Her daughter’s father threatened to file for full custody
Hailey, Rory’s seven year-old daughter, has only met her father a handful of times, not because her mother forbade her to, but because he was not present.
Rory and Justin had never married, but Rory has made an effort to incorporate him into Hailey’s life as best as possible, even if it means building a father-daughter relationship over the phone.
Rory did not fully understand the process of obtaining child support and thus subjected Justin to a sup-par payment plan. Justin was out of state at the time and claimed that child support would hinder his business. For the sake of civility, Justin and Rory came to a verbal agreement: Justin would pay a certain amount each month for child support. Months came and went without so much as a penny paid to support Hailey.
This negligence is further perpetuated by his inconsistent presence. Against her mother’s will, Justin only calls when it is convenient for him. Hailey protests every time she must go with her dad because to her he is just another stranger.
“With the help of Open Door Legal, Rory was able to receive full physical custody and joint legal custody of her daughter.”
Rory’s case was taken in by Open Door Legal because she could not afford a private attorney. Upon hearing that Rory was seeking legal action, Justin contacted Rory and pleaded for a private, verbal agreement. He wants to pay the minimum amount — again. When Rory refused, Justin threatened to file for full custody of Hailey.
With the help of Open Door Legal, Rory was able to receive full physical custody and joint legal custody of her daughter. Justin is also subject to pay a fair amount per month in order to cover his daughter’s private school tuition and medical costs. Furthermore, Rory is relieved to have reached a suitable arrangement for both her daughter and herself.
This story was written by volunteer Jasmine Ayala, April 2016.
*The name and photos have been changed to protect the client’s identity.