Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

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

Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby jumbledone » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:03 pm

Hi All,

Sorry for the long post here, but if you can take a look through this and see if there is any language or terms I should be looking out for, I would appreciate it.

Stipulation: That this Stipulation, when executed by all parties and their attorneys, shall be submitted to the Judge of District Court and, if approved, shall be entered as an Order in this proceeding and the terms hereof shall be incorporated into the parties’ final Judgment and Decree of Dissolution.
2. Legal Custody. The parties are awarded joint legal custody of their minor children, namely:
D10
S6

This award of joint legal custody means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities in major decisions determining their children’s upbringing, including education, health care and religious training. Neither party’s rights are superior to those of the other party. Both parents shall work to foster and engender a positive relationship between the other parent and their minor children. Neither parent shall do any act that would lead to estrangement between the child and the other parent, or shall perform any act which would hamper the natural development of love and affection between a child and either of the parents. Both parents recognize that their children have a deep emotional and psychological need to establish a healthy and satisfying relationship with both parents.

Major decision making. On all important matters relating to the health, welfare, and/or education of the children, the parties shall confer with a view toward a mutually acceptable determination of the issues, by way of example, but not limited to the following:


i. In the event of illness or injury to a child, the parent learning of such illness or injury shall notify the other parent immediately.

ii. The parents shall consult with each other regarding the schooling of their children. Both parties agree that it is the children’s best interest that they remain in the [current school district]. Any change in the children’s school district shall be made only by mutual agreement of the parties;

iii. Each parent shall promptly inform or consult with the other in the event of any serious medical problem of a child.



iv. Each parent shall have equal access to the information relating to their children, including, but not limited to, passports, birth certificates, access to school, governmental, law enforcement, and medical records, and access to all teachers, governmental officials and officers, doctors, and other professionals having contact with their children.

v. Both parents may participate, individually or jointly, with the child in special activities including, but not limited to, Scouts, music, sports, school and other activities, school conferences, etc. Such information and contacts shall be available to each parent without notice or any further consent of the other parent.

vi. Each parent is authorized to consent to emergency medical care for the minor children at the time when the other parent is not easily accessible to give such consent.

vii. Each parent shall inform the other of their children’s social and educational activities and appointments so that both parents might participate where possible and appropriate, and each parent shall further advise the other of a child’s emergency situations, illnesses, and problems which may occur when the children are in his or her care.

viii. Both parents agree to resolve all conflicts in a manner consistent with the best interests of their children, and when necessary to use the conflict resolution mechanisms described herein below.

ix. Both parties shall follow doctor’s advice with respect to the medical care of their children. In the event the parties disagree on the proper course of treatment of a child’s medical condition, they shall seek a second opinion from a qualified specialist prior to moving forward with any medical treatment decisions.

x. The parties agree to raise their children in a Christian affiliated church environment.

3. Physical Custody and Parenting Time: The parties shall be awarded joint physical custody.

a. Mother/Petitioner is responsible for parenting the parties’ minor children on alternate weekends from Friday morning through Monday morning and every Monday and Tuesday from Monday morning through Wednesday morning;

b. Father/Respondent is responsible for parenting the parties’ minor children on alternate weekends from Friday morning through Monday morning and every Wednesday and Thursday from Wednesday morning through Friday morning;

c. In addition to the spring break option, each parent shall have the right to exercise up to fourteen (14) days each year for vacation time. A day shall be defined as a period of 24 consecutive hours. A vacationing parent shall provide the other with sixty (60) days advance notice of their anticipated vacation dates, or less time by agreement. A parent may exercise his or her 14 vacation days individually, in combination, or consecutively.
d. Each parent shall supply the other with emergency contact information for vacation periods as follows: itinerary – address, phone number and contact information.

e. The children shall not miss school days for vacation purposes without mutual agreement of the parties.

f. Parenting time changes for the regular ongoing schedule are understood to take place in the morning when the children are returned to daycare or school unless otherwise specifically identified.

g. Transportation - For clarification purposes - The parent that will be initiating parenting time will pick up the children from the parent who has been exercising parenting time. The pickup is assumed to be at the home of the parent who has been exercising parenting time unless there is mutual agreement to retrieve children from an alternate location.

h. The following holiday schedule will be implemented. This holiday schedule takes precedence over the regularly scheduled parenting time. This schedule can be altered by written agreement. If there is no agreement, this holiday schedule is to be strictly followed.

