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Discussion Starter #1
No dip shit answers, I need honest opinions.....
The GF and I decided to call it quits. I own everything, and have since before we met. Anything that i have aquired over the last 3 years with her she doesnt want. SOOOOO it really all comes down to child support. She is willing to try and settle for $400 + paying for the childs insurance (about $150)..so say $550 a month. But i have almost no control over my daughter. My ex is a very cool chick, she is being very cool with everything right now, and since ive known her for the last 14yrs, i have a feeling things will continue to be cool. We are not married, or living together, and have no bills together either. She does not want to deal with the courts and does not believe that they should control the situation with our kiddo. I agreed all the way up until now....
I just called up an attorney and asked about settling outta court. She immediatly tried to talk me out of it, because i would have no control over visitation rights, and such. The thing about that is that the ex is a very, very good mom...a terrible partner, but a good mom. She makes very poor decisions in life though. The other thing of it is that i work nights, and have worked nights for the last 5 years. I work five to six days a week(right now) so i dont have time to take custody of her. That i dont think that the ex would just let that happen. Plus my boss does not want to lose me on nights for at least another 3 to 5yrs till we merge with our other center.
This attorney came highly recommended by a friend, but im getting the vibe that she is more interested in going to court that trying to help us settle out of court. We can get a court order that can take care of the child support payment, but i dont have the "power/rights" that i would have if we did go to court. My brother did it with his ex and they have been doing so for the last 10 years with no scuffles. My other brother is in and out of court every few months. This attorney didnt even want to give me info on this. The ex thinks that what the court decides is too much anyway and would rather have just enough to cover the kiddos basic needs and if i decide to step up with extra that thats up to me. She knows that im a good dad and i will still pitch in in an emergency, or help her out if she is short one week, or she can help me out if im short one week.
This really isnt about money, since i only really save about $150 a month. I spend more on getting her goofy shit like cool t-shirts and dvd's that what i would be saving. The thing that i have to be carefull of is that we start the child support deal they might say that i get my overtime on a regular basis and figure that into the amount that i will have to pay, bonus's included as well. I will have to pay about $760 a month for one kid! I guess after this garbled ramble is over all i really want to know is if there is any guys out there who have settled out of court and were happy, or if that just bit them in the ass??? This is my first time to deal with this, so im somewhat lost and confused, plus i also feel that every attorney that i have talked to is just trying to get as much money out of me as possible. Im paranoid that way. Thanks for reading and if you have any good input please feel free to share your expieriences.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry about the garbled ramble.. i have alot on my mind and it all came out outta order and such!
 

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All depends. My ex wife and I settled basically out of court, but since we are divorced and 'that' went through the courts the court papers have what we agreed upon on them. Shared custody, I pay insurance, that's that. There is no point in me or her paying support because we have him equal amounts of time. Actually I have him more during the school year.


I would not leave a chance to see my son for ANYTHING. When you have kids you have to assume that you are making sacrifices to be a good parent.
I'm out of work now, and know I could find work by leaving the area. Which I'm open to. EXCEPT I wouldn't trade any amount of $$ for time with my son.


The problem with doing it like you said, is that you could pay her X amount of dollars for X amount of years, then she meets someone who talks her into hating you, and taking you to court and she could say you have not paid her ANYTHING the entire time. Next thing you know your paying her twice for the time you already payed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, i didnt include that she is being very cool with seeing my little girl. I see her about 3 times a week, and she spends the night over atleast once a week. She is even willing to sighn a court order saying that she can not move with out my concent. There is no uglyness right now. I know things can change, but i feel that i have known her long enough that she wont keep me from my kiddo.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
KLAKE, the shared custody thing is what i want. I just didnt know what it was called. I have reciepts for every dollar that i have payed from the first day that we seperated. I have also been paying her school payments as well..all in check form. So i have covered my ass and will continue to do so.
 

