David R. Hartwig, ESQ.
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Posts tagged "parent time"

Nasty Custody Dispute? Want to drive the other side Crazy? Here's how:

Custody disputes can be nasty, really nasty. Be it in a divorce, a paternity action, or a subsequent action to modify prior custody orders, allegations can fly back and forth, and parents can bring up the nastiest allegations and claims. The other side will fling all kinds of garbage at you, from minor incidents to completely false claims -- and that will all be done to hurt you and make you feel defensive, if not downright combative. After all, the other party is making all of those claims to show just how terrible of a parent, and person you are. How could you not take that personally?You do have your way to fight back; a plan to not only show how all those claims are false, but also to possibly show the other party's attempts to malign you. This is a real strategy that may well not only prove all of that, but also help you win your custody claims.Here is the plan:
•    Every time junior comes home from school with a gold star on a paper, test, or project, scan, or take a picture of it and send it to the other party with a kind note, something like "thought you'd like to share in [child's name] accomplishment.
•    Every time junior comes home from school with a good grade on a paper, test, or project, scan, or take a picture of it and send it to the other party with a similar kind note.
•    Every time junior gets selected to be in a school, or other, play; joins a team or some other activity; or is to be honored in some ceremony, scan, or take a picture of the announcement and send it to the other party with a similar kind note (or, if there is nothing to copy, send an email anyway with the information included).
•    Every time you get some note or announcement about a school, or other activity, again scan it and send it to the other party; you might even want to invite that person to attend.
•    Every time you schedule any sort of medical or dental appointment, email the other party and let that person know; and, then follow up with whatever information you learn from the appointment. Just an FYI note, or something similar.
•    Send an email to the other party telling him or her just how excited junior was to hear from the other party, enjoyed the time junior spent with that person, or how much junior truly enjoyed the gift or item junior brought home.
•    Be willing to work with the other party if there as scheduling problems (so long as it does not become an obvious abuse of the current custody orders).
•    And never, never respond to any of the negativity in an emotional state; in fact, it might be better to completely ignore the insults and taunts you receive, and let your attorney handle all of that through counsel thereby documenting the other party's bad conduct.This will work in your favor. There is a rule in Utah that custody evaluators have to abide by, which includes, methods of communications between the parents, the ways in which a parent supports the child's relationship with the other parent, and just how you are willing to work with the other parent to accommodate problems or conflicts in schedules. You will be showing your love of your child, and your willingness to let your child be with, and love the other parent.

Nasty Custody Dispute? Want to drive the other side Crazy? Here's how:

Custody disputes can be nasty, really nasty. Be it in a divorce, a paternity action, or a subsequent action to modify prior custody orders, allegations can fly back and forth, and parents can bring up the nastiest allegations and claims. The other side will fling all kinds of garbage at you, from minor incidents to completely false claims -- and that will all be done to hurt you and make you feel defensive, if not downright combative. After all, the other party is making all of those claims to show just how terrible of a parent, and person you are. How could you not take that personally?You do have your way to fight back; a plan to not only show how all those claims are false, but also to possibly show the other party's attempts to malign you. This is a real strategy that may well not only prove all of that, but also help you win your custody claims.Here is the plan:
•    Every time junior comes home from school with a gold star on a paper, test, or project, scan, or take a picture of it and send it to the other party with a kind note, something like "thought you'd like to share in [child's name] accomplishment.
•    Every time junior comes home from school with a good grade on a paper, test, or project, scan, or take a picture of it and send it to the other party with a similar kind note.
•    Every time junior gets selected to be in a school, or other, play; joins a team or some other activity; or is to be honored in some ceremony, scan, or take a picture of the announcement and send it to the other party with a similar kind note (or, if there is nothing to copy, send an email anyway with the information included).
•    Every time you get some note or announcement about a school, or other activity, again scan it and send it to the other party; you might even want to invite that person to attend.
•    Every time you schedule any sort of medical or dental appointment, email the other party and let that person know; and, then follow up with whatever information you learn from the appointment. Just an FYI note, or something similar.
•    Send an email to the other party telling him or her just how excited junior was to hear from the other party, enjoyed the time junior spent with that person, or how much junior truly enjoyed the gift or item junior brought home.
•    Be willing to work with the other party if there as scheduling problems (so long as it does not become an obvious abuse of the current custody orders).
•    And never, never respond to any of the negativity in an emotional state; in fact, it might be better to completely ignore the insults and taunts you receive, and let your attorney handle all of that through counsel thereby documenting the other party's bad conduct.This will work in your favor. There is a rule in Utah that custody evaluators have to abide by, which includes, methods of communications between the parents, the ways in which a parent supports the child's relationship with the other parent, and just how you are willing to work with the other parent to accommodate problems or conflicts in schedules. You will be showing your love of your child, and your willingness to let your child be with, and love the other parent.

