EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

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EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby Alpine1 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:53 pm

My ex wife has filed a motion to re-open child custody. Her attorney drafted and filed, stating extreme examples that have caused severe anxiety for kids and everyone. Basically, I have opted to select vacation in 1-2 day increments, and wife for the past two years has denied me my rightful vacation (she feels vacation should only occur during summer school vacation).

The following is our current vacation language (entered and final in 2013):
Each party is entitled to up to 2 nonconsecutive weeks of vacation every year with the children (up to 7 consecutive days each) and which do not cause the children to miss school. Mother gets first pick of vacation dates in odd numbered years and father gets first pick of vacation dates in even numbered years, with the selection to be made by March 15th of each year by the person having first pick and by March 30th of each year for the person having second pick.

Ex wife has requested the court change the language to:
Summer Vacation. Each parent shall have the option of either two (2) consecutive weeks with children, together (children shall not be away from the other parent for more than 14 consecutive days), or two (2) one week periods of vacation during each child's summer vacations from school. Unless otherwise agreed by the parents, a "week" is equal to seven (7) consecutive days, but a vacation "week" is not required to bein on any particular day, and shall run for seven (7) consecutive days for each of the two (2) weeks during the summer vacation period. Mother will select first in odd numbered years, and father will select first in even numbered years. The parent selecting first shall do so prior to April 1 of each year, and the parent selecting second shall do so prior to April 20 of each year. In the event that a parent fails to communicate to the other parent their intended vacation time by the designated deadline set forth above, such parent will concede his or her opportunity to select for that year and the other parent will be free to plan activities with the children and notify the other parent of the planned activities, however, if the parent who failed to choose vacation time by the deadline set for above later selects vacation time and he or she notifies the other parent of the selection prior to other parent notifying about alternative planned activities, such parent will be entitled to have the vacation time selected with the children (unless and to the extent alternative other plans have been made and confirmed in writing for the children by the other parent).

This new language is a complete departure, and frankly, in many cases, I can't take a week at a time, and further restricts to summer only. After you add in all camps, activities, it does not allow ample time to vacation (4 weeks combined between both parents, several multi week camps, just not feasible). I am dead set against the re-written clause.

Additionally, two other items were requested for the judge to modify agreement with. Each of the two items below are not currently in the agreement.

Ex wife requests judge to modify agreement parent with children must notify other parent 48 hours in advance of leaving the state, and must provide all flight, bus or train info and itineraries. Quite honestly, ex wife has never provided this information in the past, not once. I am dead set against. We live less than two hours away from three different states. If I wake up on a Sunday and decide to head to a neighboring state for the day, I would not be in contempt. How can such an item be requested in the modification, which goes against the nature of the agreement.

Other non agreement item is ex wife is asking judge to appoint a child coordinator, and in the event of a disagreement, we would be required to have the coordinator chose for us. Worst off, regardless, each parent is require to pay their pro rata portion of this fee, which in my case is nearly 60%. I am dead set against this modification and would request we seek the court opinion in disagreements (vs ex wife intentionally running up my bill with a bs child coordinator).

Speaking very honestly. I follow the agreement to the very precise terms. Never deviate. Never violate. And previously defended a rule to show cause against me, with all three points being dismissed and ruled in my favor.

Here is where things get sideways.
I receive the motion filing via USPS from ex wife's attorney.

Nearly a week and a half later, I receive a document from the court. The cover letter features the following:
Has "serve" stamped on top. States the word summons. And states that I have 21 days after such service to submitting my pleading, in writing, in proper legal form for the complaint. The second page is stamped by a judge and states: On this day came Counsel for Plaintiff and moved this Court to re-open this matter and reinstate it on the docket. It appearing appropriate to do so, It is herby ORDERED that this case is re-opened and reinstated on the docket.

I was advised that a motion is not a complaint as the cover letter suggests, and that if I reply, it will be rejected by the court. And I was advised there was a new court clerk, and the error likely resulted from this (regarding cover letter choice). Does this document become invalid based on the cover letter.

Next, about 4 days later, I receive in the mail an official notification from ex wife's attorney with the following: Praecipe - notice of hearing. Please take note that on February XX, 2018 at 9:30 AM or as soon thereafter as the courts schedule permits, the above referenced matter concerning the motion to amend child custody order will be set for a hearing.

