I have fallen behind on payments due my ex for co-pays for child care and other activities she has signed the kids up for. She only alerts me to these things after the fact.
I don’t contest the legitimacy of all these expenses, but I do have a major problem with the manner in which my ex goes about things.
For example, I am a teacher and am available to watch the kids all through the summer. But she decided that because she believes my apartment isn’t clean enough, that she can withhold visitation and charge me for daycare.
I am no behind on what I owe her and the bills keep pouring in. What can I do to manage this process better?
I am not licensed to practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information concerning child support.
The first thing to do is to look at your divorce decree. Does your divorce decree say that you have to pay for activities that she signs the children up for without your knowledge? Does your divorce decree provide for a right of first refusal – where you should take the children rather than them going to daycare?
If these things are not provided for in your divorce decree, it may be wise to speak to an attorney about making changes to the decree.
Also, does your divorce decree state that if your ex-wife believes that your apartment isn’t clean enough that she can unilaterally withhold visitation? I doubt that is the case. She does not have the right to make that decision on her own.
I would recommend taking her to court for enforcement of your parent time rights so that the court can either make her prove that the children are not safe at your home or tell her that she cannot make that decision on her own.
Obviously, it’s always best if you can talk to your ex about these issues and work out a solution, but that is not always an option. Depending on how long it has been since you were divorced, it may be time to work out some changes to the decree and make adjustments that work better for both of you. If you can’t work things out with her, the alternative is to take the matter to court and have the judge work the issues out for you.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general child support tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your circumstances.