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Child Custody

 
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2004 03:14 pm
Hi Zacksmom
If your custody and visitation issues are not resolved through mediation, I want you to have an attorney when you go back to court in September!

Take care and keep us informed.
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 02:49 pm
Noddy24 wrote:
Zacksmom--

Another aphorism: The man (or woman) who represents himself (herself) in a court of law has a fool for a client.

Do you want a lawyer full of empty promises....or a lawyer who understands how the system works?

What you personally want is not necessarily what the judge will decide to give you. Please be careful. You do not want to alienate the judge--and making the move and refusing to be responsible for transporting Zack could alienate the judge.


Noddy,
I am not saying that I would represent myself, or that I want someone who is going to give me empty promises that even I know can't be kept. But for someone who hasn't even heard my case, or the circumstances around why I want what I want, is not being fair at all. I am not going to alienate the judge, nor look for another judge or whatever. If mediation doesn't work out, I am going to look for another lawyer however.
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 02:55 pm
the reincarnation of suzy wrote:
I disagree.
I don't know where you live, Zacksmom, but your lawyer doesn't sound very optimistic. It seems that she will accept whatever the court decides without a fight, so what do you need her for? I would definetly get another one.
I went through something similar and my lawyer told the judge pretty much everything I told her, and I got everything I needed for my kids.
I also wrote a letter to the judge telling him specifically why I was requesting certain things, and my lawyer gave that to the judge.
I didn't have any of this other boyfriend/girlfriend/ moving business in the scenario, though, and maybe that's what made the difference, but my lawyer and I were able to impart to the judge exactly what the situation was and why it was important and best for my children that their needs come first. The judge agreed and continued to uphold the agreement without amendment for years. It didn't hurt that their father showed his true colors in the courtroom, I suppose. That allowed the judge to see for herself that what I alleged was indeed the truth.
You don't want a lawyer who makes pie-in-the-sky promises she can't keep, but you also don't need one like the one you've got. If I were you I would call around. I am just speaking from my own experience, but unless you are not giving the full story and not truly considering what is best for Zack, I'd say your lawyer is not the one for you.




I am trying to think of Zack in this. Like I said I don't want someone who is going to promise me things I know I can't have, but I do want someone who will at least listen to me before they go and say I am going to have to do everything. I am hoping mediation works, I really am. I am going to tell Joe he can have him every other week during the summer, if I can have him go to the school I choose, and then during school he can have him every other weekend, and the alternate holidays and such. Also I want to see if he can meet me halfway with transportation. Meet right in the middle for both of us. It isn't hard for him to go to the malls, which are 45 minutes or more away, so I don't see how it should be so hard to travel just a 1/2 hr away to pick up his son.
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 02:59 pm
ehBeth wrote:
Every jurisdiction is different. I can only speak for where I am. The parent who is considering a move (if they are given the permission to move - there is a very specific distance limit above which the judge will decide if it is allowed at all), is responsible for all transportation costs incurred as a result of the move.


Well, I haven't quite found anything saying I can't move. But the proposed parenting agreement the judge gave us, it says if you are planning on moving more than 30 miles, you need permission from either the judge or the other parent. I don't see how I would be denied, because it's a fresh start for Zack and I, and we both really need it. And it isn't really that far away.
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 03:11 pm
Re: Hi Zacksmom
Debra_Law wrote:
Hi Zacksmom:

Mediation gives you an opportunity to shine as a parent--to demonstrate to the mediator that you care about the best interests of your child--including your child's right to develop a relationship with his dad.

In my jurisdiction, it is typical for a noncustodial parent to be awarded visitation every other weekend, alternating holidays, and 2-4 weeks during the summer. (The amount of summer visitation is generally longer if the noncustodial parent lives a great distance away and cannot take advantage of more frequent weekend visitation.)

In my jurisdiction, a custodial parent does not need permission to move from one residence to another or even from one town to another within the state unless the custodial parent desires to move OUT OF STATE. If that is the case, the custodial parent must obtain the noncustodial parent's written permission or the court's permission. I am uncertain about New York laws--I can't find any specific statutory provision.

