Getting money

Have a big yard sale. When we had our worst problems in 1995 the cross country phone bill came to $1,800 alone- you don’t want to know what the lawyer’s fees were.

We sold all of our toys- the snowmobile, aluminum canoe. We took out a loan against our car that was already paid off. We took a cash advance on the VISA. We sold the downstairs furniture. We got $500 for the chain link fence around our backyard- we took it down.

We had a 3 month old baby so lots of extra work hours were difficult but we just did what we had to do. We are just now recovering financially 5 plus years after the fact. We never made any late payments or anything but things were TIGHT. I remember sharing a Happy Meal with my daughter- I’d bring milk for her and I’d get the drink and buy an extra cheeseburger. That was our weekly treat. I went 3 years without seeing a movie in a theater. Just do it and deal with the cost- it is worth it.

Going to Jail

Hello everyone. First time poster here. I have been battling the custody/support issues since 1987. It has been an emotional rollercoaster as I’m sure everyone in this club is aware of. Everyone has their own story and I won’t bore you with mine. But I will tell you I have been in court against my ex 33 times.

Again, without going into details as to how I got into this predicament, I now have a warrant out for my arrest for non payment of child support. My question is what can I do to prevent me from going to jail? Can the ex have the warrant removed if we worked out something between ourselves? What is the statute of limitations concerning support?

If the child turns 18 and I still owe, do the arrears go to the child or the ex? For that matter, if the child is 18, can’t the child drop the support since the mother only filed on the child’s behalf? I know I should get an attorney, but I can’t afford one. The last one I went to wanted a $2,000 retainer before she would do anything and then she still said I was going to do 6 months regardless.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Results from lie detectors are not admissible in court

Generally speaking, results from lie detectors are not admissible in court (at least not in criminal cases).

But why put yourself through that? Haul the little twit into court and get a court order that she go forward with permitting visitation. Put the onus on her to explain what concrete evidence there is showing your husband is a danger to his daughter. The fact that there is no medical evidence will help your case (subpoena the doctor or subpoena the medical report).

Has she put the child in counseling? If not, you can argue that she is merely delaying visitation – obviously if there was a real fear, the kid would be seeing a professional. If the kid is in counseling, get his records.

Most likely the ex is doing to your husband what mine tried to do to me – raising fears that the child would be harmed by behavior but not submitting the child for professional care which would clearly refute the allegation.

Polygraphs are not perfect – but by making your husband take one, she is putting him on the defensive. Put HER on the defensive.

Polygraph testing

I am sure that there are others on this site that have had false accusations brought against them.

Although The Department of Children and Families has closed the case regarding my husband, his ex-wife is demanding that he take a lie detector test. (even though the medical examination she put her daughter through showed no evidence of abuse) His ex wife is not allowing any contact with his daughter until he does this.

We have heard such contrasting comments on this issue of the accuracy of polygraph tests, and have also heard that she can’t force him to take one.

Does anyone have any input on this. Has anyone taken a polygraph test?

You are in another marriage

you are in another marriage, and trying to please your x-th wife. she appears to be forging an alliance with you, against the mother of your own children, but probably just carving out her own territory. (and it’s real cute that you folks have the luxury of surfing the internet together.)

as it turns out that step-mom-wife – that terribly smug and horribly condescending attitude — yucko, as kids would say. get out from under her thumb, and make your own children the number ONE priority in your life. sure, if you get another job that means less loving attention for her — but your own children are slipping away from you.

Do something, soldier. your woman will eventually unmask you, not as some pagan sword warrior, but as a poser who just whined about the legal system while his economic impotence and inaction was at fault.

your children will not forgive you if you next start whining about how your righteous yucko x-th wife turned against you while you did nothing substantial for them.

oh, well, both of you, have a great time scuba diving. (yeah, while the oxygen lasts.)

Just remember – your own children!

For eleven years I’ve been asked this very question

For eleven years I’ve been asked this very question by tens of thousands of fathers from not only in the US, but also Canada, Europe, South America, and Australia. The answer is always the same. You learn to do as much of the legal legwork as possible, so that you are not paying your attorney anymore than is absolutely necessary. And get a second job.

There are many things you can be doing to reduce costs.