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penis
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Sorry, i didnt include that she is being very cool with seeing my little girl. I see her about 3 times a week, and she spends the night over atleast once a week. She is even willing to sighn a court order saying that she can not move with out my concent. There is no uglyness right now. I know things can change, but i feel that i have known her long enough that she wont keep me from my kiddo.
I will tell you what a judge would "IT DOESN'T MEAN SHIT". Withiout court order paper work she can :
1. Deni you complete custody
2. Lie about you paying child support
3. **** you in the ass til the kid is out of college and have it to where you never see her.

Best bet you guys can go in front of a judge and get everything signed off just because she is being nice now doesn't mean she won't turn into a **** in the future.

Shared custody is classified as joint custody.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
dabronco:
1. thats really the only thing that scares me!!!
2.I will have check stubs and receipts.
3.If i dont cover my ass...yes absolutly! If we can come to an agreement out of court, present that to a judge, get it signed by a judge, we should be able to move on that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My brother tells me to be a *****, give up, take her back, and be whooped for 16 more years, then its all over....thats too long!
 

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penis
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dabronco:
1. thats really the only thing that scares me!!! Then goto court
2.I will have check stubs and receipts. Won't mean shit even if she says you haven't your word against hers
3.If i dont cover my ass...yes absolutly! If we can come to an agreement out of court, present that to a judge, get it signed by a judge, we should be able to move on that way. Got to court
My brother tells me to be a *****, give up, take her back, and be whooped for 16 more years, then its all over....thats too long!
Your brother is a ***** enough said go for joint I will be PMing you in a sec.
 

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I think you should go to court.. Have the court do a 50/50 custody.. Get it all in writing.. That way you will only pay money if you "want" to..

Regardless of how cool people are, sometimes when times get tough and they feel they can take advantage of someone else to get a quick buck they will jump at it..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think you should go to court.. Have the court do a 50/50 custody.. Get it all in writing.. That way you will only pay money if you "want" to..

Regardless of how cool people are, sometimes when times get tough and they feel they can take advantage of someone else to get a quick buck they will jump at it..
50/50 would be great! it would be a dream if it worked out that way! My ex knows that i will pay, so she might go with that.
 

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Redneck Romeo
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Let me start by saying that I do not have children and have never been married. But my stepfather is an attorney who does this stuff everyday -- I was raised around it all. Also, I'm not an attorney. The information below is simply my personal opinion, based on 20+ years of observation.

Since you and your ex are on good terms right now, not fighting about who gets the child, when you get to see her, etc., you don't need a "good attorney." You'd just need one to go and file the papers that you need him/her to file that contain all the terms you and your ex have agreed to. A judge only decides a custody issue when the parents are fighting about it. As long as you're both on the same page about custody/visitation, your wishes will be honored. However, hiring an attorney will likely cause the State to get involved when it comes to child support calculation, and there really wouldn't be a way to get around that.

On the other hand, you may be able to file the necessary paperwork on your own. I'm not sure how Texas handles "pro se" (representing yourself) child support cases, so I can't tell you for sure. Be sure your ex knows you're not trying to fight her by filing court papers, you're just trying to make everything official, because 16 years is a long time to operate on a handshake. Regardless of how well you know each other.

Another option is to type up all the terms of your agreement -- custody, visitation, child support amount, insurance, daycare, etc. etc. etc. Find a notary (tag offices will usually notarize documents for a small fee), and you and her sign the paper and have it notarized. Make a couple of copies and put the original in a safe place (safe deposit box, etc.). It may not be a court document, but it is legally binding since it was signed by both parties and witnessed by a sworn notary public.

Regardless of how you go about it, KEEP A COPY OF EVERY CHECK YOU WRITE TO HER. You're already doing this, and that's great. Just keep it up. That goes for child support, school-related activities -- basically anything you do for your ex and/or your daughter.
 

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Even in a 50/50 court order you can still work things out among each other if you are civil.

My ex wife and I agreed that he would stay with us all week during the school year. He goes there on weekends. During the summer we go a week here, a week there.

That's part of the reason I don't pay support too. He has his stuff here, and his stuff there.
 

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Two solutions...

