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Having a court order looked at by a Judge for Clarification

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  • Having a court order looked at by a Judge for Clarification

    Hi Everyone,

    I am just wondering if anyone knows if there is a way to have a Judge review a court order to make a clarification or a more defined ruling on a specific section on a court order that was made just last Spring.

    The court order states the child is to be with the Father the first and third week of the months of July and August and that all other weekend access shall be suspended for these two months.
    Upon looking at this order (this section of the order was not written by a Judge but by the other parties Lawyer) I realize it does not state when or how regular weekend access is to resume.

    This year for example, Father will have the first and third weeks and then the next weekend with the Father would be the last weekend of August, but the order is stating this is suspended. So I am unclear if regular weekend access resumes by switching weekends at that point and starting new by Father having child first weekend in September rather than second weekend in September or what.
    It has been clearly overlooked that with no specific date set to when weekend access shall resume again leave is open for Mother to make up rules and say that Father just misses that last weekend in August and weekends resume as normal which would mean Father and Child would not see each other from August 20th to September 10th which is a very excessive amount of time.

    I just want a Judge to look at this and clarify when the weekends should resume. I do not want the order changed in any way unless it needs to by in a Judges eyes to balance things out. Is there any way to have this addressed without having to go through all the court process and waste time and money over something that may no be changed but just be made clearer by setting a weekend access resume date?

    Anyone else ever had something like this that needs to be clairfied??

  • #2
    I can't answer your question about judge's, but I don't see any problem with the wording of the order. The weekend visits are suspended for July and August.


    • #3
      Why do you need a judge? ... talk between yourselves and work it out.

      I simply cannot imagine where two people that were once married, (or had feelings enough for each other to make a child), cannot take 5 minutes to cooperate and work out wether he can see the kids on a Saturday / Sunday in August.

      Get a grip on reality and talk to each other. At least do it for that poor kid in the middle of all that conflict.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Gary_P View Post
        Why do you need a judge? ... talk between yourselves and work it out.

        I simply cannot imagine where two people that were once married, (or had feelings enough for each other to make a child), cannot take 5 minutes to cooperate and work out wether he can see the kids on a Saturday / Sunday in August.

        Get a grip on reality and talk to each other. At least do it for that poor kid in the middle of all that conflict.
        Great advice. Does it really matter what weekend the visits start up again??


        • #5
          Some folks (my ex was one of them) seem to think that once it's in the hands of the courts, that's it's out of their hands. They don't understand that the court wants them to work it out themselves and doesn't want to be involved.

          Yes, work it out yourselves. If you can't agree on such a minor detail, one has to wonder what the prognosis is for the kids. Get it together.


          • #6
            Mouse, the way it would work is like this...

            The every-other-weekend access is suspended for July and August, therefore it is put on hold. So whatever the next weekend would have been had the month not come to an end, that's the weekend it would be come the first weekend in September.

            Does that make sense?

            So for example, if on the last weekend of June it was your ex's time with the child, then on the first weekend of September it would be your time, and he would then have the child for his weekend on the second weekend of September.

            Hope this helps! :-)

            (At least, this is how it was explained to my husband and I by the judge when we were deciding on summer access.)


            • #7
              It was always nice to know I can could come to a place where I have had for the most part understanding advice.

              This time however everyone seems to think I have asked a stupid question by telling me to get a grip and such..
              I would love to work this out but my ex has called the police on me over 10 times filing false police reports since I contested a move of the child to which I lost and was to have unlimited telephone access with the child which is not being allowed but rather the police being called on me saying that she is claiming harassment because I send one text message a night two or three times a week to ask to speak to the child, there is no talking between us only writing in a communication book to which I can write things and it will just never be responded to. I can only do so much.. so "get a grip" is a little harsh respone when you don't know the situation. I try on a regular basis for my childs sake but there is only so much I can do, I can not force my ex to speak to me and I cannot change this situation by myself.

              I understand the weekend access is "simple" and that the weekends in July and August are suspended. If you re read the original post, you will see I am trying to figure out when regular weekend access commences for September. And yes it does matter when weekend access starts again as there is a distance between me and the child and it will mean going 21 days not seeing my child rather than the already unfair 11 days that currently go on. So it matters to me.
              I didn't think this was a place to be Judged.. I guess I was wrong.

              Thanks #1StepMom.. your response was the only one that didn't assume many things about the situation that others clearly don't understand. This does make sense, but unfortunately this was not explained to us while we were in court and the Judge did not state when the access would commence after July and August. I will try explaining this in the communication book and hope that that resolves the issues. I was just looking for some direction from others who have had similar experiences. Thanks again.


              • #8
                I think it is a matter of interpretation. Obviously you will want it to start ASAP (first weekend in September for you), and your ex is likely to want it the other way. If you still have a lawyer then you should get their opinion and perhaps have a letter stating what you believe it means sent to your ex.

                If he doesn't agree you might want to think of mediation before going back to court as it *could* look like you are bickering over something very small. I do know that missing time is NOT a small thing at all.

                Good luck.


                • #9
                  Hello Mouse 117

                  Lack of clarity in court orders is not something unusual or uncommon. Your predicament should not be shrugged off lightly.

                  We found ourselves in a similar situation with some very ugly consequences. In our court order it clearly states that the applicant father should resume his weekend access beginning with the first weekend after New Years Day. Given that his normal weekend access is defined as Friday through to Monday morning, I assumed that is what it referred to just that. New Years Day fell on a Friday this year, which meant the next weekend access would begin the following Friday (January 7-10).

                  However, my ex-spouse saw it very differently. As far as he was concerned, it began on the Saturday after New Years Day.