  1. Write a chronological statement before hiring an attorney. Sub-tract 60-120 minutes of attorney fees.
  2. Seek out witnesses on your behalf. Have them write a two page statement, have it notarized, and give them to the attorney. Sub-tract 30-60 minutes of attorney fees per witness.
  3. Keep a daily journal of all your activities (except sex) with times, names, and places. Sub-tract $500-$1000 cost to represent you for each occurrence of a false allegation.
  4. Learn how to prove denial of visitation, how to put your evidence together, and how to write a “Notice of Intent to Exercise Visitation.” Save 30 minutes for each notice you write and the attorney doesn’t. Save $1000-$2000 for each time the attorney has to go to court over an enforcement action.
  5. Make your visitation order very clear and concise, so that the mother does not have a loop hole to prevent you from seeing your children. Save thousands over the life of your court order.
  6. Study, study, study. Learn what the divorce and paternity laws are in your state. Find out if you have a pro se law to enforce visitation. Learn if there are specific limits on how often the mother violates the court orders, before losing custody.

Don’t expect your attorney to tell you all this. His job is not only to represent you, but also to earn an income. Attorneys have a very high rate of clients defaulting on their bills. And it does not matter if they charge a high hourly rate, or work with their clients to make payments on a low hourly rate. About 35% of their client will default on the bills. They will get fathers who will not help in the case, or even do stupid things to harm the case, than when he doesn’t get what he wants, he refuses to pay his bill. This cost the rest of us.

So, don’t blame the attorneys for the high legal fees. They still have to pay their staff, office expenses, and all the other yearly expenses of being an attorney. If you want to save money, learn how to do as much of the leg work as possible. That is why I developed the membership manual for the National Congress for Fathers & Children. Others in the father’s rights movement oppose the idea, saying it would never work. So I did it anyway, using my own money to prove that it was what fathers needed in their individual cases. That was eight years ago.

Final Comment and Question

I have read the posts on this blog for several months now and I have shared in the joy some people have found in finally getting justice. I have seen some good advice and some bad.

One question remains. How can the average guy, pay for attorney fees and court costs?

All the love in the world that I have for my kids will not put the $10,000 in my checking account that a lawyer will need to fight for justice for me and my children.

Brave and noble declarations simply do not pay the legal bill when it comes in at the end of the month.

We didn’t do the $1

Good information. We didn’t do the $1 bit but put in a blurb about how it ‘should not be taken as a lack of our esteem’ but ‘having been given to understand that their resources are more than sufficient’ they will not receive a portion of the estate.

The only person expressly disinherited by name is my husband’s ex girlfriend. The major purpose of our will was to protect the minors.

My husband was never married to the mother of his child and it often puts us in a legal twilight zone. Dads with second families should be aware that their ex-girlfriends- while not having the same rights as an ex-wife- can still wreak havoc in the name of their child.

Much more needs to be done to prevent out-of-wedlock births

Much more needs to be done to prevent out-of-wedlock births and the problems of remarriages. Single men need to learn that there are long term consequences to shacking up with females they were not yet committed enough to in order to marry first. If they absolutely must sleep around, then a vasectomy should be the first order of business. They’re easy, cheap, and reversible. They won’t prevent STD’s, but they will prevent another child being born to parents who are not ready to be parents, or worse, being aborted. As for divorced fathers, we should be pushing their dedication to the children from the marriage. There is plenty of time to get married again and have more children, when the first are grown. With life spans increasing, and women having children into their 40s and 50s, a man can have another child in their later years.

One thing we should be doing is promoting the idea of children having joint physical custody of the parents. A radical idea, to say the least, but so was the idea of joint physical custody of the children, some 20 years ago. It forces parents to take an equal stance, as regards their children, with neither having grater power than the other. It also interferes with dating and second marriages, curtailing the problems of his kids, her kids, our kids, and whose going to be spending the holidays with whom.

As men, we have to recognize there are things we can be doing to address the social ills, without trying to convince women’s groups to go along with it. If we can start a movement to prevent unwanted, or unexpected pregnancies, that gives us the power to prevent abortions and women having the power to hold a child over the heads of a man, for financial gain. If we can reduce number of second marriages, we will have the power to reduce the needs for second, or third, divorces, and the hardship this causes the children. And if we can show judges, and politicians just how far men are willing to go to be responsible, maybe we will see a decided increase in favorable court rulings, and laws. Lack of money shouldn’t stop us as there are instant approval internet loans to help all of us in our battle.

What the hell, it hasn’t been tried before, and what has been tried has had dubious and short term effects on the overall lives of fathers and their children. And it will certainly set us apart from every other father’s rights group, in promoting rights, first must come responsibility. Granted, we are not going to solve society’s ills over night, and we are not going to help whole groups at a time, but help enough individuals, and you will have a crowd. Create enough crowds around the US, and we will truly have a movement. For the last twenty years we have promoted the movement, but exactly what has that gotten us. The civil rights movement did not start as a movement, but as individuals helping individuals. The women’s movement did not start as a movement, but as individuals helping individuals. Both have been very successful doing it that way. We are no better, nor more deserving, that those movements were. But, until we are willing to take ourselves off our pedestals, and instead of telling men what they can do for us, but rather ask them what can we do for them, even are not likely to get anywhere.

