A little background info. Texas, we've been under temporary orders for 2 years, 50/50, I have them from Thur to Mon on my weekends and Wed to Fri not on my weekend. I've kept them overnight many times during the other parents scheduled custody (by the other parents request). I've never given up any of my time with the children. I pay child support and for the first year and a half I also paid (not court ordered) day care expenses with the agreement I would be reimbursed when tax time came around, when that didn't happen I stopped paying the "gift" daycare expenses.
Over the course of the 2 years the other parent has had upwards of 15-20 relationships, the kids were exposed to at least 6 with overnight stays. The other parent is not diagnosed with Antisocial personality disorder, but fits the bill. Controlling, aggressive, violent, physical, no respect for others including judges, the law anyone and everyone. No regard for the children's feelings. In short, I have 2 years of evidence that the other parent does not take part in the children's learning, homework etc. The other parent has no motivation, and lives off child support and government assistance. A few examples of total disregard for the children, I bought one of my kids a new backpack. When the other parent saw that the old backpack was not in use (at the daycare), the other parent brought the old backpack to the school, called my child out of class took all the books out of the new backpack replaced them in the old one and tried pull out the ribbon that was braided in my child's hair because my fiance did the hair. Needless to say my child was embarrassed and physically hurt from the parent pulling on the hair. There are 40 other documented events like this, in public, with or without having anything to do with me as the other parent. Such as, the other parent getting themselves and the kids thrown out of my own child's birthday because the other parent got into a cursing argument with friends (I was not present and had nothing to do with it).
My first question is this, last month we went to court and my lawyer gave the judge our proposal for custody, the other parent came alone, with no lawyer, no family or friends the DAY of trial asking for a continuance that had not been filed yet. The judge told me that he would not grant the continuance if I wanted to argue anything except for changing the status quo. I said I wanted to change the status quo for my children so he granted the continuance and told the other parent to get a lawyer, but he was not happy that the other parent came unprepared, and the other parent had a lawyer 8 months before but the lawyer could not work with the parent and asks to be removed from the case after 1 1/2 years and not due to non payment. Before the judge gave the continuance though my lawyer gave the other parent some info like we had evidence that they were not doing what was responsibly correct as far as the children's school work was concerned. The very next day the other parent scheduled meetings with the childrens teachers, I don't know what was said or done. I don't know if the other parent is trying to get the teachers to back them or to plea to them that the other parent is a "good parent", here is my question, what action should I take? Should I schedule meetings with the teachers and talk to them about my concern, I didn't because I don't think it is their business or I have nothing to hide unlike the other parent that "needs" backing.
My lawyer didn't have anything to say on this topic. I figure if I go in there and bring up the fact that I'm going for custody, and the other parent didn't mention it then I look like a fool, on the other hand I don't want them blindly backing the other parent and giving their credit.
We aren't trying to take the kids from the other parent but basically flip flopping the schedule, the other parent doesn't make time for the children to do things outside of school and school work is a joke. Custodial parent schedules just "fit" youth sports and school events and they want to be able to participate and I can give them that. They used to be in sports, the other parent made 1 practice (mind you all the practices were on the other parents scheduled times), I would take the kids, but I cant anymore, not after what happened. I had to fill in for the coach of one of the kids teams twice because of surgery. Also, like any parent knows, when you are on a youth team parents switch off bringing drinks and snacks after the game, well since I made the practices I had to sign up for one day. My day had come and after the game I was handing out snacks and drinks then the other parents in an outrage starts yelling "Why are you pretending to be something your not, you are not a soccer parent! Why would you do this to me, you are so fake you are not a good parent!" on and on this went all whilst the other parent closed the ice chest and gathered all the snacks and drinks and took them to the car (some kids didn't get snacks or drinks because of this). At the car the other parent said I'm keeping these because it's my day with the kids and the snacks are for the kids, I didn't put up a fight I just left.
I think I have a strong case, my lawyer thinks we have a strong case, the judge already sees the lack of responsibility on the other parents behalf and everything we have correlates with that, but in the event that I do not get custody I have a question about CS and will it be modified. On paper I do make more than I did when we were separated, however, I do contract work, I have to pay all medical premiums, get no time off etc. This work is also only temporary and will be up in 6 months, if they were to just go off net minus medical times 40 hours a week my CS would sky rocket and as soon as this contract is up I would be bankrupt. If you compare my pay to a salary person then yes it is higher, is there a way to calculate as a contractor, I mean I could get laid off at anytime before the contract is up, it has happened before at the same place I'm contracting at now. I get no severance, no nothing. Part of contracting is to build that buffer in between jobs and if that in between time "counts as income" then I am out of luck I suppose. I also get what I'm getting because when I was first laid off with the same company it was also at the same time as my initial temporary orders signing (actually 1 month after we signed the temporary orders I was laid off) and could not get a job for 5 months. This was the only time I was late on a child support payment, it happened once, I paid half the 1st and the rest the next unemployment check (2 weeks). My child support was 70% of my unemployment pay, which I lived off of for 5 months. How will they calculate my pay or how can I calculate my pay before hand and have all that information spelled out so I can plea my case in the event that I do not get custody.