                  I dropped off the children at their father's house the following weekend as planned. On the Tuesday night at 10pm (after his weekend access), we had police banging on my front door claiming that the father had been denied overnight access to his children. He normally has a Tuesday mid-week visit the following week after my weekend. On the Wednesday morning I went into the Police Station to sit down with the staff sergeant and go through the court order. He was content that no access had been denied.

                  On Friday night at 10.30pm we had police banging on my front door again. Again my ex-husband claimed he was being denied his weekend access (although he has just had the children the previous weekend). Apparently, he had convinced the police sergeant the previous weekend had been a make-up weekend for the weekend he had missed beginning on January 2nd. Anyway, after another two phone calls and another visit to the police station, this time to meet with the Chief Inspector, the matter was cleared.

                  The Chief Inspector made it very clear to me that the Court Order was simply not clear enough. It could be interpreted as weekend as in beginning on a Saturday or as I argued beginning on a Friday.

                  If I was you, I would try and get it clarified. In high conflict situations like mine and yours you simply can not afford to make any assumptions.

                  Good luck


                  • #10
                    I can understand not wanting to be judged. After all, don't we all experience more than enough judging in court?

                    When you explain your interpretation of the order to your ex, and ask whether he agrees, do you think he'd be receptive to a request for 1 additional weekend, or a weekend swap, that would reduce the amount of time between visits?

                    Even if not, 21 days is not too bad. It goes by very quickly and the kids rarely notice that it's been an extra week without a visit. They are resilient little munchkins. ;-)


                    • #11
                      I think that it will hurt the mom more to miss her kids for 21 days. I know I would be devastated.


                      • #12
                        Like I said above, "If you can't agree on such a minor detail, one has to wonder what the prognosis is for the kids."

                        You explained why you can't agree on such a minor detail. You appear to think that your ex is to blame for the communication and other breakdowns. If that's true, well it's very sad. You're ex will probably, rightly or wrongly, paint an equally bad picture of you. Frankly, it doesn't matter whose fault it is. Your kids are getting screwed up because of the inability to get along.

                        The fact remains ---->One has to wonder about the prognosis for the kids when such minor details cause the police to "banging on doors".

                        Again, I'm not taking sides. Your kid's getting screwed up because of the conflict. You are right not to engage with your ex and sending text messages is prudent. In the face of such high conflict, regardless of who's right or wrong, keep trying to keep your kids shielded from it.

                        Very very sad.


                        • #13
                          Again.. not knowing the facts.. my child is shielded from it.. she has never been around when the police have called.. they have never physically came to my door and it's not like I tell her about it. When I am around my ex and their spouse I speak to them.. wish them a Merry Christmas, ask them how they are ect ect. The spouse replies my ex doesn't. To my ex I do not exist and it goes as far as asking me a question through the child. Again... What can I do? I cannot force my ex to quit this behaviour.. all I can do is try to make up for what my ex is lacking in my child's eyes.

                          And 21 days is a very long time for a child as well as the parent. I know currently it 11 days we do not see each other and when I speak to my child on the phone after the first 4 to 5 days the phone call usually ends in tears because my child claims that she doesn't know when she will see me again or talk to me again. It breaks my heart. And with my ex not following any routine for the phone calls I cannot give my child an answer. This is all fairly new.. prior to the relocation I saw my daughter 4 to 6 days a week.. then my ex got engaged and moved and took me to court to fight a relocation clause that was already in the separataion agreement that stated the child was not to be moved from the town.
                          My child doesn't like where she is now, she is having a hard time in school, she cries at the end of every weekend she is here ect ect.
                          But yes #1StepMom.. I will try to work it out in the communication book first.. this post was simply to see if anyone else has a similar experience incast the communication with my ex doesn't work.. here's hoping everything works out fine.

                          Yes Billiechic, I will call my lawyer for sure and you're completely right.. it's all a matter of interpertation.. unfortunately if tables were reversed and I were in my ex's shoes I would look at the situation and think that due to this relocation I see my child more than my ex and I would just make things easier for the child by not creating such a gap between visits for my childs sake.. but my ex doesn't always see my child.. just me and alot of anger and revenge.

                          Nadia, sounds like the same stuff we have had to deal with. My ex has TRIED to have charges put on me 10 times since last May. It's to the point where the last time the police were contacted it was my ex that was in the wrong and was told to back down.
                          But you're so right.. the court orders are so "grey" as the police state and it's so frustrating for us as we have paid thousands of dollars to still not have proper documentation to state the facts to the police if need be. It's very sad actually.

                          Well here's keeping my fingers crossed that my ex has just moved on and is getting over this hate for me.. at least for our child's sake.


                          • #14
                            When someone is attempting to have the other parent charged 10 times, you don't need to know many more facts to conclude that this is high conflict and bad for the children.

                            You want me to say that it's all your ex's fault? I don't care who's fault it is. The only fact that is relevant is your daughter's getting screwed up.

                            BTW, transition times are tough on kids, which helps explain her crying on weekends.
                            Last edited by dadtotheend; 02-16-2010, 09:37 AM.


                            • #15
                              I'm not here to aruge with you "dadtotheend".. you are now going off topic of what my question was and why I came here.
                              I know the situation is hard on my child.. I see it.. I was that child myself due to my parents split.. I tried to have my child put in therapy but my ex will not sign to consent and it is joint custody. I know this is not a good situation for her.. But I can't change other people. I feel bad enough without people rubbing it in my face.
                              So please don't bother responding as you clearly have no more input on the topic itself but would rather just try to make a parent who feels bad feel even worse.

                              Thank you to everyone else for their advice..


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