people to figure out who's lying.

I have to sign off for a bit for an appointment. This unfortunately happens sometimes because experts have no way of knowing how much time customers will need for follow-ups. If you have any more questions, I'm happy to answer them when I return. I apologize for the inconvenience.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Am I right in thinking that he could have gone up to mcdonalds and gotten a job but because he chose to sit on his butt, that's his fault? He turned down jobs (I have proof of that. He was offered a 10k job and he just never called the person back). He chose not to work. I worked overtime to support us b/c I had to. Is this Like he is going to ask for the extreme in hopes that he gets something? And how does the temporary custody filing work. We still have to go to custody mediation. If that fails, is there a temporary custody hearing? My boys (ages 4 and 6) are healthy, thriving, safe, have friends in the neighborhood, etc. is there any reason he would be granted temporary custody? Or is this all a scare tactic?

Yes, you're right. You can introduce any evidence you have of his relevant background - training, education, or experience and talk about how much he couldn't been making. If he worked at any point, you can use that salary. If he didn't, you can look at what similar jobs in your area paid. But if he doesn't have any special skills or education, the judge will still assume he couldn't gotten a minimum wage job if he wanted to work and impute to him the same income he would have gotten if he'd been working. He can be ordered to pay child support based on that amount, too.

When mediation doesn't lead to a resolution, then there's a hearing next. At the hearing, each of you will present evidence to show why it's in the best interests of the children to live with you. Typically, judges prefer to minimize disruption to the children. That means the parent who is primary caregiver prior to the hearing often retains custody.

Nothing you have said suggests that he would get full temporary custody. Keep in mind that I don't have the full picture, but for the judge to completely deny one parent time with children, that parent would typically need to have a history of abuse, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, an extensive criminal history, or some other background that suggests it's not safe for them to be around the children.

Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
One more - he works now. He has a full time job making about 45k/year. He finally decided it was ok for him to work for someone else. He still lives at home with his mom and dad. Doesn't that basically say that he could have had that earning potential then? I thank you so very much for your assistance.

Yes, he could have. Also, alimony is going to look at his current income compared to yours. If he's making $45k, he'll have to prove that's not enough to support himself.

Permanent alimony is usually only awarded in very long term marriages - at least 20 years. So he's not likely to get that, either. He could potentially get a couple of years, if he can prove he needs it.

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Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
What do you advise when chris texts me? Engage or ignore?

I'm afraid we're only able to give information, not that level of specific advise. That's also the type of question it's difficult to answer without reading all of your prior interactions, which is beyond the scope of this site.

But what I can tell you is that all of his texts are written communications, and they can all be entered into evidence against him. Similarly, anything you say to him can be used as evidence against you.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Attorney with experience in family law.
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