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Freedom_Issues's avatar

What should my boyfriend do in this situation concerning his 2 children?

Asked by Freedom_Issues (1791points) September 18th, 2010

My boyfriend has 2 children (girls, 2 and 4) who he had with his ex girlfriend. Their breakup was ugly, and she wants more child support. Right now, she is being “nice” and only asking for $350 a month. She wrote this out in a document but neither one of them signed it. While I understand this isn’t asking much, she does well for herself financially, and her lawyer/boyfriend also helps her out. My boyfriend is a musician, but doesn’t get income from that, and also does maintenance work which his pay is not on paper (under the table pay). His mom also helps him out financially. She keeps threatening him with court, but hasn’t taken any action. The person who would be her lawyer is her boyfriend. The woman is psychologically and emotionally abusive, has written me letters trying to get me away from him, yet has no interest in being with him. He has his girls every other weekend, she tells me they want more time with him, and when he does go to spend more time with them, she makes it difficult to do so. Also, he raised her oldest daughter since age 1, (who is 6 now) and won’t let him see her now. I know there is not much he can do about that since he didn’t adopt her, but I think it’s a good example that he isn’t the horrible father she tries to make him out to be. He is a decent father who loves his children. We are in Minnesota. Does anyone know what steps to take to get out of this mess? Legal advice?

Here is a sample of her document concerning the money part:

“On the assumption that you have or would obtain a below average job, you would owe: $551.30 for basic support; $246.79 child care support; and $74.00 for medical support, for a total of $872.09 per month. In addition to this child support, I am entitled to reimbursement for all of these items dating back to the first no-contact order for a total of $13,975.53”

I have a copy of her document (which is unsigned by both), have heard her conversations with him, and all the letters she has sent me.

Also, I feel like the only one putting the kids first. She doesn’t send them with proper clothing for the weekend either because she doesn’t care, or maybe to get back at him. He hasn’t been exactly mature about the whole mess either. There are so many variables. What can I do? I’m also not sure if I should take on a parenting role, take charge in this situation, or tell him what to do when concerning his children. Help?

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15 Answers

eternal_serenity's avatar

Tell him not to do anything until he discusses it with his lawyer. If you try to get involved it will just cause more drama. Let the lawyers handle it.

YARNLADY's avatar

A written letter by a spouse has very little standing in court. The only way to protect himself is by getting a court order for both the child support and the visitation. They are not the same thing, but require two different court orders.

If he cannot afford a lawyer, have him call the family court and ask for a legal aid lawyer to help him.

There is nothing that you should be doing – this is all on him. Do not get involved with her at all.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

What about my role as far as the kids? I am with them most of the time he has them too. The things his ex says and does are so atrocious, I almost can’t help not getting involved, and it also affects his and my relationship.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

Also, they were never married.

eternal_serenity's avatar

I would be good/help take care of the children while they are with him….but i wouldn’t get involved with the mother. It will just get nasty. It takes two to fight so if you and him just ignore her rudeness it won’t be fun for her anymore

Freedom_Issues's avatar

I made a regrettable mistake and played her game months ago when him and I were broken up and wrote her a letter agreeing with her being what she said he is. She said she would keep my letter a secret but didn’t. He didn’t tell me he knew about it until I admitted it recently. It seems he may be taking out his problems with her on me, when he doesn’t tell me what’s going on. Then he realizes he shouldn’t but doesn’t apologize or really say much.

Pandora's avatar

There are goups who help fathers find the help they need in persuing custody or visitation rights.
These organizations will have information on how he can get the help he needs or at least the steps he may want to take before going to see a lawyer.
The only way you can help is be a supporting shoulder to him and research these groups and give him the information he may need. Laws vary in different states so he could probably get some good information from them.
But I agree. The best you can do is avoid her and ignore her. If she is harrassing you, than that is a different matter. Then you may want to speak to a lawyer and press charges for harrassement against her. But that may back fire with his visitations. So for now just try to stay low. Maybe in time she will find something else to fuss about.

Seaofclouds's avatar

He needs to get a court order for visitation and child support. Any communication about the children should remain between him and her. You can help support him and watch the children when they are with him, but other than that he needs to be the one handling things with her. You really shouldn’t be having contact with her. Since you know that she just wants to cause problems, it’s best to keep as much distance from her as possible.

Her boyfriends income has no bearing on what your boyfriend would need to pay towards child support. The only incomes that matter are hers and your boyfriends. He should try to get a lawyer to help him with the court stuff.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

1. Listen to him when he rants, but don’t question, don’t counsel and don’t advise.

2. Try to stay out of the feud as much as that is possible. Don’t get involved with her even one little bit. Don’t tell her anything, don’t take your boyfriend’s side against her, don’t even talk to her if you can avoid it.

3. Be a safe haven for the kids to the extent that you can; just “a friend”. (Especially since you may not be a permanent fixture in their lives, try to keep them from being too emotionally attached and involved with you, too. I know that’s hard to hear, but you’ve already broken up with him once.) DO NOT come between the kids and either of their parents in any way.

4. To the extent that you do want to advise and assist your boyfriend, tell him to get his act together and get a “legitimate” job for which he can provide pay stubs, verified work hours and benefits, if possible. Have him consult with an attorney.

There’s very little else that you can do.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

Can her lawyer be her boyfriend too? Is that legal? This is such a mess. I am going to do everything I can to protect myself and lay low, thank you everyone.

marinelife's avatar

Your need to step away from this.

It is up to him to work it out with her and the courts. He does owe child support.

He should see if it is possible to get an attorney (perhaps on a pro bono basis).

trailsillustrated's avatar

He should go to court anyway! He will end up with an order to pay alot less than that agreement. If you have no job or make minimum wage, you pay the minumum child support. If the mother has a job and he doesn’t, he might have to pay a little more to make the insurance coverage thing equitable. He shouldn’t worry about being bullied by this couple and so what about the lawyer boyfriend. The judge decides anyway and it’s based on whatever income you have, simple as that. And visitation is pretty standard, they won’t be able to mess with that. good luck

YARNLADY's avatar

@CyanoticWasp very good advice
You aren’t married to him either, so your involvement is pretty much non-existent according to the law. I suggest you see what tips and advice you can get from “step parent” sites, even though you are not exactly a step parent yet. You should be able to find some help.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Thanks, @YARNLADY. I figure by the law of averages I’m bound to say something intelligent every once in awhile.

mollysmithee's avatar

A lot of things go into determining the amount of child support someone owns. One of the biggest is the income level of the non-primary parent. Here is an article on child support and the factors that go into it:
It might be worth it just to contact a lawyer to see how much he might really need to pay.
Good luck!

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