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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 01-03-2011, 09:42 AM
ConcernenedStepMom78 ConcernenedStepMom78 is offline
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Exclamation Pending Trial

ConcernedDad has a trial seating January 24. Amidst waiting for this date to come by him and his ex have been communicating amicably, up until recently when she acquired new full time employment and wishes ConcernedDad to adhere to yet another schedule that revolves around her work schedule.
ConcernedDad doesn’t know what is right anymore at this point. He definitely wants to take a child centred approach, but does this mean bending over backwards to accommodate his ex’s work schedule?
He offered his ex a week about schedule with right of first refusal, and explained that when it is her week, we would take care of their daughter, until she could pick her up (basically we would be her alternative childcare).
How will a Judge view this situation? Will he/she want ConcernedDad to work around her schedule and be accommodating? What about the fact that ConcernedDad works from 8:30am-5:30pm Monday-Friday, and I am taking care of my stepdaughter during the time he is at work?
I want to be realistic, and know what typically would happen in this scenario.
Next, what do we have to do to prepare for trial, what forms, etc? There will be no trial management, as ConcernedDad’s former lawyer somehow opted them out of management proceedings.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:49 AM
ConcernedDad71 ConcernedDad71 is offline
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Also, my ex just acquired this full time job, she has not held a full time job in over a year and has continually bounced around.

I replied that it is not healthy nor fair for the children nor I to change parenting time to accomodate her schedule when my own work schedule is not taken into consideration.

More importantly, I have been stable and aside from trying to do the right thing for my children in trial, I am focusing on what I have been doing, how it is more healthy and stable for me to have sole custody with a week about generous access for her with right of first refusal. I have no idea what she is planning on doing once trial is over, she is in a temporary residence, its only 2 bedroom, no bedroom for our son, not to mention we don't know if she plans on moving back away again to be with her boyfriend.

So, I need to know what to prepare for trial as far as filing anything. Is there a file process I need to start filling out, a timeline or anything else. Please help.

Thank you all so far for being here for us. I hope this all helps others as well.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:53 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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I think the plan of care lacks "certainty of the child's schedule" and everything else that should flow therefrom by agreement as parent's in common.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:00 AM
ConcernedDad71 ConcernedDad71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalvelocity View Post
I think the plan of care lacks "certainty of the child's schedule" and everything else that should flow therefrom by agreement as parent's in common.

LV: sorry, I don't follow? I am concerned about a more stable schedule for my daughter. She has problems in school which is said that she does in fact need a stable more routine schedule and bouncing back and forth every few days is not going to help her.

Also, if my ex decides she does not like this new position and takes yet another, do I need to arrange my own life again and again when she feels like changing. Also, if so, why is this all one sided. I understand this is a bit silly, but I felt like saying I want my daughter set around my own work schedule. No it is not practical. I want something more set and healthy.

So, please let me know what exactly you are getting at with your response as I don't quite follow what it is you're trying to explain.

Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:14 AM
lumpy lumpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernenedStepMom78 View Post
does this mean bending over backwards to accommodate his ex’s work schedule?
He offered his ex a week about schedule with right of first refusal, and explained that when it is her week, we would take care of their daughter, until she could pick her up (basically we would be her alternative childcare).
That sounds fair to me... however... I have been told several different things concerning the mom's time (by several lawyers & advice on this forum)

1. It is basically none of our business what the mom does for childcare when the kids are with her. (as long as the kids are safe and have childcare). Basically we have no right to the 1st refusal if it has to do with mom's work schedule - that that kind of situation is better handled by changing the access schedule.

2. That 1st right of refusal only works between 2 co-operating parents. If one doesn't agree then there is no way to do it.

3. Working around an unstable work schedule means that the kids have no routine or stability and don't know their own schedule.