If you intend to move only 50 miles away (within the same state) and your intention for doing so is NOT MOTIVATED by a desire to interfere with the child's rights to visit his father, then I see no problem with your proposed move so long as you offer to share transportation costs in order to facilitate visitation.

In my jurisdiction, (unless one parent is in a far superior financial position than the other parent), it is typical for parents to share transportation costs equally. Usually, the noncustodial parent must travel to get the child to commence the visitation period and the custodial parent must travel to retrieve the child to end the visitation period.

I'm just a little disappointed that you saw a lawyer and your lawyer did not give you more guidance on these matters. Ask the mediator what the mediator thinks is the most typical visitation schedule in your jurisdiction deemed to be in the best interests of the child--and suggest every other weekend, alternating holidays, and a couple weeks during the summer so the child and the dad are able to vacation together.

Inform the mediator of your impending move 50 miles away from dad's house and suggest that the father be responsible for getting the child and offer to pick up the child after each visitation. This demonstrates how wonderful and flexible YOU are and how YOU are willing to do everything in your power to be fair and to facilitate a relationship between Zach and his father.

Split custody, where the child lives one week with dad and one week with mom on an alternating basis is almost never in the best interests of the child because it deprives the child of continuity and stability. Nobody should want to place the child in a situation where he has to live out of a suitcase because he has to move between mom and dad every week of his life.

If the child's father suggests split custody to the mediator, simply explain to the mediator that you believe Zach requires continuity and stability and split custody will not meet that need--the mediator will most likely agree with you and help the father to see the resulting harm to the child.

Mediation is an opportunity for you to shine, shine, shine. There is an excellent possibility that Zach's father will agree that you should have custody and that he should have a defined visitation schedule. There is an excellent possibility that the mediator can put your agreement into writing and present it to the court to be formalized into a final custody, visitation order (judgment). This would be a most pleasant means to resolve the issues you have faced recently without having to resort to a full-blown adversarial court hearing (trial) where the outcome might not be so certain.

If your custody and visitation issues are not resolved through mediation, I want you to have an attorney when you go back to court in September!

Take care and keep us informed.

Debra



Yes I am definitely hoping that the mediation works for us. I don't want to have to go back to court, unless there is no way Joe and I can agree on anything. It isn't that I don't want him to see him, I want it to be for the right reasons, and not for him to just be messing with me, by hurting our son. I am hoping he will work with me, if I work with him. He wants every other week, so I was thinking if I give him every other week in the summers, then maybe he will let me have him during school, and let him go to the school I choose, and just have him every other weekend. Then he can have the alternate holidays, school vacations he can have time with him. I am hoping also he will meet me halfway for the transportation part.. He does have things at both of our houses, so the suitcase thing doesn't apply. I get what you are saying, and I don't like the idea, but I know also I have to give a little to get a little. I want so much to just be able to get on with my life, and not have to worry about what he's going to do next to turn it upside down.
And yes, if we agree to something in mediation, they will submit it to the judge, and if he agrees, will sign it and then it will be good, and we won't have to go back to court.
No debra, I am not doing the move in order to interfere with him seeing Joe. I want to get on with my life, and it just happens that the person I want to do it with lives an hour away. lol he owns his house, and not that he wouldn't move for me, but I don't want it to have to come to that. I am willing to meet Joe halfway on the thruway to drop off and pick up, or if he wants to come all the way to pick him up, we will go the way to get him back. I will definitely keep you all updated, and let you know how things go tomorrow, and hopefully they will be resolved,and I won't have to worry about getting another lawyer, or going to court in sept.
Thank you again Debra, you have given me some wonderufl advice, and everyone else for that matter. Thank you.
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 03:32 pm
Everything you're asking for sounds more than reasonable to me and I think the court will be satisfied with that.
Best of luck to you Zacksmom. You'll be in my thoughts.
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 03:38 pm
Thanks very much montana. I am hoping if I sound reasonable, and offer so many other things for him, then what he's asking or denying me, will seem unreasonable. LOL I just want what's best for my son, and for myself. I gave up 4 years of my life, once my son was born, to live in a house where I didn't want to be, or couldnt' stand, just o my son could be with both parents. I just want what's best for the both of us.
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 03:39 pm
And that's what the courts want too. I think you'll do great with this.
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 03:41 pm
I really hope so. I fret the idea of having to live somewhere I don't want to for the next 14 years, just because Joe is going to be unreasonable, and a jerk.
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 03:47 pm
It's only an hour away and you are willing to meet him half way. Unless you're moving out of the state, they really can't dictate where you live unless there is already a stipulation in place on an existing court order. Make sure you do what you can to prevent him adding any stipulations on the court order regarding moving.
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 03:53 pm
Montana wrote:
It's only an hour away and you are willing to meet him half way. Unless you're moving out of the state, they really can't dictate where you live unless there is already a stipulation in place on an existing court order. Make sure you do what you can to prevent him adding any stipulations on the court order regarding moving.


