About a week ago, my ex husband of 10+ years refused to let our 14 year old daughter come to my house I share with my current husband because of current husbands alcohol abuse. Ex-husband has primary custody-we have joint legal custody and have had the same amount of time with her for the 10 years. I was required to pay child support and after year 2, he would no longer accept it. I did not get the support agreement legally modified. I have moved out of my husbands house and into my Sisters house which, ex husband knows is safe. He is threatning to go after me for back child support (after 8 years) if I try to see my daughter without him telling me its ok, when, where for how long, etc....He says from now on, I will have the exact same rules as he imposes.
Child Custody Lawyer
This is a difficult situation that happens quite frequently in family law cases. Any and all changes in child support have to be signed off on by a Judge. Since many years have elapsed since you stopped paying child support, I would encourage you to immediately resume child support payments and document your prior agreement in all of your communications with your ex going forward. By repeatedly reminding him that he rejected the child support after year two and referencing the reason why he rejected the child support, you can at least lay the ground work to admit that evidence in a later child support enforcement action. And while he does not have the right to withhold visitation from you, I think it is prudent for you to have moved to your sister's house to eliminate any safety concerns and make it more likely for the visitations to resume. I would remind him that you have put your daughter's interests first and foremost by relocating to your sister's house and he should do the same and not interfere with your daughter's relationship with you by withholding visitation.
This response to your query is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures and does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.
Child Custody Lawyer
You have the right to enforce your visitation by filing a Motion for Contempt. However, he also has the right to enforce the child support provisions, regardless of how long it has been. There is no statute of limitations on child support collection. You really do not have anything to lose by going forward because until you go to court he will always be able to hang it over your head about the child support. You are going to have to start paying the support, and you can just hope that the Judge will understand and give you some time to pay the arrearage.
I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.
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Family Law Attorney
Your ex-husband cannot unilaterally deprive you of the court ordered visitation. However, he can take you back to court for contempt for nonpayment of the child support.
I would strongly recommend you speak to an experienced family law attorney for additional guidance. You definitely need to consider enforcing the visitation provisions (and no court will him to unilaterally change those without your consent), but you need to prepare for his response, which will undoubtedly include filing contempt against you for nonpayment of child support.
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Family Law Attorney
You did not ask a question, so we're left to guess as to what it is you want to know.
There are two relevant matters within your fact pattern. First of all, your ex-husband does not have the authority to withhold, or dictate the terms of, your custody unless he was given that authority within your custody order. Second, you are obligated to pay child support whether or not he wants to receive it.
If you still have a question, please ask it.
~ Kem Eyo
The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.
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