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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 01-16-2009, 08:40 AM
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Default Case Conference Brief - Can You Add NEW Issues?

I'm wondering if you can add new issues to the case conference brief. By "new" I mean issues that have arisen recently, that are not part of the motions and affidavits filed with the court.

The reason is... my stepson's mom has just indicated that she will hold hostage the child's passport, birth certificates, immunization records and any documentation that she had to pay for, until we provide her a proportionate share of the costs she incurred to obtain these documents. [We had recently asked to borrow the originals, in order to make copies for our records, as my husband's mom accidently "misplaced" the folder in which these documents were stored, and we no longer have copies of the child's birth certificate, immunication record, etc.]

Will we be able to bring this up with the judge, by adding it to the Case Conference Brief?

Last edited by #1StepMom; 01-16-2009 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:46 PM
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Case conferences are informal proceedings where it would be easier to bring new issues to the table, unlike a motion where the Rules of Procedure will make it more difficult.

If you get your discussion point on the table, the judge might make a procedural order to have the information supplied to you. But then you have to hope the ex complies.

How much is she looking for? You might be tripping over dollars (legal fees, court time) to pick up pennies (the amount she wants you to pay).

Also, be careful, the judge may get impatient with both of you for being unable to agree on a relatively small matter.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:21 PM
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We would just like to add a clause stating that each parents shall have unrestricted access to the child's documents (e.g., birth certificates, immunization records, passport, etc.)

She has most recently blatently indicated that she will hold those documents hostage until we pay for them ourselves. She won't allow us copies of these documents, because she had paid the fees associated with them.

Either way, we're self-representing so we won't be the ones incurring legal fees. Despite her state of financial distress, she has chosen to get a lawyer and pay him thousands of dollars to fight for a couple hundreds in child support.

I'm happy to hear that we can add things to the brief. Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:37 PM
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I have heard of custody orders that state that the child's documents such as birth certificate and so forth are to travel with them during access times. The wording of such I am not sure of
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:03 PM
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Thanks Dovan. Surprisingly enough, she provided us with a copy of the child's birth certificate - but not before she asked he lawyer whether she could withold it until we paid at least half. *Eye Roll* Her lawyer obviously told her she was mistaken, but not before charging her a couple hundred for wasting his time with such petty questions. And yet she claims to be experiencing financial hardship - Ha!

We're still concerned about the passport issue. The court order clearly states that the party wishing to travel with the child is responsible for all documentation with regards to the trip, and the costs associated with it. Since she's planning on leaving the country with the child first, she is the one applying for a passport, but is telling us that if we ever want to travel with the child, we have to pay her at least half the passport fee. Quite frankly I'm sick of having to fight and defend every penny we have! So, we'll add the issue to our Brief and hope it gets settled.
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Old 02-01-2009, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #1StepMom View Post
Thanks Dovan. Surprisingly enough, she provided us with a copy of the child's birth certificate - but not before she asked he lawyer whether she could withold it until we paid at least half. *Eye Roll* Her lawyer obviously told her she was mistaken, but not before charging her a couple hundred for wasting his time with such petty questions. And yet she claims to be experiencing financial hardship - Ha!

We're still concerned about the passport issue. The court order clearly states that the party wishing to travel with the child is responsible for all documentation with regards to the trip, and the costs associated with it. Since she's planning on leaving the country with the child first, she is the one applying for a passport, but is telling us that if we ever want to travel with the child, we have to pay her at least half the passport fee. Quite frankly I'm sick of having to fight and defend every penny we have! So, we'll add the issue to our Brief and hope it gets settled.
That is good that one part of this is settled and I am sure she will be told in court that she cannot keep a passport from you if you require it in order to travel with the child. I would suggest that if you know your travel dates that you mention it in your brief along with requesting that the court order her to sign a letter that states she is giving her permission to allow the child to travel with you to when is to happen, the duration of such and such and make sure that the order states that she needs to provide this letter to you within 2-3 weeks before you are to travel. Her lawyer should be able to make that letter up for her to sign. Again I am not sure of the wording. Just letting you know what could happen if she is the CP she can make your travel plans hell at the last minute. I know a friend of mine that had to acquire such a letter from the CP or they could not travel ouside the country with the child. You can check but I also think that to travel you need original documents so that too should be requested to be on the order.
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