My ex and I we're married for 10 plus years we have two children together however she wanted a devorce. We have been separated for almost an entire year because she told me that we had to be legally separated for a certain amount of time before we could get a divorce. Meanwhile I have been paying cash 500 a month (she writes out a reciept) for child support, not ordered by the court. Recently I was offered a better position making more money. I was getting paid weekly now I get paid Bi-weekly. So for the last 3 weeks I've been in transition from previous job to this job in the pay. I haven't had any income to give her any child support. She will not let me see my children until I give her some money she says when I give her money I can see my kids and now she wants more than before. I how to see my children for about 7 to 10 hours a week before now I haven't seen them in 2 weeks because she says if I try to come see them or get them without the owed child support she will get a restraining order. Can she legally keep my kids from me for not giving her money that I was willingly, not ordered, giving her for my children's needs? Can I just pick them pick up my kids?
There are no orders so you are free to get the kids whenever you want. If she refuses, law enforcement may not do anything which is why you need an order addressing this. Child support has no correlation with custody so no, a parent is NOT allowed to just say since you are not paying child support, you don't see the children.
If there are no orders in place you both have equal rights to the children. If and when this goes to court, your child support could increase based on your new job. In most, if not all, jurisdictions, failure to pay child support is not an excuse to deny visitation.
This is a general response that should not be considered legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed. Please speak with an attorney in more detail about your specific situation.
You do NOT have to be separated for a year before filing for divorce. You are getting hosed! Why would you listen to your soon-to-be-ex for legal advice??? Get yourself to a lawyer immediately, get proper legal advice, and start your own divorce case if you are done with this marriage. You have equal rights to your children, but you need to be careful not to put them in the middle of a tug-of-war. They are not pawns to be used for monetary gain and are probably very confused (and a little lost) about what is going on. You were only seeing your kids 7 to 10 hours a WEEK?? That isn't even 1 full day. You have given your ex de facto primary physical custody (which was probably her goal), and you are going to be on the hook for a lot more in child support (25% of your gross monthly income -- likely a lot more than $500/month). Consult with a competent divorce attorney ASAP, before things get any worse.
Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline