I want to give you a tip about reading your minutes from your child custody court hearing very carefully. The minutes from court are like minutes from a meeting. If you were ever in student council as a kid there's a secretary who would take minutes.
In the courtroom there is usually some sort of assistant who takes down the minutes. In Arizona that person is called a judicial assistant and he or she takes minutes of everything that is happening in the courtroom. Then after a court hearing, usually within a few days we will get those minutes from the court.
These minutes in my jurisdiction are called minute entries, although in some jurisdictions they may just call them minutes. Your minute entries are going to contain information that is very important to your case. They will contain deadlines that you are going to have to meet, future court dates, requirements for getting your case ready for court and other miscellaneous requirements. I bring this up because in a recent case where the parties were just recently divorced and the court ordered that one of the parties would be awarded a house and was required to pay the other party a certain amount of money for that person's share of the house.
The party who was supposed to be paying for the share of the value in the house is not able pay but there's no provision in the court's minute entry on what should be done in this case. What we were thinking about doing was filing a motion with the court to have the court modify that part of the minute entry to state basically that the house should be sold and the proceeds equally divided.
In researching the motion we were going to file my client was looking very closely at the minute entry and found a provision buried deep into the long minute entry that said prior to either party initiating a petition in court or litigation in court, they had to attempt settlement at a settlement conference.
We had to brakes on and what essentially we had to do is reach out to the other party to try and resolve this issue by way of a settlement conference before filing anything with the court. So if my client hadn't been looking out and found this provision buried and we had filed something with the court, it's likely that that petition would have been dismissed by our judge. And it's possible that if the other side responded to the petition, that we may have had to pay the other side's attorneys fees and costs.
Oftentimes, one parent's behavior interferes with the other parent's relationship with the kids. Some people go so far as to call this behavior "parental alienation."
If you think you might be a victim of parental alienation, get access to this FREE audio interview with a child therapist BEFORE you raise the "A" word to the other parent or to your judge. Understand how therapeutic intervention might improve your relationship with your children if alienation has, in fact, happened.