Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Parental Alienation, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby Texas3Step » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:41 am

Tom Kirkpatrick wrote:
Texas3Step wrote:We have been sharing 50/50.....
At trial, you can argue "status quo." But in TX, unless both parties agree to 50/50, the best you're gonna get is "Expanded Standard."

Clearly, NJ has invoked "woman's prerogative." They often do that.

Tom


Is this accurate? Can anybody else clarify?
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby Texas3Step » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:52 am

From what I'm researching, it seems as if they do consider Status Quo. This talks about it, but what is weird to me is that we have NEVER had temp orders set. They backed out of it at the last minute and signed a rule 11 agreement based on a drug test. And now we are going to trial in July? No temp orders first??

Generally, in determining a custody case, a Texas court will look at the status quo in deciding a final conservatorship. While Texas is the only state in the country that has jury trials for custody, neither judge nor jury will usually disturb what the temporary orders have set out. Unless it is clear that something has significantly changed since the temporary orders, or it is clear that new facts have been brought out, what is usually ordered at the temporary stage continues at the file one.


https://hillerlaw.com/2014/02/10-things-you-must-know-about-child-custody-in-texas/
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby lovingfatherof2 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:59 am

If I had to guess the trial will be what settles everything if you don't do it in mediation.

If it were me I would be preparing for trial and fighting with everything I have to make the status quo official court order. Joint legal, joint physical and equal parenting time or whatever your states equivalent is to those.

I wouldn't budge, I would take it to the bitter end.
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby RockyCali » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:21 pm

Other tips:

Start making a calendar of your daughter's entire life. As you're able to fill in time you know she was with you, make sure and mark those dates. If you've archived pictures on Google Photos, this can help fill in dates. You want as much contiguous history going backward from today as you can. You want to show what you mean by "status quo." Not "well, I think we've had her about half of the time," actually come prepared with documentation. If you have a few pictures (and I mean a few - I'd say 8 tops), print those onto 8x10's paper and include them in a section of your parenting notebook. Maybe you could get it comb-bound at a local print shop or FedEx Office.

Start making a journal. DayOne is great if you have an Apple device, and I've found "Journey" to be wonderful on Android. Both will let you retroactively add entries. You shouldn't make things up, but you can add documentation to what a wonderful dad you are, and also include factual entries that pertain to your parenting time, including confrontations and conversations you've had with D5's mother. Again, this isn't a chance to go off on her. But if something she did was upsetting, describe the circumstance and just say "this was upsetting." Refrain from comments like "what a (you-know-what)."

Keep this current and just be ready to print and bind it when you go to court. Stay organized. Fill in the past with what you know to be true. Even "we went to Denny's for breakfast this morning, she got chocolate chip pancakes," or "she took her first steps last week." It's a powerful tool in showing not only that you're involved, but that you're paying attention to things that matter to your daughter.
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby Texas3Step » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:35 pm

So NJ sent a response on our proposed schedule, she is offering what amounts to 169 total days out of the year. It's basically Texas Expanded Standard, but with an every other Wednesday overnight (so on off weeks I'd have my daughter Wednesday and Thursday night), plus two consecutive weeks over the summer with no weekend taken by her, and no mention of the schedule changing in the summer (so it wouldn't go to Friday-Sunday during the summer). She also dropped child support if I agree to this. This is so close to 50% I am wondering if I should take it, or risk going to trial.

What do you guys think?
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby RockyCali » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:57 pm

Did she put this in writing? Save it. Find a way in the schedule to make it 50/50 without mentioning that you are trying to make it 50/50. Just propose times. Child support may not be up to her. It's ordered through the courts. But she is showing that she's amenable to 169 nights. You only need one additional overnight per month + 2 more days somewhere in the year and you're at 183.

If she rescinded her position of 169 nights simply because you wouldn't agree, she will be the one having to explain what changed that caused her to then restrict the children's time with you that she was recently in favor of.
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby Texas3Step » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:00 pm

So you're saying a judge would order support even if she rejects it and we have an agreed-upon parenting plan?
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby RockyCali » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:07 pm

Yes. Support is not for the parents to decline. It's for the children. Granted, I am not familiar with Texas law, but I do know that support guidelines are very different than in California.
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby Texas3Step » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:29 pm

I'll have to ask my attorney. I don't think that's correct. I know that once an order is in place you can't say "I don't want it", but from what I understand a judge will sign anything the parents agree on.
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Re: Judge orders mediation - can't afford it

Unread postby RockyCali » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:41 pm

How much is your time worth? Your attorney will research just about anything you ask him to. Perhaps you could dig into some case history and find out what precedent is.
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