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Parental Disputes Over School Choice in Joint Custody

In joint custody school choice usually comes up when two parents can't agree on where a child is going to go to school. When I started doing family law over two decades ago, the subject of school choice rarely came up. But this is something that comes up more and more in my practice as of late.

It really comes up when one parent wants the child to go to a private school, for example, that costs money and the other parent wants the child to go to a public school because he or she can't afford the cost of the private school.

In litigating these types of cases, this is the type of information that I have my client research and that I present to the judge. First and foremost I want to know what the different ratings are for each of the schools that are options. I have my client go online and do research. It's pretty easy to do that. You can get the ratings, student teacher ratio and download and print out any other resources that are available. Then I usually use those print outs as...

Never Ask Your Child to Keep a Secret From the Other Parent in a Custody Battle

Asking your child to keep secrets from the other parent is never a good thing, not for the child & not for your custody case.

The other evening I was at Trader Joe's and saw a guy with his little girl who appeared to be about 4 years old. He looked to be with what appeared to be his girlfriend. The little girl had a cup and Trader Joe's was giving out samples of their coffee.

I overheard him say, 'How's your coffee?' I thought to myself, she's a little young to be drinking coffee and not only that it was about 6:30pm. The little girl said it was good, and he replied, 'Well you don't need to tell your Mom that I let you drink coffee, and he went on to say 'You don't need to tell your Mom a lot of the things we do together. And she said, 'well I don't tell Mom what we do together' and then he got on her case, 'Well you told Mom I let you watch DeadPool'

Now DeadPool is a really funny movie but it is definitely not appropriate for a 4-year old. But aside from that, what I really...

Grandparents Rights and Other Third Party Rights in Child Custody

This is one example of a custody case of a grandparent who raised her son's little girl & faced losing custody & visitation rights when mom came back into the picture.

When I talk about third-party rights in child custody cases this can mean grandparents rights, step-parents rights or the rights of the person who has really been deeply involved in a child's life to the extent they say that they have acted in the place of a parent to that child.

I have just finished a case that I've been involved with for several months where my client and her significant other raised a little girl for several years. For the majority of her life really, from the time she was 2 to almost 7. The reason she was raising that little girl because the mother of the child was having some serious problems with drugs and the father of the child who was my client's son was unavailable.

So at the request of the mother, my client took physical custody of the little girl and raised her pretty much as...

What If One Party in a Custody Case is Engaged in Stripping or Prostitution?

So I want to break the question down into two parts because there's first the stripping part of it and then there's the prostitution part of it. In most states in America prostitution is a crime but I don't believe that it's a crime in the state of Nevada so if I were approaching this case and the party on the other side was prostituting I would talk to the judge about the fact that this person isn't obeying the law unless of course the case is taking place in Nevada.

Anytime a person is not obeying the law it shows that maybe their judgment could affect the best interest of the children and traditionally something like prostitution is considered a crime of moral turpitude. So if a person knows that it's a crime to be a prostitute yet they continue to prostitute they're breaking the law. If it's a situation where it just happened once and maybe it was a mistake in judgment but if they continue to do it then it's a pattern of behavior and I would argue that it could negatively...

Does a Judge Conduct Child Interviews in Custody Cases?

It is somewhat unusual for a judge to conduct the child interview instead of a mental health professional in custody cases.

I'm going to talk about a question that I got from one of viewers on child interviews in child custody. In this particular case my viewers judge is about ready to interview the children. This case is unusual because it's actually the judge who's going to be interviewing the children as opposed to a mental health professional which is what often happens in Arizona. So before I dive into the answer I want to remind you about why judges might order children to be interviewed in the first place.

As you might think back to the best interest factors i talk about in so many of these videos one of the factors that the judge looks at is what are the children's wishes. When the children are old enough for a sufficient maturity to express themselves then a judge will have them interviewed & there's a couple ways that judges can do this.

The most common way that I see...