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Child Custody Trial Preparation: Preparing Your Pretrial Statement

In your child custody trial preparations you must file a pretrial statement to the judge in your case.

Your pretrial statement is a statement to the judge where you tell the judge what it is that you're asking for at trial.

This is an important part of your child custody trial preparation. In different states and countries different judges have different rules about what's required in your pretrial statement.

Consider Actions & Behavior of Other Party When Making Custody Decisions

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I want to talk with you about considering actions or behavior of the other party when you are making decisions in your custody case.

Within the last few days I met with a potential client and he and his ex entered into an agreement for joint custody and equal parenting time just a few months ago.

However this potential client was upset because the other parent wasn't following their agreements and so he wanted to change custody and parenting time.

There were problems with because one, they had just entered into an agreement a few months ago. But another reason he wanted to change the current arrangement that he agreed to was because he said the other party had done certain things that affected the safety and well-being of their children.

When he named off those things to me I was quite surprised and thought this could make a difference in a custody or parenting time case. It could sway the judge one way or the other. I asked him when did these things happen and when did you find...

What a PreTrial Statement is and What You Need to Include in It Before Your Custody Trial

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I want to talk to you about something that's closely related to one of the videos I've done in the last couple weeks about providing notice.   If you haven't watched that video already, go back and take a look at it just.   To briefly summarize in the video I tell you that you have to put the other party on notice of all the claims that you're making in your case. So related to that I want to talk about the pretrial statement. Your pretrial statement is a statement to the judge where you tell the judge what it is that you're asking for at trial. I imagine that in different states and countries different judges have different rules about what's required in your pretrial statement. In Arizona the judges require us and the rules require us to include information about the uncontested issues.   That means issues that parties don't necessarily disagree on in fact. Those are issues that the parties might actually agree upon.

We also have to include...

Giving Notice of Your Claims To The Other Party in Your Custody Case

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When you are preparing to go to trial in your case always give the other party notice of your claims. The other party needs to know what you are asking for to give them a chance to do what they need to do to defend those claims.

 In other words you can’t decide a week before the trial or even the day of the trial asking for new things or bringing up new claims that the other party doesn’t know about.   The reason for this is you have to give the other party a chance to defend against your claims, so they can gather whatever evidence they need to defend against those claims.

 As an aside if you ask for something in your initial petition for whatever it is you filed, decision making, parenting time, child support and you change your mind along the way and intend to ask for something different, it’s a pretty good idea to let the other party know as soon as you change your mind so they know what direction you are headed.

 

My EX Wants to Relocate Our Children in Our Child Custody Case!

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One of my viewers who is facing what she calls a move away trial in just a couple of weeks. In this case her ex is trying to relocate the children to some other place, a different city or state or even country from where the children are currently residing.

The thing that you have to remember in relocation cases is like any other custody or parenting time case the judge is going to look at the best interest factors I've talked a lot about. But on top of that , in relocation cases there probably are additional factors that the judge is going to need to hear about in making a decision about relocation. For example in Arizona there are special factors that apply in relocation cases that a judge is going to want to hear about.

Some examples of those factors are whether the relocation request is being made in good faith or whether it's being opposed in good or bad faith. The judge is going to look at the prospect for improving the quality of life that the relocation may offer the child...

One Thing You Should NOT Be Focusing On At Your Child Custody Hearing

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In this weeks video I want to talk to you about the one thing that you should not be focusing on when you go into court for your custody trial. This is a lesson I learned in a trial I had just last week. In this case my client had had pretty limited parenting time with his 2 kids a little more than a year. He went back to court and was asking the court to award him equal time.

This is a lesson I learned in a trial I had just last week. In this case my client had had pretty limited parenting time with his 2 kids a little more than a year. He went back to court and was asking the court to award him equal time.

Fortunately he emerged victorious. One of the things that emerged during the trial that became apparent was that the other party was very focused on being in opposition to my client’s request for more time with his 2 kids. And the reason why she was opposed is because it was going to negatively affect her.

When she got on the stand she talked about how bad for her for...

Trading Parenting Time With The Other Parent Especially When it Comes to Special Occasions

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I want to talk with you about trading parenting time with the other parents especially when it comes to special occasions.   This issue comes up quite a bit in my practice and you know I thought it was worth making a video about.   So several years ago I had a client who had a little girl and it was his weekend with his daughter.   They had plans to go to the zoo and kind of at the last minute the other parent (mom) asked my client if he would trade weekends with her.

The reason that mom wanted weekends wanted on what would not normally be her weekend, is because her oldest son was coming home from the military after having been discharged for a few years.   So the son who was coming home was my clients daughters half sibling and my client was annoyed, one because mom is asking at the last minute but two because it was his weekend and he had plans.   So my client said no and what the other party did is she got her attorney and they...

Will a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia or Other Mental Illness Affect Your Custody Rights?

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In this week’s video I’m going to talk about whether schizophrenia or any other major mental health diagnosis gets in the way of you having custody of your children.  The answer is no.  Just because you are diagnosed with something like schizophrenia does not mean that you are automatically going to lose custody of your children.

I’ve had cases in the past where my clients’ have had episodes that were quite serious and led to the reaffirmation of a diagnosis of schizophrenia or a new diagnosis of schizophrenia and they ended up with custody of the children. But the key is this.  In these cases my client actually followed the directions of their mental health professional.

They took the medications, they showed up for their appointment and they did everything to the tee.  They were highly motivated to keep custody of the children.  And they still have custody to this day.  And as a matter of fact the agreement entered into by...

Is Your Legal Standing as a Parent Being Ignored by Your Child's School, Daycare or Doctor?

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What should a person do if a school, daycare or doctor is ignoring their legal standing as a parent.  The first part of the question is that I want to explore whether or not you really do have legal standing.  You may know you are the birth parent of the child but that does not necessarily mean that you have legal standing.   You need to look at the rules in your state.

In some states it is enough, if you are the father for example, the fact that you are listed on the birth certificate can convey legal standing.  It shows that you are the legal parent of the child. In other states, the fact that you are on the birth certificate may not be enough. 

Part two of what you have to look at is whether or not you have a court order for custody and parenting time.  Because for some schools, daycares and doctor offices the fact that you have a birth certificate which conveys legal standing or even the fact that you have a court order which says that you are...

Letting Things Go (On Your Own Terms) in Your Custody Case

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My little girl is going to be seven years old next month.  I can't believe it and time is flying and I'm trying to figure out a way that I can squeeze the most out of every day with her.  But that's a whole other topic!  Last night my husband,  my daughter and I were talking about her seventh birthday party.   For all the years that she's been alive to this point we've always had her birthday party at our house.   We've invited family over and there's been lots of family and last year there was a bunch of kids. 

We had a Piñata and cake and food and it was a huge thing.  This year I thought that it would be fun to have the party at a pool and the reason is because one of my brother's friends is actually a beautiful mermaid who does tricks in the pool.   While my daughter still kind of believes and magic and fairy tales and mermaids and unicorns I thought it would be cool to do something a little...