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Old 01-09-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
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Question Advice on Custody

I need some advice on how to approach an agreement sent to me by my ex-husband. I'll make this as short as possible and thank you in advance for reading!

Background:

My ex-husband and I split up in 2006, when DD was only 9 months old. From then until she started kindergarten, we had a 2 week with me and 2 week with her father custody arrangement. With that said, she was still with me more time than with her father due to his financial situation and not feeling "okay" with taking her. Since kindergarten, she has been living with my husband and I full-time and saw her father one or two weekends a month, most holiday breaks from school (with holidays switching each year), and at least 6 weeks in the summer (even though he didn't usually take her that long). Her father did not start paying child support until May of last year. I have paid a ton of money towards her medical expenses to the point of completely ruining my credit because of it and he has never helped with any of it. He and his ex-girlfriend who lives in WA state decided to get back together. I just received an email last night that he will be moving to WA within the next 2 months.

Here's the dilemma: he wants me to agree to pay for 1/2 her plane ticket at least 2-3 times a year. I don't feel I should have to since he never paid child support (nor helped me support her in anyway for many years), especially since I have no say in the decision for him to move 3K miles away, completely across the country. We are budgeted to the hilt, are a one income family because we can't afford child care for me to work, and are currently expecting our 4th child. There is no way for me to come up with that kind of money. I don't mind driving her to and from the airport but I believe that's where my financial responsibility should end.

Am I overreacting in this situation? I need an honest opinion since I'm pregnant and my hormones are going crazy! TIA!

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Old 01-09-2014, 11:03 AM   #2
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Re: Advice on Custody

Yeah - Nope. If he is moving out of area he should have to fork over plane tickets. That in no way should be your responsibility. And quite honestly - it might be time for you to get child support re-assessed (is it a formal agreement now?). He should be responsible for 1/2 of medical expenses BTW.

My advise would be to take him to court and let a judge assess your support - and to move quickly with it before he moves out of state.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:09 AM   #3
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Re: Advice on Custody

Thank you so much for responding! That's exactly what I'm thinking.

We did. It was a formal agreement from court last year. They recommended he pay $531 a month and I even showed leniency on that and took it down to $400 to help him out. The medical expenses have since been paid so I don't think I can do anything about that (at least that's what my lawyer said). I carry her insurance and thankfully don't have deductibles or copays. Those expenses were from when she was younger and I couldn't afford insurance. :-)
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:03 PM   #4
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Re: Advice on Custody

There is no way he should ask you to pay for that! I moved 10miles away to the next town over and I don't even ask xdh to bring the kids out here.

He's basically abandoning his daughter and by putting this on you he will feel like he isn't to blame for it, but I'm tired and crabby tonight so it may not seem like that to me in the morning.

Good luck!

I just saw you are in PA. I have a friend in PA with an ex in Washington, maybe you guys could car pool j/k.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:45 PM   #5
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Re: Advice on Custody

I also say no. It is his choice to move out of state and therefore he should buy his daughter's plane ticket to visit him. I don't think you're overreacting at all.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:51 PM   #6
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Re: Advice on Custody

I forbid you to pay for this!
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
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Yep, he moves, his responsibility.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:06 PM   #8
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Re: Advice on Custody

I don't think you're overreacting, but I wouldn't totally rule an idea of compromise out. Yes, it is 100% his idea to move, and he should be liable for all that goes with that. But I would wait and see how the first year of that goes. Because 1) It may not last, he may want to move them both back, maybe they can't afford it there, whatever and 2) he may just be trying to get a break when he would still cover it anyway. If he managed to swing a ticket on his own in the next year, I'd stay firm on the no. If he doesn't, I would consider chipping in for ONE visit, IF it seemed to be affecting your DD. Going from semi-often and/or long-ish stretches to nothing at all can be a bit of a shock, and it's her I would be considering here, kwim? If I had to find a way to pinch a few more pennies throughout the year so she could be happy on thanksgiving or whatever, and seeing her dad is what she wanted, I would at least consider it.

Now that's not to say you're obligated (IMO you are being entirely reasonable, and he shouldn't even be asking because he's choosing this situation), and I wouldn't tell him the idea was even on the table at all, but I wouldn't 100% shut the door on it until I saw how it played out for DD.

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Old 01-13-2014, 03:31 PM   #9
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Because he is moving solely for a relationship, I say the entire cost should be on him. If he were moving for a job, I would say you should split the tickets based on the percentage of income each of you earn (the same way you'd share medical, dental, day care, etc).
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:37 PM   #10
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Re: Advice on Custody

I would talk to a lawyer and see what they have to say. Then make sure anything and everything is written into a contract. I would also ditch that last lawyer. I bet you could have gotten some of your medical expenses back, or at least ordered back.
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