Now, I know that there are those who do not agree with my philosophy, or my ways to attack the problems, but history shows that my way worked. If things had not gone to hell in a hand bag, and individuals got greedy, in 1996, this year the politicians and the media would have been asking us for our opinions. Had the growth rate continued, NCFC would have had a $14 million dollar budget this year, more than even NOW takes in. But, it was not to be. Not yet at least.

More regarding UTMA

More regarding UTMA:

‘To set up a custodianship, all you need to do is name a custodian and the property you’re leaving to a young person. You can do this in your will or living trust, or when you name a beneficiary for an insurance policy, if you’re leaving life insurance proceeds to your kids. For example, your will might state, “I leave $10,000 to Michael Stein, as custodian for Ashley Farben under the Illinois Uniform Transfers to Minors Act.” That would be enough to create the custodianship if it’s ever needed.’

But also note:

‘A second approach is to establish a trust for each child. With this arrangement, you use your will or living trust to name a trustee (usually a trusted relative or friend), who will handle money or property the child inherits until the child reaches the age you specify. If the beneficiary is already over this age at your death, the trust never comes into being; the property goes straight to the beneficiary.’

For further details, consult the source:

Who in your world said that your world was fair?

Is it fair to the kids that are born that their parents can’t get along and divorce because of it? Is it fair that they listen to the screaming and yelling – or that they are forced to listen from one or both parents that the other is a louse, or worse….tell them what’s fair.

Solutions are no more simple than the problems that require them – I feel for the children caught in the middle.

Unity is a wonderful thing…support for one another when your emotions are torn apart is also a good thing…..anarchy because of your anger that your relationship failed is quite another.

Yes, parental sharing and equity should be a given….but guess what…lots of things in life aren’t fair….and once again, the children suffer for it.

I don’t know any magical way to make custodial and non-custodial parents “build a bridge and get over it” when a relationship ends…..I wish there was an easy answer.

Life insurance question

I don’t have any big legal scoop on this but I can tell you what we did. We made out valid, legally solid wills with an attorney. (Yeah, I know none of us want to pay a lawyer another $@&% dime but they can be useful.)

My husband and I are each other’s sole heirs. In the event that his ex-girlfriend does obtain a portion I am specified as the executor and administrator of all settlements to minor children. I love my stepson and my husband trusts me more than his mother to make sure that his needs are met- ie college.

Remember also that minor children qualify for SS benefits from their deceased parent’s credits. I think the amount is around $1,100 a month per child if you were at max credit.

Talk to a qualified person about a will. When we went in we found that I did not automatically inherit from my husband in our state. 50% went to wife and 50% to the children without a will which meant that if he would have died without the will his ex- as guardian of his minor child- would have controlled 16%+ of my home! Meaning that I wouldn’t have been able to even sell and move without her written permission.

All of our lives have been complicated enough without making them worse by not planning for the future and providing for the security of everyone involved- check into this in your states- esp if you have a current family to provide for.

A big PS for all you remarried men out there- our neighbor lost her husband to cancer at the age of 36 a few years ago. They had 2 young children. He had been married once- no kids- and HAD NOT REMOVED HIS FORMER WIFE AS THE BENEFICIARY OF HIS POLICY!!! The former, childless wife, walked away with the policy- 125K. Double check all those benificiaries!

I am happy for your great situation

I am happy for your great situation but, my dear, you are smug!

We were also paying child support faithfully without an order- it was stupid. When the ex became angry she filed a URESA claiming no support had ever been paid, the case took 3 1/2 years to resolve. During that time the support we were paying to her was garnished and placed in escrow by the state and she went without. My husband was called a deadbeat. It cost almost 3K in legal fees to prevent her ‘double dipping’.

When we married- they were never married- she moved 2,500 miles and interrupted visitation for 23 months. It took almost 10K and a 5 month court battle to restore access. The judge found her at fault on many points and dismissed her counter-suits ‘with prejudice’. There were no consequences for her other than the verbal warnings.

After her repeated denial of access, which got her a slap on the hand, we moved into the area she had chosen. She immediately made plans to move BACK across the country, luckily the court stopped her.

It really does only take one belligerent party to make it hell for everyone. I’ve watched my husband bend over backward to do what was right only to have his ex-girlfriend tell us that she will ‘never let this be easy’.

