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Need advice regarding legal custody

Posted by on Aug. 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM
  • 15 Replies
I'm going to try to make this as short as possible. Dh and bm seperated sept 2008 where they were both granted 50/50 legal and physical custody. The co stated they were to alternate tax exemptions and spelled out who got which years. In 2011 dh was forced to take bm to court for contempt since she claimed sd on her taxes during dh's year.

She had six months from when he filed until the court date but waited until 4:45 pm the day before the hearing to amend her return. In court she admitted she knew she claimed during dh's year because she said it wasn't fair he got to claim her. The judge yelled at her and ordered she pay dh attorney fees but didn't hold her in contempt.

2012 dh was awarded primary residence for sd to live here mainly because bm refused to participate in her life (judges words). She basically would have her during her week and do nothing with her or take her anywhere, meanwhile dh had her in preschool, allowed her to play and socialize with other children, emailed bm weekly updates on what sd was up to, etc.

At the hearing bm claimed poor because she was in college so she couldn't pay child support. The judge suspended cs until bm got a job. Bm graduated in 2013 and got a job so dh (after asking if bm wanted to help contribute without going to court and bm refused) filed for cs. When he did he got a notice from the state that he needed to prove sd lived with him as they had proof otherwise.

When he called the cs office to see what was going on they informed him that bm had been receiving Medicaid, food stamps, and welfare for sd since 2011 and had included in her paperwork that sd's dad was AWOL. After proving otherwise the people at the cs office claimed they submitted paperwork due to bm fraudulently receiving welfare for three years and that it was incredibly serious. We figured it was all cleared up.

Well the cs order has been in place since April and bm has paid sporadically (not sure how since the money comes straight from the employer) but she's about two months behind. School started last week for sd and a note comes home stating that due to her eligibility in a state funded program she gets free lunch. Dh was confused about what was going on so he called and they said that they have record showing sd is on Medicaid.

Dh contacted the Medicaid office who could confirm that sd was enrolled but couldn't confirm anything else since dh's name is not on any of the paperwork. Dh was directed to call the state attorneys office which he did and was told that in order for bm to have sd on Medicaid she would have had to file her on her taxes for 2013, which means she filed again when she shouldn't have. Dh is concerned because he has no idea if bm is taking sd to the doctor without his knowledge or filling prescriptions for sd (Bm's mom is a pharmacist who has in the past filled scripts without sd seeing a dr. They were called out because the insurance info was in dh's name and he received notice of the meds being filled). He's also concerned about being audited since this will now be twice in three years that this incident has happened.

Dh has a meeting scheduled with his attorney next week but I'm just curious what you all think should happen. We know she's in contempt for several things, as well as the fact that she's committed welfare and Medicaid fraud for three years, but dh is just concerned with making sure sd is safe. Is this grounds to ask that Bm's legal custody is removed (like she can't take her to the dr, etc without dh's permission)? Any advice is welcome
by on Aug. 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 11:52 AM

From what I read, SD sounds safe.  Nothing ideal, but safe.  I don't know how illegal activities impact custody.  What is the current arrangement?

miapia1020
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Bm has three weekends a month and Wednesday dinners. Dh is just concerned with covering himself (avoiding an audit) and making sure bm isn't taking her to the doctor without him knowing. The judge was already concerned with bm using sd and I'm thinking this won't help her case

Quoting pdxmum:

From what I read, SD sounds safe.  Nothing ideal, but safe.  I don't know how illegal activities impact custody.  What is the current arrangement?

WifeyC
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 12:09 PM

If BM is lying to get all of that state aid then she is in deep shit with the state.  It doesn't mean SD isn't safe.

pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM

How old is SD?

i don't think there is grounds for a change in custody.  Even if the major safety risk was taking SD to doc, she really never has SD during regular working hours.

Focus on the legal stuff and get it straight.

Quoting miapia1020: Bm has three weekends a month and Wednesday dinners. Dh is just concerned with covering himself (avoiding an audit) and making sure bm isn't taking her to the doctor without him knowing. The judge was already concerned with bm using sd and I'm thinking this won't help her case
Quoting pdxmum:

From what I read, SD sounds safe.  Nothing ideal, but safe.  I don't know how illegal activities impact custody.  What is the current arrangement?


miapia1020
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM
Sd is 7 but is always too terrified to tell us what goes on at Bm's due to being threatened by bm (we've heard her do it). I'm thinking maybe I'm wording the question wrong? Dh isn't interested in changing the time bm has with sd, rather just interested in restricting what legal access she has. Does that make sense?

Quoting pdxmum:

How old is SD?

i don't think there is grounds for a change in custody.  Even if the major safety risk was taking SD to doc, she really never has SD during regular working hours.

Focus on the legal stuff and get it straight.

Quoting miapia1020: Bm has three weekends a month and Wednesday dinners. Dh is just concerned with covering himself (avoiding an audit) and making sure bm isn't taking her to the doctor without him knowing. The judge was already concerned with bm using sd and I'm thinking this won't help her case

Quoting pdxmum:

From what I read, SD sounds safe.  Nothing ideal, but safe.  I don't know how illegal activities impact custody.  What is the current arrangement?

SassyMom25
by Gold Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Talk to your attorney about the taxes thing. In our case, BM was only allowed to claim SS if she had her CS caught up by Jan1 each year. She never did. I would see about having it changed to that or just forgo CS altogether, with DH claiming SD each year.

miapia1020
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 1:11 PM
Since switching from 50/50 custody dh has all tax claiming rights. Bm cannot claim sd at all.

Quoting SassyMom25:

Talk to your attorney about the taxes thing. In our case, BM was only allowed to claim SS if she had her CS caught up by Jan1 each year. She never did. I would see about having it changed to that or just forgo CS altogether, with DH claiming SD each year.

Bresmom13
by New Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 1:18 PM

 I would definitely ask about taking just the legal custody away from her, but with her having her for such a great amount of time not sure what the judge will decide. Good Luck.

DisabledVet
by on Aug. 29, 2014 at 1:27 PM

There is no way to guess what will happen. I know that they are pretty strict about welfare fraud and she might end up in prison. The attorney knows the laws in your state and will be better able to advise you.

WrongWayDiva
by Member on Aug. 29, 2014 at 2:15 PM
1 mom liked this

I would also have a Certified Accountant doing the taxes each year, dont do them yourself.   I know it costs more, but in my case, having the professional tax records helped.   Then she cant claim that DH did the taxes wrong on purpose.   In my case, my DD and her DH were trying to file 'head of the household' and claim their kid that I raised.  Um, NO--HOH is for single people and I could prove that I had custody for more than 6 months.  

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