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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Non Working Custodial parent

    What is the name of your state? Oregon
    I'm the mother of two young teenage boys, I've been unemployed for about 2 years now due to a lot of health problems. I've been seeing doctors about my medical issues and trying to get them corrected or see if I will qualify for disablility or ssi. I don't have a problem with working, but due to these health problems I've found getting a job is pretty much impossible at this time. I've already had surgery for one of my problems and I'm expecting to have more surgerys in the near future. My ex husband is now telling me that because I've been unemployed for this long he's going to file a motion with the court to have the custody of our children changed to him until I either find work or get ssi. He lives in Texas. He said he can do this because I'm only living off of his child support and our son's ssi payments (my 15 year old son has been on ssi for about a year) The ex is working and makes good money, bought a 2004 Jeep Wranger not long ago (how he did that with two repos's on his credit I have no idea) brags about all the things he and his gf do, all the trips they make together, eating out all the time, and the new expensive camera he got for xmas. I on the other hand barely make ends meet, my bf's a long haul truck driver and also has health problems but is working this job to try and help keep a roof over our head and food on the table. The money I get from child support and ssi is uesed to pay bills, pay rent and buy the kids clothes and other things they need. We don't go on trips, out to dinner often or any of the great things the ex does. I don't mind because my kids are the most important things in my life and I care about them. The ex doesn't want the kids, had the chance several times to take one of them but always brought them back to me becuase it wasn't working out. He's had a string of gf's since he left me, has lost jobs left and right due to his actions and I have to track him down each time he starts a new job just to get the child support. I get 149.00 a week in child support for 2 kids. (He gets paid weekly) He has also made comments about how he's gotten a number of nice raises since he began this new job in Texas just over a year ago.
    I'm sorry to go on like this but I felt that the situation needed to be clarafied to understand the situation of each of us.
    I guess my question is this: Do I have to work in order to keep my kids here with me? Can he force me into anything?
    Thanks for any help you can give me

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Check with the bar

    Hi Rene,

    Sorry you've been having such a rough time of it and while you're down with the medical problems, the ex decides to give you a kick. Call your local bar association for an attorney referral or find out if there is a free legal aid society in your area to check out your rights. Here's the address to some general online info:


    I cannot imagine the circumstances that you being unemployed would justify a change of custody. If he questions your ability to care for the children due to your ill health, that may be a future problem. If you are able to provide care for the children, I wouldn't be too frank with the ex about the extent of your health concerns, giving him a future knife to twist. As long as your share of the support for your children is being paid, I don't see it as any business of the ex's business from what legal source the funds originate, be they the disability payments you hope to receive in the future, or contributions to the household made by your BF which are converted to the children on your behalf. As I've said before and I'll say again, I think it's great when children can have a stay at home parent.

    Now this is a joke, mind you, so please don't do it. I'm just trying to make you smile: Maybe you should tell the ex you'll start looking for work when he starts kicking in enough support to pay for a sitter.

    Best of luck to you and yours.

  3. #3


    What Linm said is great....couldn't have said it better! Since your ex is in Texas, here's another website you can post your question to: [url]www.prairielaw.com[/url]. They have a forum just for Texas issues and there are 2 lawyers that frequently answer posts......I believe just as a hobby. Good Luck!

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