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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37861
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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It was originally discussed that my daughter would visit her

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It was originally discussed that my daughter would visit her father for the July 4th weekend. Our visitation agreements state all visits would be mutually agreeed upon by both parties and also taking into consideration the will of the child. There was an oversight on my part with the flight, with me thinking it was a day later than it actually was. My daughter has been involved in camp and wanted to finish the last day, which meant that she couldn't make the flight. I offered to pay the change fee, drive and meet him half way or give him money to change the flight to one day later. He disagreed to all of these things, and needless to say, things escalated greatly. He was also breaking the legally contractually agreement by having his live-in girlfriend stay at the house while my daughter was there, which is against what is in hte papers. By things escalating and a rude text message he left on her phone, she did NOT want to go. Since agreement was not mutual, his girlfriend was staying in the residence, and my daughter's will was to not go, she did not go. He is now threatening a psych evaluation, and threatening suing for custody. I am now scared, even though, I have been operating within what was agreed upon in our papers. Any thoughts are appreciated!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
Custody violations are practically impossible to enforce, because of the complicated facts and typically ambiguous orders. Your facts suggest nothing unusual.

Your ex can throw everything but the kitchen sink into a motion to modify, but if the child doesn't want to cooperate, the court is not going to force her to follow the orders, because there is no enforcement mechanism that can be applied. It's not like the child can be thrown into juvenile hall if she doesn't cooperate.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne, while I completely understand the father's annoyance, he doesn't have a prayer at doing anything more than having the court make future orders written in stone -- i.e., no more what the child wants, no more what either parent wants, exact, specific dates for each important event during the year and no wiggle room.

Which, frankly, is what it should have been from day one -- because that is the only thing that really works to keep the peace.

Note: custody studies are expensive, especially when combined with the associated hearings and legal fees. Most parents fall dead mute as soon as their attorney tells them that they may be into $20,000+ easy to litigate a full custody dispute, and that they may just as easily lose as win. So, unless your ex has deep pockets, this is all just "fireworks," but nothing else.

Happy Fourth of July.

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