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Anne in CA

I am in too much shock to find the old thread. My friend just lost custody of her children. UPDATE and Prayer Request in last post.

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I don't think a custody agreement should anchor someone to a location by default.

 

But going back to main point, the system did work in your husband's case.  It just wasn't a favorable outcome.

 

The system did not work for my husband in that he couldn't afford legal counsel to stop his XW from taking the kids away.  It was not just not favorable to dh...it hurts the kids too. 

 

 

I think custody agreements absolutely should anchor parents to a location.  And the one who wants/needs/sees no other way to move should be the one who has to give up primary custody AND should have to travel back to see the children for visitation instead of the kids being drug half way across the country for visitation.  I think if this was the standard and the default that many people would think twice about some of their decisions.

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The system did not work for my husband in that he couldn't afford legal counsel to stop his XW from taking the kids away. It was not just not favorable to dh...it hurts the kids too.

 

 

I think custody agreements absolutely should anchor parents to a location. And the one who wants/needs/sees no other way to move should be the one who has to give up primary custody AND should have to travel back to see the children for visitation instead of the kids being drug half way across the country for visitation. I think if this was the standard and the default that many people would think twice about some of their decisions.

This idea would play out (and in cases where it is in effect, already has played out) as a way for an abusive spouse to control their targeted ex-spouse. Sometimes the primary parent needs to be able to move to be near their support system, away from their ex and/or for new opportunities.

 

If instances where co-parenting is healthy and feasible, it still creates issues for parents who need to move for economic reasons.

 

Blanket policies don't work because each situation is so different.

Edited by LucyStoner
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This idea would play out (and in cases where it is in effect, already has played out) as a way for an abusive spouse to control their targeted ex-spouse. Sometimes the primary parent needs to be able to move to be near their support system, away from their ex and/or for new opportunities.

 

If instances where co-parenting is healthy and feasible, it still creates issues for parents who need to move for economic reasons.

 

Blanket policies don't work because each situation is so different.

 

 

This is true.  Each situation is different.  Leaving abusive and manipulative exes out of the equation I believe parents who want to co-parent should do everything in their power to remain in the same area.  Sometimes that will involve an economic sacrifice.  Sometimes it will mean you can't marry and move away with someone you have fallen in love with.

 

Adding that this applies to myself as well.  I moved my son 2 hours away from his dad.  I wish we had not done that.  I mean, we are here now, things are ok, XH has been very cooperative.  But if the standard had been that I had to find a way to stay close by XH I would have found a way to do that.  So I offer my perspective to parents in such a situation....do whatever you can to stay close by the X.

Edited by Scarlett
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The system did not work for my husband in that he couldn't afford legal counsel to stop his XW from taking the kids away.  It was not just not favorable to dh...it hurts the kids too. 

 

 

I think custody agreements absolutely should anchor parents to a location.  And the one who wants/needs/sees no other way to move should be the one who has to give up primary custody AND should have to travel back to see the children for visitation instead of the kids being drug half way across the country for visitation.  I think if this was the standard and the default that many people would think twice about some of their decisions.

 

 

They system DID work.  Your DH and his ex went to the courts to manage the dissolution of their marriage and determine the custodial rights of their children.  That doesn't mean each party will agree with the outcome.

 

I disagree.  Tying custody to geographic location and forcing a loss of physical custody when circumstances change makes no sense legally.

 

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I'm also thinking of folks in the military, not moving is really not an option for some people.

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They system DID work.  Your DH and his ex went to the courts to manage the dissolution of their marriage and determine the custodial rights of their children.  That doesn't mean each party will agree with the outcome.

 

I disagree.  Tying custody to geographic location and forcing a loss of physical custody when circumstances change makes no sense legally.

 

 

 

I guess we have different ideas about what 'worked' means. The court ordered mediation....and she would not budge on anything.  But then she violated the terms of the agreement by moving away. The way that works is it was on him to file a contempt of court order to call her on that....he 1)had no money 2) we know how slow it all works and the kids were already enrolled in a new school. I don't call that a system that is working.

 

At the very least she should have had to petition the court for a change. 

 

More and more custody is 50/50.  So there is no parent with more time than the other.  So one parent should be able to up and move?  That makes no sense to me.

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I'm also thinking of folks in the military, not moving is really not an option for some people.

 

 

Do parents in the military typically get primary physical custody?  I would think that is not the norm. 

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Do parents in the military typically get primary physical custody? I would think that is not the norm.

Why not? One common scenario is two military members married to each other. If they separate at least one of them must still have custody!

 

You have to have a care plan in place to cover things like deployment, but I don't see what about being in the military would prevent a person from having custody.

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I guess we have different ideas about what 'worked' means. The court ordered mediation....and she would not budge on anything. But then she violated the terms of the agreement by moving away. The way that works is it was on him to file a contempt of court order to call her on that....he 1)had no money 2) we know how slow it all works and the kids were already enrolled in a new school. I don't call that a system that is working.

 

At the very least she should have had to petition the court for a change.

 

More and more custody is 50/50. So there is no parent with more time than the other. So one parent should be able to up and move? That makes no sense to me.

Physical custody is starting often not 50/50 if for no reason other than logistics.

 

Family units move frequently. I am not sure why you find it surprising that divorced parents sometimes need to move.

 

I am not sure what the court was supposed to do if your husband didn't follow through on his end. Ankle monitor parents so they can tell if they moved?

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And that is a part of the system that I'm telling you does not work. The wronged party should not have to beg borrow and steal and come up with thousands of dollars in order to enforce a court order .

 

And as for my opinion that divorced parents should stay in the same geographical vicinity, I get that many people disagree with that. However I have seen parents to go to great lengths to stay in their kids school district until they are grown. And I have seen parents move away. Including myself. I just feel the kids would be better served and everyone's life would be easier if divorced parents made an effort to stay Put.

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More and more custody is 50/50. So there is no parent with more time than the other. So one parent should be able to up and move? That makes no sense to me.

Custody determinations are ideally about what is in the best interests of the child (or should be). What is 'fair' to each parent is not the standard. Courts can try to divide financial assets 'fairly,' but should not focus on what is 'fair' to parents with respect to custody.

 

'Best interests of the child' may be a subjective determination, and one that is made by a person who carries opinions and biases. Judges may get it wrong sometimes. But ideally a court looks at the facts presented to it and tries to figure out what is going to be in the child's interests. That might mean the custodial parent moves and the noncustodial parent, through no fault of his or her own, suffers a loss of time with the child. Or it may be that custody is transferred to the other parent. Either way, the child is losing something too, but Judges are forced to make decisions when parents can't.

Edited by Danestress
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And that is a part of the system that I'm telling you does not work. The wronged party should not have to beg borrow and steal and come up with thousands of dollars in order to enforce a court order .

 

And as for my opinion that divorced parents should stay in the same geographical vicinity, I get that many people disagree with that. However I have seen parents to go to great lengths to stay in their kids school district until they are grown. And I have seen parents move away. Including myself. I just feel the kids would be better served and everyone's life would be easier if divorced parents made an effort to stay Put.

 

But you don't know someone is a wronged party until they prove it in court. 

 

To the bolded...yay for you and those parents?  Not sure what your point is as while some parents do that, many others do have to move.

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But you don't know someone is a wronged party until they prove it in court.

 

To the bolded...yay for you and those parents? Not sure what your point is as while some parents do that, many others do have to move.

 

I feel like I am in the twilight zone. :).

 

Yes, I know it has to,be proved in court. With attorneys. Which costs money many people don't have . After months of time during which time the kids are growing up and living life. And that is the part of the system that isn't working. It should not be that difficult to enforce a court order.

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Custody determinations are ideally about what is in the best interests of the child (or should be). What is 'fair' to each parent is not the standard. Courts can try to divide financial assets 'fairly,' but should not focus on what is 'fair' to parents with respect to custody.

 

'Best interests of the child' may be a subjective determination, and one that is made by a person who carries opinions and biases. Judges may get it wrong sometimes. But ideally a court looks at the facts presented to it and tries to figure out what is going to be in the child's interests. That might mean the custodial parent moves and the noncustodial parent, through no fault of his or her own, suffers a loss of time with the child. Or it may be that custody is transferred to the other parent. Either way, the child is losing something too, but Judges are forced to make decisions when parents can't.

Or won't.

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I feel like I am in the twilight zone. :).

 

Yes, I know it has to,be proved in court. With attorneys. Which costs money many people don't have . After months of time during which time the kids are growing up and living life. And that is the part of the system that isn't working. It should not be that difficult to enforce a court order.

So your DH's ex-wife violated terms of the custody agreement that she agreed to by moving away. And your DH couldn't afford to go to court again. And Chocolate Reign is telling you your DH is not the wronged party bc he needs to prove it in court that the wife moved?

 

Yeah, it's the Pig World.

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So your DH's ex-wife violated terms of the custody agreement that she agreed to by moving away. And your DH couldn't afford to go to court again. And Chocolate Reign is telling you your DH is not the wronged party bc he needs to prove it in court that the wife moved?

 

Yeah, it's the Pig World.

Yep.

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So your DH's ex-wife violated terms of the custody agreement that she agreed to by moving away. And your DH couldn't afford to go to court again. And Chocolate Reign is telling you your DH is not the wronged party bc he needs to prove it in court that the wife moved?

 

Yeah, it's the Pig World.

 

No, I am saying he has to go to court and show she violated the order and he is the wronged party.  How else is the court supposed to intervene?  Is a judge supposed to just know somehow an order has been violated?

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Okay. Tell me how to enforce one without going to court.

 

You can't. System is broken.

 

Police won't get involved because 'it is a civil matter'. But they should be able to look at a court order and enforce it. But as it is now there are no consequences to defying a court order.

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I think you should be able to 'make a report' of violation of a court order in some way that doesn't require a lawyer's touch -- just a form, or a help desk at the court house or some such.

 

Then 'the court' (a clerical position) should send an official request that the person affirm/validate (prove?) that they are still in compliance, or state their intent to re-comply and prove it by a certain date. (Or, if they are not, instruct them get a lawyer to file a request for a change in terms, at their own expense, or arrange for mediation with no cost.) Non compliance should result in a fine (contempt of court) which could be enforced in a similar way to an unpaid ticket -- through the police.

 

The original person should be informed either that the other 'claims compliance' or that they have submitted for a change, or has requested mediation.

 

Multiple back-and-forth or a claim of harassment-style reports should result in a traditional court date to sort it out with a judge and lawyers, but not all cases would need that.

 

When I have been in family court sessions (as a support person) there are already these sorts of "forms" and help-desk scenarios to use a limited number of lawyers to turn everybody's paperwork into the appropriate motions and legal documents before going into court. There are also lawyers on duty. I think it could be a workable model.

Edited by bolt.
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I think you should be able to 'make a report' of violation of a court order in some way that doesn't require a lawyer's touch -- just a form, or a help desk at the court house or some such.

 

Then 'the court' (a clerical position) should send an official request that the person affirm/validate (prove?) that they are still in compliance, or state their intent to re-comply and prove it by a certain date. (Or, if they are not, instruct them get a lawyer to file a request for a change in terms, at their own expense, or arrange for mediation with no cost.) Non compliance should result in a fine (contempt of court) which could be enforced in a similar way to an unpaid ticket -- through the police.

 

The original person should be informed either that the other 'claims compliance' or that they have submitted for a change, or has requested mediation.

 

Multiple back-and-forth or a claim of harassment-style reports should result in a traditional court date to sort it out with a judge and lawyers, but not all cases would need that.

 

When I have been in family court sessions (as a support person) there are already these sorts of "forms" and help-desk scenarios to use a limited number of lawyers to turn everybody's paperwork into the appropriate motions and legal documents before going into court. There are also lawyers on duty. I think it could be a workable model.

