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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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  #1  
Old 10-16-2018, 12:15 AM
youngdad91 youngdad91 is online now
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Default HOw much weight is given to a parenting plan?

Hey guys been trying to ask this a few times but don't think I've been to clear. How much weight would the courts give to a signed parenting plan witnessed by both lawyers ?

The access portion is already in place as s status quo for approx 2 months The custody agreement is up in the air.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:49 AM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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My lawyer told me that a court order holds greater weight than a signed agreement witnessed by lawyers. Her reason was because Judges dont like to go against what a Judge orders, so to speak. She said these types of agreements can easily be taken back to court and changed.

Hopefully someone with more legal knowledge chimes in, but that's what I was told.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:41 AM
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Youngdad is trying to leverage a ridiculously short new status quo into a reduction in CS. It might work (and to be clear it is fair, I'm not saying he is wrong), but it is super risky. He could easily lose that new status quo.

If the signed agreement came after the court order, I imagine it would be respected, but what is her argument for saying that it is not valid? That matters a lot.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:36 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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When it comes to child support- the family court judges do not always rubber stamp an agreement that is reached by the parties- even if they have both received independent legal counsel. ESPECIALLY when there is a drastic reduction in child support.

See this case here: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/do...2onsc3311.html

From the case:

"The parents thought that they resolved their parenting issues when they signed a 25-page detailed consent-to-parenting agreement in June 2010. The consent provided for joint custody, with the father’s time with J.’s increasing to 43% from the time he had with him since separation. The consent also terminated child support, eliminating the support he was obliged to pay of $917 per month pursuant to the final consent order of December 16, 2009.

After the consent of June 2010, it took some time to draft a proposed consent order. This order was drafted by the mother’s lawyer as the father no longer retained a lawyer at that time, and the proposed order came across my desk as a Family Law Rule 14 b motion.[1]

I was not prepared to approve the order in the absence of Rule 35.1 affidavits[2] from the parents and without an explanation as to why there was to be no child support. I also questioned joint custody as the material disclosed high conflict.

Even though a judge had yet to approve of the parenting arrangements, the parties implemented the new schedule.

There was a delay in the filing the 35.1 affidavits and both parties ultimately appeared before Grace J. on December 2, 2010. Grace J.’s endorsement of December 2, 2010, included: “father believed that mother was to blame (for my refusal to approve the order on the material filed). She was not.”

...


In short- if you're looking to drastically reduce child support payments to what was the existing status quo- be prepared for the Judge to question it. In this case- both parties spent lots of hours in arbitration and mediation. It was a high conflict case- and one party changed their mind later. The judge ultimately agreed with the dissenting party. It's a good read.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Youngdad is trying to leverage a ridiculously short new status quo into a reduction in CS. It might work (and to be clear it is fair, I'm not saying he is wrong), but it is super risky. He could easily lose that new status quo.

If the signed agreement came after the court order, I imagine it would be respected, but what is her argument for saying that it is not valid? That matters a lot.
There is a clause in the agreement that we agree the agreement shall be incorporated into a court order. Anyone with any knowledge or experience with such clauses?

The status quo will have been in place for 3.5 months next court date. We're getting along well and I'm not sending daily angry emails like the dad in case above.

I'm thinking consent order for custody and access next court date and adjournment to work out CS.

Also was laid off recently.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngdad91 View Post
There is a clause in the agreement that we agree the agreement shall be incorporated into a court order. Anyone with any knowledge or experience with such clauses?
If the agreement that is signed is not crazy in any way then it has just as much weight as a court order and is just as enforceable. The only difference between it and a court order is that a judge did not have to tell you what to do. In many cases, agreements made on CONSENT are even stronger than a court order. Judges often do not disrupt sane agreements made between two parties who have had sound legal counsel.

Making it a "court order" is a technical detail that won't generally increase the strength of the order. In fact, it often adds conflict and cost to turn it into a court order. More often than not it is a basket (slam dunk) motion which it basically says that the attached agreement is the order.