First one. Keep it out of the courts. If she is being cool and isn't interested in your money, just your daughter being taken care of then stick with what you have now. Make sure you go to an office supply store or even Walmart and pick up a receipt book. Have her sign for any and all cash you give her. You can always go to court to establish visitation at a later date. Basically don't rock the boat, especially if it's sailing smoothly for now.

Second. You can go to court to establish shared custody without her requesting support. However this does open the door to anything. Once in court she can say anything. You could have the Pope as a character witness and still lose unless she is doing lines of coke off the gavel. The court will look at your W2/paystubs to calculate support if she wants it. You will have no say in how or when she get's the money. Bend over and take it.

Bottom line is, what do you think? Can you both be level headed enough to do this without court? Some lawyers will turn this into a battle. Even if you get a cool one, that will make her need one. Complete roll of the dice there... could be cool... could be your worst nightmare that will fill her head with anything you have ever done to piss her off.

None of this is from my personal experience. Mostly from watching my wife having to deal with her ex (my oldest is my step-daughter) for the past 9 1/2 years. You sound like a hell of a lot better guy than my wifes ex and if your ex gf is half as cool as my wife you should be in good shape.

Good luck!
 

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Screw the Jeep Thing
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Your not doing it right... Don't you watch the news..?

You split up, she goes on all kinds of talk shows and dogs you, and says how bad of a father you are and blah blah.. You pose for Playgirl, and go on Opra and call her a slut and blah. Then you Date a couple Celebs. and smoke pot... Then you announce your getting married in a celeb. Magazine. Then your mom will have to put out a press release in another celeb. magazine about how against the marrage she is.. Oh ya. don't forget her ex-boyfreind and your freind saying how bad of a husband you'll be... :)

Oh sorry I thought you where dating a Palin... God I crack myself up some times... If only I had some work to do. :)

Really though. I hope this all works out for you. Just don't let it be about the money.. Do whats right for your kid..
 

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You dont actually have to go to court and fight, or dispute any arrangement that you two should arrive at. The judge simply determines what is in the "best interest of the child" (remember this if you ever end up in front of a family court judge), when a couple cant reach an agreement.
If you two agree on something, you can write it down, and have it recorded in a family court, and you two can go on your way.
The reason for the judge in the first place is to act as a referee between two parties in dispute.
Apparently, there is no dispute, and both parties seem to be able to reach some sort of compromise or agreement.
Writ it down, and have it recorded legally, and continue doing what you are doing.

Understand the differences between, joint legal custody, joint physical custody (where the children spend a significant portion of time with each parent), or
joint legal and physical custody.
Understand the limitations between all of these and find one that best suits yourselves and the "best interest of the child" (there it is again).

Im not an attorney, and this is friendly advice not legal advice.

Good luck in your journey. Im a single dad, and have walked many miles in these shoes, so my advice is only advice from one dad to another.
 

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fight for what you cant. it will be better to do it out of court if you can since it will save court costs and allow you two more control over what happens.

no heres the dipstick answer, if you have more than 10 kids you wont have to pay child support at all!!
 

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I have always heard horror stories of men having receipts like described in some posts above. And getting screwed by the courts at a later date. The courts don't recognize that as a legitimate receipt for whatever reason the judge feels like that day. (At first I was skeptical of these stories but have heard them many times from many different people). Me personally, I'd go through the courts. Just stay on REAL friendly terms until it is finallized.

tim
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks bigugly, thats about 100% on what we both want. I have seen it where things get ugly because the state decides that things need to change. I have a very good feeling that we can work something out. Im gonna swing by the court house on monday and see what paperwork i can get and see what information the girl at the desk can offer. Im sure that she see's stuff like this everyday.


Bronco85, we both feel that keeping the TX court system out it is best for my little monster. TX law is man-hating and the man allways gets screwed!

Everyone else thanks for the support and opinions......except paintballdude....10 kids!!!!!J/K

As far as reciepts go, you will be amazed at what some banks will do to help you out with keeping reciepts and such. I have them keep a file with all of my checks, then they send me a monthly package with copies of every check that i write with an image of the front anf the signed back.
 
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