I was informed that the circuit court does not have a docket for the day listed (in other words, the court is not open for hearings despite the date listed). Is there liability of ex's attorney to correct? What happens in this case, and what would this scheduled one hour hearing be about?

As you can see, all of this is unwanted, not in the best interest of my schedule, nor my children as it places sever restrictions on how they can spend time with me (I/e, if I cant take seven days vacation, I am not eligible for my maximum vacation).

Does anyone have any advice, or similar experience. Can a judge force me to accept terms, based on ex's request? Can I straddle ex with my legal fees as this really is a BS filing?

I do have an attorney, but they are not able to meet with me until early March. All of the above was asked of them, but they said they do not play email attorney. Any guidance, suggestions or predictions are appreciated. Lastly, material change is supposed to open up child custody, and none of the above reflects material change .

Thank you!
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby BartSimpson » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:57 pm

Hello,

Let’s start here, because it is central to your problems - all of them.

Why do you live 3 states and 2 hours away from your children? Who moved?
What State has jurisdiction - and what State do you reside in?
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby gamingdad » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:09 pm

BartSimpson wrote:Hello,

Let’s start here, because it is central to your problems - all of them.

Why do you live 3 states and 2 hours away from your children? Who moved?
What State has jurisdiction - and what State do you reside in?

I read it as living only two hours away from 3 different states. Maybe he's in the four corners, like Colorado..
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby Alpine1 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:22 pm

I have my kids 50% of the time.

I live, with my kids, 2 hours away from 3 different states. And many of our adventures enable to visit any of these nearby states as day trips, etc. Sometimes, planned at the very last minute.
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby BartSimpson » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:34 pm

Ok, she doesn’t have much of a case.

New wife? Recently married?
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby Alpine1 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:13 pm

Ex wife is re-married.

I have opted not to take the hurdle into marriage at this point.
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby BartSimpson » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm

Right, but one of the root causes of these dramas in situations like yours is a new woman - girlfriend, wifey, doesn’t matter - mothers get all into these issues when another woman is in the scene.

Her requests are ridiculous, nothing changes when you cross State lines. She has your cellphone so she doesn’t need an itinerary.

The vacation thing is likely valid for the mother, and the intent of the term vacation in parenting plans is not the same as employment. You lose there.

How are the kids doing in school?
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:35 am

Everything after "however" in the vacation stipulation seems unreasonable to me. Basically, if a parent can't get their act together by April 1, then they have a get out of jail free card to do whatever they want. The other vacation language she's requesting is reasonable, and is similar to what I negotiated in my own agreement.

The other language she's petitioning to add is unreasonable. The child coordinator sounds like binding arbitration, which you want to avoid.

If your attorney can't meet with you until March, then fire them and find one that will respond in the timeframe needed.
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby mgtowthatish » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:22 am

BartSimpson wrote:Her requests are ridiculous, nothing changes when you cross State lines. She has your cellphone so she doesn’t need an itinerary.

The vacation thing is likely valid for the mother, and the intent of the term vacation in parenting plans is not the same as employment. You lose there.


Fully agree with your first point. Why change the status quo of the agreement. However, think about this in regard to Bart's second point. My ex used to travel out of the state and provide no means or way for my sons to contact me. I have a clause in my agreement, which states that either party has to notify the other party at least seven days in advance if they will be out of state for a period over 48 hours. If it is international travel, 30 days advance notice. I don't see a problem with providing an itinerary to the other party, but I digress.

The parenting coordinator thing is something my ex and I agreed to, but I've filed for sole legal custody, or at least getting the tie-breaker because my ex cant follow the agreement. When going through decisions I would allow the coordinator to make, I felt like each category (clothing to wear, extra-curriculars, diet, etc.) were too invasive into my life, and I wouldn't agree to any of them. I don't believe you will be forced to agree to any of these things either.
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Re: EX wife filed motion to re-open child custody

Unread postby BartSimpson » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:49 am

party has to notify the other party at least seven days in advance if they will be out of state for a period over 48 hours.
Why?

Serious question: Why is this clause necessary?

(Hint: crossing a state line means nothing to the Court’s authority)
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