We see my stepson constantly now- he is 11- he has his own room in our house and openly states that he wants to live here as his primary residence. Problem is that his mother wants the support $$- she openly admits it- and will only agree to our taking custody if she continues to receive support. My stepson is currently living with an aunt- not even his mom.

Would your husband be so calm about paying support if he didn’t see his kids for 23 months? If he were having his wages taken by the state while being screamed at for money on the phone at 2 AM by his ex’s brother and being called a ‘deadbeat f—k’?

You were lucky in your experiences. Most of us were not and we don’t need to be belittled for our past lack of judgment and plain bad luck. Yeah, we all wish we could go back and change the past but we can’t.

And why are you participating in a teen board? I am involved in a counseling profession and wouldn’t want to do that. And I think you should think twice about directing vulnerable teens to this site- it deals with very adult issues that do affect them but we grown ups need to hack this out without a teen audience. Teens will project their own situation onto the things they read here and assume way too much into their own circumstances.

What’s wrong?

Awww……what’s wrong? Did I hit a nerve?

Yep, I’m happily married – to a dad battling with a custodial alcoholic ex….why am I here? To read and learn and share knowledge…..why are you here?

Since you’re the only one who has come across as “offended and demeaned” – oh well, such is life.

What I’ve learned here is that a great many of the fathers battling for their children are doing so to the best of their ability – just as we did….to both the best of our financial and emotional ability. Another difference, though, is our children are a great deal older than most here on the board.

I don’t condemn males at all…..and being happily married isn’t a crime….unless you’re jealous that you haven’t that bliss, of course, then I suppose in your mock courtroom, it would be a violation of some form or another….but never fear, eventually perhaps you, too, will learn it’s possible to get past the anger you’re suppressing and see that not all in the world are out to get you.

I know that not all our laws are fair to not all the populace, but they are necessary. To suggest their overthrow in your ranting style does show just a tad bit of instability, but that too, you might outgrow in time.

I care very much for families and support two; my own previous children are productive members of society and grown; and the 3 step-children I inherited in my new happy marriage. I’m working on gathering them together some nifty Christmas gifts as we speak.

Think about it a moment – if you’re not capable of managing your own life without anger, how can you manage the lives of young people?

As well as raising – successfully – my own two children, I’ve fostered about 6 that I’ve watched go through growing pains and problems and mature and enjoy what life can offer them, not bemoan what they “deserve” that the universe has chosen not to give them.

Interesting you’ve read my profile….too bad it doesn’t nearly say it all…..enjoy the therapy…it’s free, after all. 🙂

Indeed I would feel insulted

How insulting! Indeed I would feel insulted, if I did not see that you have a passion for offending all whom are fair minded, and Reasonable. Your profile quote says something to the effect that you believe no one has “any choice in the matter. “It also shows you are happily married, or something to that effect, and so it makes me wonder what in Hell’s name you think you are doing here?

You are offensive and demeaning in all your replies to our members; and I would suggest you leave us, and go back to that evil women’s club you mentioned in one of your posts. That club which condemns men is where you belong. You are no friend to our good cause and we true PATRIOTS!!! Not hardly.

YOU are the sort of woman who give other women a bad name! It is ridiculous to suggest we stop having children; and to suggest I need therapy tells me you are both arrogant and ignorant at the same time. How dare you offend those of us who truly care about children and families, and are here trying to do something to change those Laws which are unfair!

Go away from us, and leave us alone.

There’s SUPREME hope!

We followed your legal ordeal since the inception of this blog, nine months ago, and we also know of your emotional turmoils. You persisted, and followed the honorable route.

Now you have been vindicated by the Georgia Supreme Court. That’s the final word on the matter, and it will speak volumes to friends and neighbors (and those soccer parents ;-).

But most importantly, your children will forever remember you as the one who loved and fought for them…

There is hope!

For those of you who have heard me whine about the system and my custody battle ordeal, here is a little sunshine!!!

After 3 courts and four Judges awarded me custody of the children and she kept being able to use the system to keep the children for almost three years because the state of GA has a law that says when you appeal the ruling reverts to the original, she pulled her final stunt and chance for anything by filing an appeal to the Supreme Court some two months ago +/_ .

I am happy to say that I received a letter from the Supreme Court yesterday that had just two sentences:

“The Supreme Court today denied the petition for certiorari in this case. All judges concur.”

Yes! This means it is OVER!!!! I picked up my children last night and slept like a baby for the first time in a long time.

There is hope with the courts, if only they could shorten the time it takes for the process and change the law where she/he can continue using the system for their benefit.


PS: PRAYER is the best tool for peace of mind, patience, and hope. PRAY HARD!!!