Yes. Something needs to be done. Many many of these non compliant people would stop that nonsense if there were any consequences. Dhs xw is one.....she gave us years of grief doing whatever the heck she wanted with regards to drop off, pick up, school holidays, her new husband jumping out of the truck and threatening Dh, just on and on. The second we hired an attorney (with money we had to borrow from my parents) she suddenly became almost totally cooperative.

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No, the judge can't do much at that point. There should be ways of holding the experts accountable, though.

Absolutely. I'd think any so called expert making a diagnoses on someone he has never met to personally evaluate should lose their license to practice. That's unethical to say the least.

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No, I am saying he has to go to court and show she violated the order and he is the wronged party.  How else is the court supposed to intervene?  Is a judge supposed to just know somehow an order has been violated?

 

He should just be able to tell a family court clerk that she violated the court order.   They spend 5 minutes looking up her driver's license address in some database, then the contempt of court stuff starts.   He shouldn't need a lawyer.  

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Absolutely. I'd think any so called expert making a diagnoses on someone he has never met to personally evaluate should lose their license to practice. That's unethical to say the least.

 

I would  blame the judge for that.   The judge allowed the testimony.   If an 'expert' is diagnosing someone there should be the question beforehand, "Have you met with XYZ?"    If so, "For how long?"   

 

You know the saying, "First, shoot the lawyers" ?   I think it should be "First, shoot the judges" because they are the ones allowing travesties of justice in their court.  

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He should just be able to tell a family court clerk that she violated the court order. They spend 5 minutes looking up her driver's license address in some database, then the contempt of court stuff starts. He shouldn't need a lawyer.

It doesn't require a lawyer to file papers in family court. It can be very useful and is probably the most ideal but many people have to do it pro se. Here there are family law facilitators who will review your paperwork before you file for a very small fee to make sure you have everything that the judge requires and you know who needs to be served.

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He should just be able to tell a family court clerk that she violated the court order.   They spend 5 minutes looking up her driver's license address in some database, then the contempt of court stuff starts.   He shouldn't need a lawyer.  

 

It can be done without a lawyer.

 

He will also have to demonstrate the order was violated.  That can sometimes be very simple, but orders can also have a grey area that require a hearing.

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It doesn't require a lawyer to file papers in family court. It can be very useful and is probably the most ideal but many people have to do it pro se. Here there are family law facilitators who will review your paperwork before you file for a very small fee to make sure you have everything that the judge requires and you know who needs to be served.

 

 

It can be done without a lawyer.

 

He will also have to demonstrate the order was violated.  That can sometimes be very simple, but orders can also have a grey area that require a hearing.

 

 

Many things that 'can' be done without an attorney are simply not realistic to attempt depending on the cooperation level of the particular court house employees.  

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Many things that 'can' be done without an attorney are simply not realistic to attempt depending on the cooperation level of the particular court house employees.

If one is involved in a family law matter and unable to afford an attorney, it behooves them to become very familiar with the forms and procedures of the court with jurisdiction. Everyone is entitled to file on their own behalf in family law matters.

 

Less than ideal doesn't mean impossible.

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If one is involved in a family law matter and unable to afford an attorney, it behooves them to become very familiar with the forms and procedures of the court with jurisdiction. Everyone is entitled to file on their own behalf in family law matters.

 

Less than ideal doesn't mean impossible.

 

And there is a big space between less than ideal and impossible.  I would say it was near impossible for dh.  I was married to him by then and I couldn't help him figure it out either. There are other jurisdictions in OK that have web sites with helpful forms you can print off and file.  The one that handled his case not only did not have that they stone walled him completely.  They would tell him nothing and they would give him nothing.  When he did file for her not bringing the oldest to visitation he got into the court room (along with XW, her husband and the teen son) and the judge told dh he had not filed something properly and he refused to hear it.

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Please keep my friend in your prayers again. She is in need of an MRI. Hopefully her breast cancer is not returning. She is doing sooo well with being positive, investing in her health and working on her house without her kids. Everyone who knows her is impressed by her attitude right now, but this is worrying. 

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