yeah luckily there is nothing existing. He said to me one time too, that I can't move more than 30 miles away. But I am willing to meet halfway, or alternate the picking up and dropping off if he wants to do that. But I think the less he has to travel the more it will appeal to him, so I think te halfway thing he will like. I am so hoping. No I won't be moving out of state. Yeah I will definitely see what I can do as far as the moving thing, and also try to make it so he can't say I can't move. Especially if I make it like it's the best for Zack, which it is. For one, it's a smoke free environment. He lives with 3 smokers. All very heavy smokers. And Zack and I both have asthma. So right there, it would win. LOL So I hope he doesnt' fight me.
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2004 04:17 pm
Sounds good to me ;-)
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 09:51 am
I got back a few minutes ago from an hour of getting absolutely nowhere. we have a temporary thing for the summer, we go back for another mediation appt aug 3rd, and see if we can get anywhere then. I feel like I just want to give up, because I am not getting anywhere. he wants it his way, or nothing at all.
Ugh, I can't talk right now, I will be back.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 10:27 am
Zacksmom--

Negotiations are like that. You'd love to have something set and settled, but negotiations take more time. The Mediator will have noticed which of Zack's parents is being obstructive, but this doesn't take out out of limbo now.

Hang in there.
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 10:50 am
thanks noddy
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 11:17 am
I just don't see why I should have to be the only one to compromise or budge so he gets everything he wants, or I get nothing. This is all such crap.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 11:58 am
Believe me, the mediator will notice who is making compromises which are in Zack's best interests and who is not.

Were you told that you should re-think any of your positions?
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 12:11 pm
Hang in there Zacksmom. Just because he doesn't agree doesn't mean you have too. If you guys can't come to an agreement, then just go to trial and let the judge decide and remember that they are going to do what's best for Zack.

(((Hugs)))
0 Replies
 
zacksmom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 01:38 pm
the only thing the lady in mediation said was for the both of us to think about all the possibilities. I had said I wanted to put zack in pre school, and that it was an hour away, and that by sept I had wanted to be there, in time for him to start school. she said that usually the way the judge agrees with the move, if it's further away than normal is for job reasons I said my plan was to enroll him in school and then get a job while he was in school, so I could still be home to take care of him. And that the jobs out there are not ones I can get around here. I just feel like I am not going to get anything here, and I will be stuck living here, and he will win. I am so discouraged right now. i want to cry.
the only thing with waiting to go to trial is that I won't be able to put him in school, because the trial isn't until sept 22, and school will have started by then. She told us both to think about the possibilities, but I know he won't. He wants it the certain way, and he isn't budging. he's making it look like he's this great father, who has a stable home, and this and that. Which it isn't true. He only wants to do this because I have a boyfriend, and he doesn't want any other man in Zacks' life, but it's ok for him to have his girlfriend in Zacks' life. that's ok. He makes me so sick right now. I hate him.
Thanks for the support guys, I think I need to go back to Montana's party and have a few drinks. LOL
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jul, 2004 02:19 pm
I don't know how competitive pre-school is in your neck of the woods, but unlike Real School, kids drift in and out of pre-school (assuming there are places) and Zack would not be "behind" because of a late start.

Meanwhile, can you check out pre-schools in the area and get some solid facts down on paper to show the mediator/judge.

If neither you nor Zack's father are married to your current Significent Others, neither of you will have an edge in the Stable Relationship Department.

Hang in there. Just keep thinking of Zack's best interests. No one ever said Motherhood was easy.
0 Replies
 
 

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