I wouldn't bother wasting the time and money to take a good agreement and have it endorsed by the court.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youngdad91 View Post
The status quo will have been in place for 3.5 months next court date. We're getting along well and I'm not sending daily angry emails like the dad in case above.

I'm thinking consent order for custody and access next court date and adjournment to work out CS.

Also was laid off recently.
3.5 months doesn't make a status quo. I wouldn't be focused on "status quo". Many people make "status quo" a self-serving term. Don't be a Lyubov and try to create a false status quo.

I wouldn't bother. Hope you find a new opportunity soon!
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Old 10-21-2018, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
If the agreement that is signed is not crazy in any way then it has just as much weight as a court order and is just as enforceable.
That would be the case if there were no orders in place. However in youngdad's case there is a final order that contradicts the agreement. That order is definitely an obstacle to relieving his CS burden.

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Originally Posted by youngdad91 View Post
There is a clause in the agreement that we agree the agreement shall be incorporated into a court order. Anyone with any knowledge or experience with such clauses?
With some exceptions (and I don't know the details of the exceptions), an agreement to agree is not legally binding. If you apply for a court order and she opposes it at that time, I'm not sure how much the clause will help you. If she doesn't object then I imagine you would win but the consent order would cost you money. You have no choice but to spend the money to have it endorsed by the court; it's a matter of when. I'd probably motion for the parenting time order sooner rather than later, before she changes her mind, and bite the bullet on the CS for another few months.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
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I wouldn't bother wasting the time and money to take a good agreement and have it endorsed by the court.
Sure, if you don't mind making CS payments to the ex for the rest of your working life.
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolGuy41 View Post
That would be the case if there were no orders in place. However in youngdad's case there is a final order that contradicts the agreement. That order is definitely an obstacle to relieving his CS burden.


.

The latest interim order in my "motion to change"/current proceeding has a clause that custody and further access and holidays must be agreed upon as they are not settled. I agree however that there can't be an order for offset CS without first an order for 50.50 access.


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Originally Posted by CoolGuy41 View Post
With some exceptions (and I don't know the details of the exceptions), an agreement to agree is not legally binding. If you apply for a court order and she opposes it at that time, I'm not sure how much the clause will help you. If she doesn't object then I imagine you would win but the consent order would cost you money. You have no choice but to spend the money to have it endorsed by the court; it's a matter of when. I'd probably motion for the parenting time order sooner rather than later, before she changes her mind, and bite the bullet on the CS for another few months
We're back in court in about month and half. Last in court is when the parenting plan was signed and we're looking for the judge to make an order but the judge said the wording was not acceptable.. it had a lot of flowery statements in the preface/preamble. Parenting plan is 15 pages long. Judge wanted us to specfify which clauses we wanted and her lawyer said they need to be removed from written in legal language.

Looking to have it drafted into a consent order for signing next court date. I believe the judges endorsement stated parenting plan presented and adjourned for status of final resolution and child support.

Looking to send the draft order with CS and see what they say then decide if I should motion for the access provision? I've had to bring motions previously to keep status quo because of unilateral interruption of out of court access agreement by her.. and was successful with the judge calling her actions unreasonable. so I don't think she'll try that again given the history.

I guess I could request a motion if no agreement next court date? If she disturbs status quo without sufficient cause again (absent of CAS ) then I fire back with urgent motion to maintain status quo?

Is the advice to just fire with a motion to turn access into court order? I'm trying to avoid escalating things as I feel we'll agree if I don't piss her off and continue to be nice to her. I'm really appreciative of the custody and access she has agreed with me on in mediation... Which brings me to my final question.. would it really look all that good on her if she goes to mediation with me.. agrees on 50.50.. signs a 15 page parenting plan with independent legal advice, agrees to implement it into a court order. Then changes her mind?

Last edited by youngdad91; 10-22-2018 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolGuy41 View Post
Sure, if you don't mind making CS payments to the ex for the rest of your working life.
I don't mind paying CS, for as long as it is reasonable considering our parenting arrangement and our perspective salaries.
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