Legal Question in Family Law in North Carolina

I have a 9 1/2 year old daughter. Her father and I were never married and we have never had a custody agreement. I took him to court for child support when she was 3. He saw her once or twice a month for a few hours up until she was 4 years old and then just disappeared from her life and quit paying child support for almost 4 years. He came back into the picture December 2011 (with a new fiance who urged him to, I think) and started getting my daughter (I let her decide if she wanted to see him or not) every other weekend and paying child support pretty regularly (although he still owes about $9000 in arrears). For financial reasons on my part, I recently had to move almost 4 hours away from where he lives (still in the same state though). For the past two months, I have taken her to visit one weekend out of the month. It's hard for me to do more financially paying for gas and also b/c she's in school and it's hard on her making weekend trips b/c she's tired at school on Monday (b/c they won't follow her bedtime schedule while she's with them). He has now started harassing me that he wants me to meet him halfway every other weekend. I financially can't do it (his arguement is that he pays his child support do I shoudl have gas money to bring her but I have to use that $ to actually support her, not gas money!, but my MAIN concern is that he does not have a driver's license (it may be for his child support arrears, or he could have had it taken away for other reasons) and also his fiance has had her driver's license revoked. I don't want my daughter in the car with them when neither of them have a driver's license. What if they got pulled over on the way home or on the way back to meet me? They would have to park the car and be stranded away from home and possibly arrested while having my daughter with them and me being 2-4 hours away. But they are threatening to take me to court to get a joint custody agreement if I don't agree to do this. But would a judge really force me to hand over my child to two unlicensed drivers getting ready to drive 2 hours home. I still hate it when we are in town and she is with them, but atleast I know I'm only 20 minutes away tops if they do get pulled over and they can call me to come get her. Not sure what to do...

Asked on 5/16/13, 10:33 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Amanda Houser The Houser Law Firm, P.C.

His threats of going for custody are most likely idle and something he'll never do because of the expense and if he has two brain cells to rub together because he knows he'd lose. You have the upper hand here. However, even if he did get joint custody - most likely nothing would change - you'd still have primary physical and he'd have visitation when he can afford a cab. Bottom-line don't let him intimidate you.

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Answered on 5/17/13, 7:30 am

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