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Paternity, Mom's Tears, Dads Insincere Income Declaration

This case argues that the answer rests in visitation, more specifically the mother attest, a weakened relationship with the daughter due to seeing her less. The most important reason children from single parent families remain so vulnerable is the inconsistencies of structure and security between one parents.

After leaving my part-time job, I decided to arrive at the San Diego county courthouse about 1:00 pm knowing I’d have enough time to catch a few cases from the morning docket.  However, also remembering that there are cases in the afternoon too. Arriving to the courthouse in the morning is often best because you get the opportunity to follow the cases transferred to other judges

Check in time 1:40pm.  
Bailiff conducts roll call, checks in litigants and gives info re: status conferences, incomplete cases and those called to other courtrooms to further discuss their cases.  Enters an attorney who hands the bailiff proof of service for the first case.

1:50pm - Waiting for the judge the bailiff calls Mesa vs. Mesa.  He explains to the couple that their case will not be heard because they need to attend FRC-Family Centered Case Resolution.   The parties exit the courtroom.

2:00pm - Judge appears and begins calling cases from the docket.

Pro-per party ask for confidentiality and request a fee waiver with an income of $2,600 per month.  The judge states that she is above the allowable income level; she will pay $35 per month.

PATERNITY, VISITATION, CHILD SUPPORT & ATTORNEY FEES

The judge inquires with the litigants if the issue with paternity was settled.  She proceeds with giving parent’s and mom’s attorney their rights, in accordance with the.  Judge asks if the parties waive their [next] rights.  Both parties agreed to waive their rights to the testing. “Mother were you married to anyone else when the child was born,” Judge ask mom.

“No”.  The father continues to look straight ahead as the judge continues to review the case and refers to  a family court service mediation agreement on 5/30/2014. 
“Both parties reached an agreement?” 
“No,” replies Mom
“Yes,” says father
      Mother has 58% primary physical custody:
      3:30-7:00 pm/Monday–Friday with father
      Mother’s attorney requests increase:
       3:30–6:00pm - Monday–Friday to prepare for bed and so she can        spend more time with their child.
Every Wednesday night the child is with the father and the mother is concerned this interferes with school.  The father has to drop off child at 6am.

The judge looks at mom, “Are you willing to compensate the father for losing a night?  Looks back down at the case file. “You cannot deny father an overnight with your daughter.”  “Daughter returns home at 7:00pm,” says mom sounding a bit distraught.

Judge states, “But if you have 50/50 custody you wouldn’t see your daughter for an entire week”.

Mom feels she has more family support for their daughter. Judge asks about the original visitation agreement:
        Sunday, Monday, Tuesday night
This causes mom to cry, stating that she doesn’t have much time to spend with her daughter.  Judge continues.
        School breaks, alternate weekends– Sunday 4pm–Wed 4pm.
Mom is allowed one day before returning daughter at 4pm.  Judge continues to ask a relevant question, “What is the justification for changing this order?”  “Because the mom has less time to spend with their daughter,” says mom’s attorney.  In an effort towards balance and resolution the judge, ask mom another pertaining to modifying the visitation schedule, “What about phone contact during the week she is not with her?”

Mom’s attorney contests [next] another item before the court regarding his justification for increased custody,  “The child is without competent adult.  When the father is not present, his 13-year-old daughter from another relationship comes to care for the daughter.”

Thinking the judge will turn to inquire with dad about this allegation, however the judge asks the mom if she too has teenager caring for their daughter.  Mom says she has a teenager helping with their daughter; however, there are other adults present as well.  The teenager is not alone.

Judge asks the father if a 13-year-old is babysitting their daughter when he is not present.  Father confirms this when kids are on break.  Judge inquires about the child’s safety, such as issue with choking, etc.  Father says this was never an issue until today’s court appearance and if the father agrees that, the child needs to be with a competent adult.

Judge asks mom about other concerns.  Mom states, "Father says Wednesday pickup from grand mom and drop off at school on Thursday

Attorney rebuttals stating that the child returned home at home at 6:30am.
    Court adopts the 5/30/14 mediation agreement. Joint Legal with no fine tune adjustments.
    Judge ordered that a competent adult, not a 13-year-old babysit

CHILD SUPPORT –


Mom’s monthly income: $3,426 + $40 OT + $41 commission

Judge asks father if he agrees with mom’s declaration regarding her monthly income.  Mom submits pay stubs attaching union dues $36 and $100 mandatory per month.  Judge asks father if he was served a copy of the Income and Expense statement showing earnings as University, medical = $35.21 per month.

Judge asks father for his Income and Expense declaration

Attorney, “Respondent doesn’t have copies of check stubs.”  Father slowly explains how he is OK with what the judge shows as his earnings.  The judge has gross earnings, not net from his pay stub from prior week and displays a missed day of work.  Judge, “Why do we have this in advance as of 7/13/15 – YTD - $36,767.44 for 6 ½ months?  The father’s pay stub shows $5,655.99 per month.  Father has no additional earnings.  Mom’s attorney says he has no way of confirming respondent’s earnings. 

Judge sets a review hearing on the matter. 

Father has no union dues, pays $374 per month for health insurance and has no mandatory deductions from his paycheck.
o    42% single – 1 exemption, wages are $6,555 per month.
o    Mom has two other kids, 4 exemptions
o    Father has court order $320 per month child support
Judge asks father to show counsel on the form his order to pay child support.  While trying to make sense of the documents before her, “This document doesn’t make sense, $75.39 weekly?”  Father asks the judge to look up the info on the computer. “Was this child support established downtown under oath for $326.69 per month?”

Judge turns to mother’s attorney asking if he wants to rebuttal.  The attorney says the father has no Income and Expense Declaration form. The judge orders father to submit a document from child support with the Income and Declaration form. 

The judge trying to make sense reviews child support as $224.00 per month for April, May June and July and asks the father if made these payments. 
“Yes”.  $315 per month”
“No arrears?” asks the judge.

Mom also, requests attorney’s fees paid of $3,000.  The father disagrees.  Judge ordered via 2030 Family Code stating the father has the ability to pay $1,500 at $50 per month.

In closing, as move through family court, the problem is not in the details of the case but absolute sensibleness. Upon closer inspection, it remains obvious that most if not all single parents will be required to assume some type of a leadership role in their families as they transition through unpredictable changes.

QUANTITY TIME vs. QUALITY TIME

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