Child Support Modification And Custody Change
by J. Reeves
I have been divorced for 8 years, where I(the mother) was awarded primary custody of our two children.My ex is ordered to pay $459 a month, and since then has had a history of non-payment or partial payments over the years. He is constantly $4-6000 behind in child support. He doesn't keep a steady job and it's often hard to get payment form him.
A year ago i had moved out of the school district where our children attend, and we made arrangements for the kids to go to their dads house after school for a few hours. This became a regular thing, and the kids began to spend extra nights with their dad. I was fine with this because they didn't get to spend a lot of time with him. He is engaged and living with his girlfriend and her two children. Our children are often put on the back burner.
So recently, he served me papers taking me to court asking for 50% custody and to lower his child support. I truly believe he is doing this only to get his child support reduced.I had agreed to let the kids stay a week on a week off with him, and in exchange i would forgive half his monthly child support. Well, he got the kids and never made any child support payments. He doesn't keep steady employment, and is now living in his sisters basement. He did recently get a job and at the time he filed the papers he was working part time, but since then has been promoted.
We are required to attend a parenting class this week, but I don't see where there is a court date scheduled for the modification and child custody matter. Do they schedule that after we attend the class, or will the papers go directly to a judge for approval? I was wondering if the judge will even put his non-payment history into consideration, and look at the fact that he is over $6000 behind in child support.
I honestly don't legally want to give him 50% custody, because he is only asking for it to get his child support reduced, which he doesn't pay anyways. What should i do?