Today I want to talk with you about an argument that comes up a lot in child custody cases especially when parties have been living together and sharing child custody for a significant period of time.
What I often hear is that one parent or the other was the primary caretaker of the kids and that the other parent really wasn't all that involved in their school, or extracurricular activities or maybe taking them to the doctor. So the argument that the parent who says they were the primary caretaker is that they should continue to be the primary caretaker because the children are used to them being around all the time.
The person who was not involved as much in the children's day to day life is now saying, that that is not really fair because circumstances have changed. I'm not in a position where I'm going to come home every night to see the kids even though I'm not the one giving them the nightly baths or doing the nightly homework.
So, I do want equal parenting time and more time...
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...
What happens in child custody if a mother is breastfeeding? Does the father get any parenting time at all? If so, how much?
As I've said in many of these videos the answer to the question is it depends on a lot. If you're a fit parent or a fit father, you don't have any mental or emotional issues you should be getting parenting time with your infant child for sure. There’s tons of studies on the importance of a child bonding not only with mother but also with the father during the early months and years of their lives. So there's a lot of support for you getting time with your child.
The question is how much and how often are you getting that time if the mother of the child is breastfeeding?
According to June 6, 2018 court papers in the Angelina Jolie/ Brad Pitt custody battle it appears that the children are being closed down to a relationship to their father. This can be considered parental alienation.
The June 6th Court papers obtained by People Magazine states:
"The children not having a relationship with their father is harmful to them and that Jolie could be in danger of losing full custody if the minor children remain closed down to their father."
I would categorize this divorce as a high-conflict divorce and the custody battle seems to be heating up.
I have seen in my custody cases that many times one of the parents will not promote and at worse still discourage the children from seeing the other parent. This is called parental alienation and is quite common especially in bitter custody battles.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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...
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...