Everything stated below is the truth and is documented.
My name is Heather. I live in Pennsylvania. I am the mother to Michael Kucinskas' daughter.
Child Support Issues
Forth-three year old Canadian Mike Kucinskas was living and working in the U.S. for 10 years until he chose to quit his lucrative job and return to British Columbia in September 2005 for temporary contract work, leaving behind his 4 month old daughter and not paying another dime to support her(until ordered to by a judge in September 2006). In January 2006, through a Pennsylvania attorney I attempted to negotiate child support and visitation with him and his British Columbia attorney. Not once did they make an offer for either in spite of Mike making $133, 000CAD and I making $30, 000 that year. They were successful in stringing me along for 10 months; the time it took me to learn enough of the Canadian Family Law system to take him to British Columbia Provincial Court for child support. In spite of Mike being aware as of July 2006 that we were now proceeding to court, Mike Kucinskas STILL refused to pay or negotiate child support and visitation.
Our first hearing, known as a First Appearance, was on September 25, 2006. Flying 4, 000 kilometers, I attended that hearing learning the night before that Mike had yet to be served by a sheriff of the hearing notice. After reviewing the file in the Vancouver Provincial Court that morning, I learned from the extensive Service Report filed by the sheriff's office that he had avoided service. He showed up anyway with his attorney. The judge ordered Interim support so finally, after 10 months without a dime, I was receiving some support for our child.
My second appearance in Vancouver for child support was the trial on April 30, 2007. Mike claimed he wasn't working. But, he DID claim $77, 000 in living expenses per year; including pet care, hair cuts, dining out, and entertainment. I received one more Interim payment in May 2007 and haven't received one more dime since. Although, I know he takes long weekend trips to Whistler.
We are now waiting for an Order from the April 30th trial to be drawn up by his attorney so we can schedule a continuance trial. Then, I will be returning again, for the 3rd time, to Vancouver for the same child support issue.
I filed for custody in Pennsylvania of our now 31 month old daughter. There has been two custody conferences with a conciliator and 1 trial conference with a judge and a trial with the judge in a few days. Usually, there's no more than 1 meeting with a conciliator and 1 trial with a judge but Pennsylvania went out of their way to try to include Mike because that's what's in the best interest of our child. Mike has been aware of all meetings and it was mandatory that he attend, yet he didn't. The conciliator phoned him 2 times both conferences but Mike didn't pick up the phone or return the voice message. He also didn't attend the trial conference or make arrangments for video or teleconferencing into the trial conference. He simply blew them all off. The trial in in a few days and I have a feeling he'll be blowing this off as well in spite of being able to teleconference or videoconference in from Vancouver. Of course I'll be granted custody but by blowing this off, he's giving up he and his daughter's right to visitation with each other. And in the future, he'll have to petition the court for visitation. What a hassle that will be for him. I don't think he's willing to work hard enough to do that.
Conversations between us
Mike and I have talked via email several times over the 2 1/2 years of this animosity. He insists, absolutely insists, he cares about his daughter but his actions don't show it. In 2 1/2 years, he's only asked about his daughter 3 times. I've sent him many, many pictures over the years even when he hadn't asked for them. I've pushed and pushed for him to visit her but he won't. And I've never once said he couldn't because I don't believe that an absent parent is in the best interest of a child. There is nothing more important to this child, than to have both parents in her life to some degree. He claims it's because he's afraid he'll fly all this way and I won't let him see her. I've offered a signed legal agreement and he still won't come. We now have a custody trial upon us where he can have legal visitation set out, yet he still won't have anything to do with it.
All I'm interested in is what any father would normally do for their child; visit, send her pictures of her family, support her, ask about her, make her a priority to him. Instead he wants to stay away, blame me for his world crumbling around him and drag me through a legal system 4, 000 kilometers away. None of this is in the best interest of our child. I am stressed and broke while he's acting very irresponsibly and immature. I keep hoping one day he'll get it; the importance of being a parent and the fact that a biological parent is always going to be significant to a child. This child and him have lost almost 3 years of each other. Makes me sad.