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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 11-17-2009, 04:00 PM
Foredeck Foredeck is offline
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I just received a counter offer to my separation agreement, and in it, she states

"the parties shall have joint custody, with her being primary residence and me with liberal access."

I know that legally primary residence is not much. And, the access that we write as an example is 50/50. But, does anyone know what she would think it means?

I think it's fine to have a primary residence for all mailings. I trust her completly, and if that ever changes, I would go to court to change it.

I think she views it as her having full custody and me having visitation 50% of the time. Would anyone have a good way to word it. I want an equal voice in all important decisions.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:07 PM
canniiee canniiee is offline
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My ex and I have 50/50 joint custody, we make all decisions together, and both have a say in every aspect of the children's lives, he however has Primary residence, which means he has them more than 60% of the time (I have them every weekend) and I pay CS. Make sure that its 50/50 joint custody with both the parents having to be involved in all aspects/decisions regarding the children.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:09 PM
Foredeck Foredeck is offline
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I will have our daughter at least 50% of the time, and it'll never go under 40% for sure. That is not an issue. And, my ex is fine with that. We have a proposed arrangement, but it's been flexible in the past and will stay like that for the time being.

I'd like to word it in a way that she'll find it satisfactory and yet it won't lead to confusion.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:18 PM
canniiee canniiee is offline
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So then DO NOT let her have PR, make sure the agreement states there is no PR. Here is what we had in our separation agreement BEFORE I gave him PR.

"The Husband and wife acknowledge that each is a fit and capable parent. The parties agree that joint custody of the children [names and dob] is in the best interest of the children. The children's principal residence is shared between the joint custodial parents who are expressly not designating either party as the primary or secondary residential parent as the parents agree that the primary physical residence shall be with the designated parent as agreed by a schedule of alternating residence organized between and by the parents from time to time."

There is more, let me know if you want me to type it all out

Don't let her have PR especially if you both live in a close proximity she could possibly go after you for child support if it stated she had PR.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:22 PM
Foredeck Foredeck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canniiee View Post
Don't let her have PR especially if you both live in a close proximity she could possibly go after you for child support if it stated she had PR.
That is not true. Child support is based on physical custody. I have her 50% of the time, therefore only paying the difference between our two table amounts.

PR is a term created by lawyers and divorcees to confuse things even more. It's mostly termed as which address will be on the child's documents, where her mail will be sent and all that. As a shared custody parent, the PR parent has a duty to inform the other parent of all this information.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:27 PM
canniiee canniiee is offline
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That's why I said "could possibly"

You never know how things can change, if it states she had PR that means she is the PR and if she wants to all the sudden keep your daughter for longer periods of time she could possibly do that, this is why when we originally separated we had it worded that nobody has PR. and technically if you are doing 50/50 there is no PR so why should SHE get it....

I would cover yourself and insist on no PR, plus why does she want PR if you are doing 50/50? You can list her address at the school, but you can add yours too, I would be cautious about having it in writing that she has PR.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:46 PM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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Could you just ignore the PR wording and write out that for all purposes requiring an address that the child will use the mother's address? Then that all decisions concerning the child's welfare, health etc be joint decisions made together with the both of you? And then something to state that the child will spend 50% of the time with each parent. These things don't have to be written out with the legal jargon if it is too hard to interpret. Just write it our in plain english.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:26 PM
Foredeck Foredeck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
Could you just ignore the PR wording and write out that for all purposes requiring an address that the child will use the mother's address? Then that all decisions concerning the child's welfare, health etc be joint decisions made together with the both of you? And then something to state that the child will spend 50% of the time with each parent. These things don't have to be written out with the legal jargon if it is too hard to interpret. Just write it our in plain english.
Thanks. I am beginning to hate the legal system. I understand that you have to be specific in some cases, make it the worse case scenario. In our case, I want to be vague, I am 99% sure that for the parenting aspect of it, we'll be fine, and I am ready to risk that 1%.

I asked her what PR meant to her, and I think I'll be able to give her everything she wants out of it without using those words.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:44 PM
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Foredeck, I am less concerned by PR than I am by the phrase "liberal access". You should not have "liberal access" which is completely vague. You should state specificly that neither parent will drop below 40% access. (I have that in legalese somewhere but it will be a while to find). This is what will have you at 30% and paying full CS, not PR.

The courts know full well what PR is intended to mean and not mean, and it won't be taken the wrong way and any attempt by her to use this you can rightly point out as manipulative and deceitful. The only danger is that daycares, school principals, sports coaches, administrators etc will see your ex as the "primary contact" and will automatically call with any problems, info, updates, etc and you will be out of the loop. This isn't a situation you will enjoy and it will be a bugger to correct.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:47 PM
#1StepMom #1StepMom is offline
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Mess is right. If the order states that PR is with the mother, that's fine. But where it states your access to your child, it better be specified exactly what your access arrangements are, and if it's over 40%, it better state in there somewhere that it will never fall below 40%. That is what is most important.
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