Holiday Time Period Even Years Odd Years
Children’s Birthdays Celebrated during regular parenting time Per schedule Per schedule
Easter Sunday Sunday 10 am – Monday morning with return to school or 8:00 a.m. if there is not school Father Mother
Spring Break * * See “i” below. Mother Father
Mother’s Day 10 am – Monday morning8:00 a.m. Mother Mother
Memorial Day Weekend Extends from regular weekend schedule to Tuesday am Per schedule Per schedule
Father’s Day 10 am – Monday 8:00 a.m. morning Father Father
July 4th 7/4 10 am – 7/5 10 am Mother Father
Labor Day Weekend Extends from regular weekend schedule to Tuesday am Per schedule Per schedule
MEA Unless otherwise agreed Per schedule Per schedule
Halloween From after school/work or 4:00 p.m. – overnight Father Mother
Thanksgiving 10 am Thursday – 10 am Friday Mother Father
November 29th After work/school – overnight Mother Mother
December 20th After work/school – overnight Father Father
Christmas Eve 12/23 after work – 10 am 12/25 Father Mother
Christmas Day 10 am 12/25 – 12/27 10 am Mother Father
New Year’s Eve and Day 4 pm 12/31 – Jan. 2 10 am or return to school Father Mother

i. Spring Break: Parenting time during the children’s spring break shall follow the regular parenting time schedule. However, during even numbered years, Mother shall have the first choice to take vacation time with the children and Father shall have the first choice to take vacation time with the children during odd-numbered years. Each parent shall inform the other not less than sixty (60) days prior to the commencement of Spring Break whether they intend to exercise the Spring Break option. In the event the designated parent does NOT elect to plan vacation during his or her designated spring break time, the other parent shall have the secondary right to schedule vacation time during spring break.

j. The “off-duty” parent shall have reasonable telephone access with the children.

k. Both parents shall maintain their primary residence within [geographical bounds].

l. Neither parent shall enroll a child in an extracurricular activity without the other parent’s consent when the activity may occur during both parents parenting time.

m. The holiday schedule takes precedence over the regular ongoing parenting time schedule and also takes precedence over a parent’s vacation requests unless previously mutually agreed upon by both parties.

n. Both parents shall be flexible with the parenting time schedule to accommodate the needs of the children and the parties’ work schedules.

o. [redacted]

p. Neither party shall disparage the other parent in the presence or ear shot of the parties’ minor children and shall discourage others from doing the same.

4. Alternate Dispute Resolution. The parties agree to utilize the services of a mutually agreed upon custody and parenting time mediator to assist in resolving any disputes involving custody and parenting time issues. They shall equally divide the costs of mediation. The parties must first attempt to mediate any parenting disputes prior to bringing any motions before the Court.
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby Fatheroffour » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:51 pm

x. The parties agree to raise their children in a Christian affiliated church environment.


Not really sure what that means much less how it would be enforced.

A parent may exercise his or her 14 vacation days individually,


Seems like someone could abuse this if they wished.

i. In the event of illness or injury to a child, the parent learning of such illness or injury shall notify the other parent immediately.


If you feel that she will be predisposed to litigiousness I would suggest changing "Immediately" to "within a reasonable time frame." Depending on the level of your ex' nuttiness, I'm just thinking there might be times in the future when you just want to take kiddo to the doc without dealing with a bunch of drama.
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby jumbledone » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:44 pm

I don't like the 14 days. I figured it out, and if she took them at the right times, I would go a month without seeing the kiddos. I might go back and request 14 days in 7 continuous day increments.

But at the same time I am not sure she is smart enough to figure out to withhold the kids for a
Whole month, unless I did it first, which I would be tempted to do. :)

As for religion, it was going to be denomination specific, I requested it to be dropped since we're both heavily involved with church activities, but they wanted something in there. Not sure if it can be enforced.

One thing missing that I would like in there is a morality clause: No overnight amorous guests while kids are in the home; relationship should be at least 6 months before introducing kids, but not earlier than one year from date of final divorce. Don't think she'd like that, Mr Wonderful and all, but I want to preserve the relationship between the kids and their parents before screwing with their heads regarding new paramours.
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby Fatheroffour » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:48 pm

Good luck with that.
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby jumbledone » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:09 pm

So try to insert a meaningless clause? I know it is, but I would feel better about it. I know I am fully prepared to do that, regardless of clause or not.
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby Fatheroffour » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:15 pm

Whatever helps you sleep at night, buddy.

I would just also caution to not lose much sleep on trying to enforce it and you might want to consider possible unintended consequences. For instance:

relationship should be at least 6 months before introducing kids,


Doesn't that trim your dating pool down by everyone your kids ever meet before you decide to may date them? From now on.
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby jumbledone » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:21 pm

There are a few cute teacher's at their school. :D

I know we hate meaningless clauses around these here parts, but I am tempted anyway.
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby Fatheroffour » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:33 pm

Maybe tempting but not worth screwing a deal over.

A couple of other things to consider is the speed of the court system. One could easily find themselves trying to enforce the clause after kiddo has a half-sibling with the new BF/GF over something that happened a year ago and is then a moot point.

Also, it's not a clause you can selectively enforce because you don't like person if you've previously ignored it.


I just don't think it's something worth fighting over. Bake some awesome cookies , take them to the school and you won't have to worry about being in contempt when hot teacher ask you for your recipe .
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby jumbledone » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:55 pm

I didn't, her lawyer reinvented the wheel, and got several basic things wrong. At this point, with how inept her lawyer is at spelling and getting the whole truth onto paper, I am tempted to go for the full Monty.

I am not a big fan of ambiguous language, but with joint, might have to give it a breather as technically were saying we can work those issues out...
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Re: Help with Custody consent agreement wording help

Postby grgr » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:21 am

What about a ROFR?
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