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  1. #1
    chris20 is offline Junior Member
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    Divorced 14 years ago, Giving up Child Support now means?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Virginia

    Hello experts,

    I got married with my ex-wife in Korea 16 years ago (We both are of Korean nationality) and came to America together for me to study and had a son 3 months later-my son became a US citizen.

    She went back to Korea with my son after a 1.5 years of stay in America, leaving me alone studying, and asked me to divorce her: she said she could not live in America without friends, family , etc.

    6 Months later I went back to Korea as well on a trip and begged her to come back to America and she refused (she had a boyfriend) and I divorced her. In the Korean divorce court she gave me no obligation for child support.

    I went back to America, finished study, got employed and was able to get a green card 5 years ago. She has no legal status in America-only a travel visa-and mostly lived in Korea with the child for 14 years. I was not able to see her and my son for 10+ years since the divorce until I got back to Korea 4 years ago. She didn't let me call my son a son but a nephew. My son knows me as an uncle. I wanted to help but I just got a green card with no money saved and she has a wealthy family. She didn't asked for monetary help and I did not support.

    She called yesterday and asked me to sign a document which is about "giving up a child support" explaining this document is only for my son to get enrolled in a US school, since she will be in Korea making money to support the living expense of my son and I am in the US divorced, and the school won't accept my son unless I give up a child support: my son will have a guardian and a school in a different state from my residence, living with his cousins (he is now 15 years and 7 months old).

    She didn't remarry and neither did I.

    What is the advantage or disadvantage by signing the document for giving up child support (noncustodial?) now in terms of monetary obligation? I have no saved money, only trying to make ends meet and I am afraid if I may have to pay back support to 10+ years here, if I sign it.

    I will appreciate it if replied promptly.

    Best Regards,

    Chris.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    She is lying. One question: Where was the divorce completed? Why aren't you going for custody?
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  3. #3
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    She is lying. One question: Where was the divorce completed? Why aren't you going for custody?
    English is his second language. She may not be lying, this may be somewhat of a language issue. A US school system will require that someone have guardianship in order to enrol him in school, therefore, its possible that they are really talking about guardianship paperwork.

    He also said that the child knows him as an uncle, not as a father. (which he should not have allowed to happen, but what's done is done) therefore for the child's sake, if he chose to file for custody, that would have to be handled very delicately. He has also only seen the child once in the last 14 years.

    Also, under the Hague Convention, Korea would have jurisdiction, as that is the state of the child's habitual residence. The child would have to reside in the US for two full years before the US would have jurisdiction, and the child will be almost 18 by then.

    And yes, I know that a US judge could choose to violate international law and assert jurisdiction anyway, but he also said that her family was wealthy and I am sure they would get that nipped in the bud quickly...lets not send the guy down a very rocky and expensive road.
  4. #4
    chris20 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    She is lying. One question: Where was the divorce completed? Why aren't you going for custody?
    I am sorry for the confusion: it is "child custody," not child support that she wants me to give up.

    The divorce was completed in Korea.

    I didn't go for the custody. It was the last thing she wanted 14 years ago as divorced that I raised the child alone here America going to school full time as well as working part time. She wanted to raise him herself.

    I still want to get together with her amd my son in America just like 14 years ago.
    On the other hand, she only wants to send my son to America for education and I'm not confident I can raise him alone-he is in his teen and we are like total strangers. But I thought about it and talked to her about it and she wasn't comfortable with my raising him alone as well.
    Last edited by chris20; 08-21-2008 at 01:01 PM.
  5. #5
    chris20 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    English is his second language. She may not be lying, this may be somewhat of a language issue. A US school system will require that someone have guardianship in order to enrol him in school, therefore, its possible that they are really talking about guardianship paperwork.....
    I didn't think she was lying either, but I wasn't so sure because it's possible she became a different person from the character I knew about her 14 years ago. She was even frank in writing a letter from Korea that she had a boyfriend and asked for a divorce while I was in America alone studying. I went back to Korea 6 months later and gave her what she wanted-divorce.

    Can the judge order me a child support including back support in here America once I give up child custody? She said to me she would say to the judge that she will take care of all the support herself not bothering me.