Going to court negatively impacts the children, Right?

Going to court negatively impacts the children, Right? I participate in a number of the online legal question and answer forums I often see that claim. But, it is always preceded by allegations that the other parent is not allowing visits, won't let the parent have time with the child, breaks his or her agreements to allow a visit, or demands that all schedules and agreement must be his or her way -- all without going to court. Let me be blunt. The only way parents going to court for assistance in establishing custody and parent-time orders impacts a child is if one, or both, of the parents put that child in the middle and involve the child in the case. If both parents are doing what is best for the child, then the child will not even know that there is a court case, because that case is between the adults. So, going to court to obtain orders concerning custody and parent-time should not directly impact the children. Any impact the child would be passive by way of having parents who love the child and allow the child to openly love each parent -- that can only be a positive impact. Plus, going to court will provide a set, consistent, and predictable schedule for parent-time. A schedule that the parents and the child can count on, and look forward to with happiness and anticipation. So, if the other parent is already causing problems by denying access, limiting parent-time, or playing games with dates and time, that parent is already putting the child in the middle and causing the child harm by way of depriving the child time with the other parent. In those situations, the one parent needs to be an adult and take the situation to court to obtain appropriate orders, including orders to keep the child out of the case. And, I bet that it will be the offending parent who then cries that going to court will "negatively impact the child"!

Going to court negatively impacts the children, Right?

Going to court negatively impacts the children, Right? I participate in a number of the online legal question and answer forums I often see that claim. But, it is always preceded by allegations that the other parent is not allowing visits, won't let the parent have time with the child, breaks his or her agreements to allow a visit, or demands that all schedules and agreement must be his or her way -- all without going to court. Let me be blunt. The only way parents going to court for assistance in establishing custody and parent-time orders impacts a child is if one, or both, of the parents put that child in the middle and involve the child in the case. If both parents are doing what is best for the child, then the child will not even know that there is a court case, because that case is between the adults. So, going to court to obtain orders concerning custody and parent-time should not directly impact the children. Any impact the child would be passive by way of having parents who love the child and allow the child to openly love each parent -- that can only be a positive impact. Plus, going to court will provide a set, consistent, and predictable schedule for parent-time. A schedule that the parents and the child can count on, and look forward to with happiness and anticipation. So, if the other parent is already causing problems by denying access, limiting parent-time, or playing games with dates and time, that parent is already putting the child in the middle and causing the child harm by way of depriving the child time with the other parent. In those situations, the one parent needs to be an adult and take the situation to court to obtain appropriate orders, including orders to keep the child out of the case. And, I bet that it will be the offending parent who then cries that going to court will "negatively impact the child"!

Divorce - How do you coparent with an uncooperative coparent?

Joint legal custody, with some form of joint parenting, is approaching the norm. There are two sides to the issue, which are addressed elsewhere. But, I continue to see recent posts and articles about the issue of how do I co-parent with an uncooperative (or narcissistic) parent.

Having parent-time disputes, can we use arbitration or mediation?

I hear this fairly often in parent time and visitation matters where things are not working out well. The usual complaint goes along the lines of: "My husband and his ex-wife have been constantly in litigation about various child custody and child support issues over the past few years. It has taken an enormous toll on us."

Halloween and parent-time - who gets the child, and how long?

The fall is upon us, yet again. Halloween is approaching and separated, divorce, or unmarried parents want to know who will have their children for the holiday, and for how long. Halloween is not necessarily a "legal" holiday, so there may well be questions about how that day is handled. What you need to look at is your decree of divorce, or custody orders, to see what it says. In Utah, there are statutes that address visitation, or parent-time; and, those statutes do state what holidays are considered and how they are handled. And, Utah does recognize Halloween as a holiday for purposes of parent-time. The pertinent Utah statutes are 30-3-35, 30-3-35.1, and 30-3-35.5. But, be aware. Your decree or custody order may take precedence over statute; it could give additional holiday time, or take it away. So, look to your divorce decree, paternity orders, or custody orders to see what it says first. If you have any doubts, or questions, get together with an experienced family law attorney to review your papers, and help you learn now exactly what your rights are, rather than waiting until Halloween.

Statutory Joint Custody in Divorce and Paternity.

I've been reading quite a number of posts on various family law or divorce groups calling for state or federal statutory joint-legal custody mandate, containing provisions very similar to full equal time with the children for both parents. Those claims have been touted variously as: recognition of father's rights, equal protection under the law, fantastic steps forward, recognition that our divorce system is broken, and a panoply of cures for all that ails children in divorce.

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