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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lesson Learned - Be Careful What You Ask For


Yesterday Coach and his Ex had their day in court finally.  A little background for you…  When they split, they agreed to 50/50 custody of the kids but they didn’t spell out visitation.  Their plan was to let the boys come and go as they wished.  They also agreed to $800 a month in child support from him to her because he made more money at the time.

He’s always paid the child support on time and when he lived in town, he would keep the boys several nights a week whenever she wanted him to.  He also would take the boys to sports practice and be around for all that “dad stuff.”  Coach has also always given her extra money for the boys to buy shoes, clothes, pay for extra stuff with school, etc.  Pretty much he’s been a good dad and done all the things he was supposed to do.  When he had the opportunity for the DC job, he talked it over with her and she was ok with him taking the job knowing that he wouldn’t be around as much for most of the next year. 

Between him living in DC and he and I dating,  their relationship has really changed.  Since his time in town is much more limited, he’s not at her beck and call like he used to be which she has not liked.  She gets mad when he's doing stuff with his family but she refuses to let him take the boys with him.  She’s refused to let him take their boys out if she thinks I’m going to be involved in the activities and in almost six months, I’ve only been around his kids twice.  After those two times, she even went as far as to tell their oldest boy that if I show up when he’s out with his dad that he’s supposed to call her immediately so she can come get them (to keep the peace after those two times in April, we haven’t even tried to plan anything that involves the boys and me at the same time).  And pretty much she’s limited his access to the boys to when she’s around or for a couple hours to take the kids out to eat on the weekend. 

Anyway, in April the Ex filed for a child support review.  Coach got a lawyer to look over the paperwork and to put down a formal plan for visitation so he could spend time with his boys without her interfering.  They made an offer to her for $1000 a month in child support and for Coach to have every other weekend visitation but she refused both saying that she didn’t want a formal visitation schedule.  

Well in court yesterday, the judge reviewed their pay stubs and turns out, she’s making almost double Coach’s salary, somewhere close to $125,000 when you combine her base pay and commission (she’s in insurance).  The judge ruled that there is no reason for her to receive more support and he actually used the NC child support guidelines and lowered Coach’s child support to $500 a month.  He also said he saw no reason for there not to be a formal visitation schedule and granted Coach’s request to have the boys every other weekend until he moves back to town when they can revisit the custody arrangement.  Since Coach doesn’t have a residence here, the judge said it’s more than fine for him to say with family or with the boys in a hotel until he has a permanent residence here again.

Coach said the Ex looked upset when they left the courtroom.  But honestly, I don’t feel sorry for her except for the fact that her lawyer didn’t make her wake up and realize what she had to lose by holding out.  She’s the one who filed for a review and anyone can look at the NC guidelines and do the math to figure out how much child support they are owed.  I’m not sure why she thought she’d qualify for more.  But I think it had very little to do with the actual money.  I mean hell she’s banking close to 10,000 a month (taxes aside) so it’s not like she’s hurting for money.  Ultimately, I think she just wants to control Coach’s access to his kids because that gives her power over him. 

I feel bad for their boys to have to go through this kind of stuff.  If they’d just taken care of all these details when they first split things would most likely be much smoother now.  I hope now that it’s all ironed out things will be better for everyone and Coach will be able to spend more time with his boys.

Miranda

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