    *And, I am sorry for the confusion: it is "child custody," not child support that she wants me to give up.
    Last edited by chris20; 08-21-2008 at 12:48 PM.
  6. #6
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris20 View Post
    I didn't think she was lying either, but I wasn't so sure because it's possible she became a different person from the character I knew about her 14 years ago. She was even frank in writing a letter from Korea that she had a boyfriend and asked for a divorce while I was in America alone studying. I went back to Korea 6 months later and gave her what she wanted-divorce.

    Can the judge order me a child support including back support in here America once I give up child custody? She said to me she would say to the judge that she will take care of all the support herself not bothering me.


    *And, I am sorry for the confusion: it is "child custody," not child support that she wants me to give up.

    Then LD is correct -- the school would want the family to have guardianship. You need to speak to an attorney about the pros and cons of guardianship -- NOT custody. Child support is what was confusing me.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  7. #7
    chris20 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    Then LD is correct -- the school would want the family to have guardianship. You need to speak to an attorney about the pros and cons of guardianship -- NOT custody. Child support is what was confusing me.
    I will if she changes her mind and wants me to take guardianship.

    And I am so ignorant with child related laws: it is "parental rights she wants me to give up," not child custody or support. I am sorry for the confusion again...

    But I would like to have my original question unanswered:

    Can the judge order me a child support including back support in here America once I give up parental rights? (What's the implication of giving up parental rights now 14 years after divorce, having a non US resident ex-wife and a US citizen son who has been living in a foreign nation? What's my legal responsibility in US family law?)
    Last edited by chris20; 08-21-2008 at 05:59 PM.
  8. #8
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    I just recently dealt with something similar and in VA. School systems in the U.S. are now asking for custody papers over guardianship papers, so perhaps you had a joint custody situation (per Korean courts) which means that both parents would have to give up custody, if son attends school in U.S. Guardianships are normally given now in some states only for "children in need", such as a child that would possibly go into the foster care system.
  9. #9
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris20 View Post
    I will if she changes her mind and wants me to take guardianship.

    And I am so ignorant with child related laws: it is "parental rights she wants me to give up," not child custody or support. I am sorry for the confusion again...

    But I would like to have my original question unanswered:

    Can the judge order me a child support including back support in here America once I give up parental rights? (What's the implication of giving up parental rights now 14 years after divorce, having a non US resident ex-wife and a US citizen son who has been living in a foreign nation? What's my legal responsibility in US family law?)
    I can guarantee that there is no chance that you would ever have to pay any kind of back support. Your child wasn't living in the US and therefore the US had no jurisdiction on that issue...and has no jurisdiction now.

    I cannot 100% guarantee that you couldn't be hit up for current support. Your child is a US Citizen and is entitled to welfare benefits if the guardians or persons with custody decided to apply for them. If that happened, the state would look to the father for support.

    However, if your parental rights were actually terminated, that would also terminate any possibilty of current support.

    Wait until you get the paperwork that mom wants you to sign. Then take it to a local attorney, being very upfront about the overall circumstances, and get an opinon.
  10. #10
    chris20 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    I can guarantee that there is no chance that you would ever have to pay any kind of back support. Your child wasn't living in the US and therefore the US had no jurisdiction on that issue...and has no jurisdiction now.

    I cannot 100% guarantee that you couldn't be hit up for current support. Your child is a US Citizen and is entitled to welfare benefits if the guardians or persons with custody decided to apply for them. If that happened, the state would look to the father for support.

    However, if your parental rights were actually terminated, that would also terminate any possibilty of current support.

    Wait until you get the paperwork that mom wants you to sign. Then take it to a local attorney, being very upfront about the overall circumstances, and get an opinon.

    Thank you so much for your help.
    I will follow your advice.

    I just wanted to tell you: I still love her. Whenever I think of her, my eyes are moisturized and I still feel pain, even 14 years after I last kissed her...

    If my financial situation is improved better to properly be able to support my son, I will try to do it in a heart bit at any cost and to make her hapy as well. But I can't now. One of the reasons she divorced me was money and the inability to live the way she did before she got married to me.

    I couldn't persuade her into living with me with my son 4 years ago when I felt that she was a little into moving in with me. There was a reason I couldn't insist any further: I was just afraid that she might leave me again once there is a trouble in the future financially or else...

    Thanks again for yoour reply.

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