I have been separated for two years. I have a 15 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. I left the relationship because of domestic violence. My daughter witnessed some of this and has refused to go with her dad for the past year. Will the courts frown upon the fact that i dont make her go? My four year old son likes to go. The father only gives me $200 a month for two children, and only takes our son every other saturday and sunday. He is threatening me with court. He wants full custody. What can i expect when we go to court? We both make $35000 a year, he only takes our son 4 days a month? Can i expect more help financially? I am struggling.
Do you have current court orders? If you do not, then there is nothing he can say about his parenting time. If he actually wanted to send time with his daughter he should have stepped up and filed for custody orders. On the other hand, if there is a parenting time order in place and you have not been following it, you can absolutely be in trouble despite following your daughter's wishes.
Were you actually married to the father? Were you legally separated or did you just physically separate? If you file correctly, you may be entitled to back child support for the past two years as well as an award for future support.
You need to sit down with an attorney. Many of us offer free consultations. You might be entitled to quite a bit, but if you just sit back and wait for something to happen you might loose out.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or [email protected] Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
Unless there is a court order for visitation, I don't see why you should force a 15 year old who has witnessed domestic violence to exercise visitation against her will.
HOWEVER, both her domestic violence exposure and her not wanting to go for visitation needs to be documented by a licensed counselor as soon as possible. If your husband has a good lawyer, they may be able to make a good claim for custody if they can show parental alienation. So, the more third party witnesses you have to his parental unfitness the better you will be.
Additionally, I believe that his paying $200 a month for child support is entirely unreasonable. Normally, a good attorney pays for himself over time with the increased support you will receive. You need to hire an experienced attorney who handles domestic violence cases and divorces.
I would suggest you contact your local domestic violence shelter for a list of reputable attorneys, reputable counselors, and other domestic violence services.
This is a difficult and thorny issue for courts to deal with. I would recommend you hire a lawyer. Refusing visitation is a very sad situation for all, especially the child -- whom I would get a therapist right away.
Anne Peyton Bryant, Esq.
305 Broadway, 14th Fl
New York, NY 10007
It appears, from your post, that there have never been any court orders entered concerning parental responsibilities (what used to be called "custody") and child support. $200 per month for two children when he does not see one of them at all and the other only rarely is much too low, given his income.
The court, when deciding parenting time, will take into account your daughter's wishes and the reasons for them, but you need to know how to present her wishes to the court, which is where an experienced family law attorney can make all the difference.
It is highly unlikely, based on the facts as you present them, that the court would make him the primary residential parent of these two children, but it might order that he have more time with his son and might order some parenting time for him with his daughter. Again, you need to be properly represented in such a case to protect your rights and to help you protect your children, if they need protecting.
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