I think that maybe you might be better off trying to promote the most stable schedule for the child (especially during the school week), try not to say much about mom's schedule and let her propose what she thinks that she can do to fit into a stable schedule for the child. Plus, as you have stated, who knows what mom's work or living arrangements will be at any given time, and you don't want to be going to court over the access schedule every time her life changes (since she seems to make major changes constantly). It is hard to keep the 50-50 balance when one parent's life isn't really set up to give the child a stable home. Tough spot to be in.

Good luck.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:17 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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My take is you're in some sort of established joint custodial situation concerning your child and their other parent as parent's in common. As a team, you're having difficulties agreeing and accommodating, the child's, ever changing schedule.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:26 AM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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I agree with Lumpy. Your best bet is to focus on the benefits of a stable schedule for the kids and bring evidence of how well they are doing already with what you have in place. Proposing a week to week is very fair and acknowledges the importance of both parents in their lives.

If your ex wants to propose a schedule that revolves around her work, go ahead and let her. The court is not going to look favourable on it and she might get slapped for it.

In our OCL disclosure meeting my ex was opposed to changing the schedule because it would mean going back to his boss and arranging to be late on T and W morning every week instead of M-TH every other week. The OCL lawyer was very upset and called my ex out on it. Really, the court does not give a crap what your work schedule is, as long as you follow a good stable schedule for the kids.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:27 AM
ConcernedDad71 ConcernedDad71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalvelocity View Post
My take is you're in some sort of established joint custodial situation concerning your child and their other parent as parent's in common. As a team, you're having difficulties agreeing and accommodating, the child's, ever changing schedule.

Exactly. We have 2 children, my 14yr old son lives solely with me by his own choice, visits her occasionally. My 8yr old daughter has been living primarily with me all of November while her mother worked at moving back into the neighbourhood, and all of December was bouncing back and forth while her mother orientated in her new position. The new work rotation for her is 2 days, 2 nights and 5 off with every 4th or 6th week a mid week night shift, then after 9 weeks her schedule changes by a day. It is not consecutive nor is it accommodating for either her or me.

Since my son decided to stay with me his schooling improved 10fold and is top of his classes, primarily because he felt a sense of routine to get things complete for school....and less stress of bouncing back and forth.

My daughter is struggling in school, they say that it would help if she had a more stable healthy routine and more work done in the home to help her.

I don't want to bash my ex, I don't want to take my children away from her. I do want a healthy access schedule, and I can be lenient if she has something planned on a day here and there and wishes to take the children or just our daughter out here and there. All I want is something we can all find easy and healthy and stop this court battle and my ex's continual changes.

So, I need to be prepared for trial. I am not sure if a judge prep's for trial by going over anything, mostly everything has changed since her recent move back to town. Do I file any new forms so a judge can read up on anything to be prepared?
  #9  
Old 01-03-2011, 10:31 AM
ConcernenedStepMom78 ConcernenedStepMom78 is offline
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It is not the child's ever changing schedule, it is mom's ever changing schedule. Mom's new schedule is 2 Day shifts 2 Night Shifts and five days off, this will change every 6-9 weeks. COncernedDad isn't sure how to handle this regime, because his ex wants a co-parenting schedule based around her work rotations. Mom has already agreed to 1st right of refusal.

Mom doens't want to pay for child care costs and I am a convenience factor, always here for the kids, until I can work. So I have told my husband it is fine if mom wants to use me as free childcare durinh her parenting time.
  #10  
Old 01-03-2011, 10:35 AM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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The court will not care about her schedule. Sure, she's the mom, but the dad is the stable parent here and he can show improvement in the kids school because of that influence. Do you have anything about the daughter's lack of schedule/stability written from her teacher or school. That would really help.

You shouldn't be worrying about what she proposes until she actually does. You know the arguements why your schedule is best, and you can argue against arranging the schedule around her work. You can even say you've already tried that before and it didn't work! Focus on what YOU can provide and she'll have a hard time arguing that she can provide better. Especially since you are prepared to share time equally.
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