Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hi. I apologize for your difficult circumstance, and thank you for choosing Justanswer for your legal question(s). My role as expert is to provide you with utmost service through providing legal information that is honest and truthful (and not overly rosy in nature). Notably, I do not provide advice.A mother can go back to court to motion for a change in custodial arrangements. But, she can only do so once a "substantial change" takes place from the time of the last order. For instance, let's say the original order was based on a mother being unfit due to drug dependency. If so, the mother may be eligible to apply for a change upon no longer being drug dependent; that could be a substantial enough of a change to justify bringing suit/a motion for a change in the current order. While it's tough to go from no custody to full, sometimes a substantial enough change can take the arrangement from no custody to 50/50; and, yes, sometimes it even occurs that the court orders a change from no custody to full custody.
Do you have any follow up questions, following my response?
If so, I welcome any and all questions you may have - as I am here to serve you.
does it cost extra to ask more questions?
Not to ask follow up questions, no.
ok... thank you... is receiving excessive phone calls considered harrasment?
It can be, if the calls are excessive and unreasonable - yes.
also is yelling, calling names, and cursing considered harassment or domestic violence?
No, not usually.
so what can we do if the mother of the child continues to act this way in front of the child or step parent?
well i guess i can't ask that
Unfortunately, to so answer would constitute advice.
I can say that excessive calling can constitute harassment.
is it likely for the mother to get custody of the child even though the father is the soul parent?
it is joint custody through mediation right now... but as it stands because the father is the soul parent the child goes to school in the fathers district
can the mother change this?
Such a change would have have to be based on a substantial change in circumstances.
like the mother is still going to drug classes but is done with the court mandated classes
Sure, if that change means that a change in custody would be in the child's best interests.
A history of reverting into bad habits can be used to rebut though.
Moreover, if one parent is closer with the child, that will be an additional consideration by the court.
well isn't abusing drugs during entire pregnancy considered child abuse
the child is only 18 months old how does the court decifer
The court will look at the arrangement in the child's best interests, based on the parent most able and fit to care for the child, the best circumstances, relationship with parents...
how does joint custody work when a child is going to school?
does receiving disability count against a parent trying to get custody?
It certainly presents some difficulties; in such a case, typically the parenting plan allows the parent closer to the school to have the child before too late and through the school day during the week, and the other parent to have the child during the weekend.
Disability typically isn't used against a parent, unless it indicates inability.
so even though the parents works and is obtaining a bachelors degree it could count against the case?
If it could be used to demonstrate inability, possibly. Of course contrary evidence (e.g. getting a college degree) could be used to rebut any statements that it interferes with a parent's ability.
and with the joint custody the parent who has the child during school can't have the child on a weekend?
if a parent has the child every other weekend that wouldn't be considered joint custody?
It could be, but that might look more like unsupervised visitations rather than shared custody.
what does it mean to have sole custody?
It means that custody is not joint (i.e. it is is not shared).
ok... how would that be schedule wise with the child?
Typically, it would mean that the sole custodian has much more parenting time, and the other parent has visitation time.
also... if the father has the child thursday 7:30 pm till monday 10am and the mother has the child from monday 10am to thursday 7:30pm, and lets say the fathers holiday falls on a day or during the time the mother has the child does that time have to be "made up" somewhere or does the schedule stay the same?
and other way around
Good question. Typically, custodial time is made up later on - if a holiday takes up the custodial time of the other parent UNLESS the parties provide for a set holiday schedule.
so if it is every other holiday every other year?
That's one way to do it.
like our agreement is which ever parent has the child on the sunday before a holiday that lands on monday such as labor day and so on which then the parent receiving the child is to pick the child up the following day... in this case the father has the child every weekend there fore every holiday falling on a monday is the fathers and the mother is to pick up the child on that tuesday. does the time taken from the mother due to a holiday have to be "made up" like instead of the father picking the child up on thursday 7:30 does the father have to then pick the child up on friday at 7:30? or does it not matter because it's a holiday and the schedule is the schedule
If provided beforehand as a holiday schedule, it is typically not made up.
ok... so with all the major holidays such as easter thanksgiving christmas etc. if the father has the child on a holiday that is during the mothers time the mother is at a loss with hrs and same the other way around?
Correct. Typically, the way to do that is to even out the holiday days and split times, so that noone loses out.
ok... thank you for clearing that up... sorry.. i had to ask that in different ways just to make sure...
but i still have more questions
No problem, and you are most welcome. It's my pleasure to serve you.
since the schedule is already made out with holidays and times, is it necessary to constantly be in contact with that situation? I mean I understand that the parents being in contact with each other about the child is necessary but does one parent constantly have to be calling or needing to talk about the schedule and that situation with the other? because according to the mother the father and mother still need to be in each others personal life... hmm how do i put that... can each parent have their own thing going on with out the other parent... like do their lives have to be involved with each other? cause when my parents were divorced they never really talked, unless it was about my health or concern, and they just followed the paperwork and schedule
A reasonable amount of contact may be necessary. If the contact is "excessive" a parent may deem it inappropriate to the extent of the contact.
Whether to bring a civil restraining order might in part be guided by the need to maintain some contact though.
Do you have any further questions? I welcome any and all - as I am here to serve you.
do you have a practice or do you only work online?
I work privately, but I cannot share my information as that would be against site rules.
Do you have any further questions? I'm still here to serve you.
so a civil restraining order can be filed just to maintain contact? and doesn't have to be because of harassment or domestic violence?
I'm sorry to confuse; it would be based on harassment or D.V.. What I was saying is that it doesn't typically make sense to file one when continued contact is seemingly necessary.
ok give me one moment to find some of our paperwork
if the parents are supposed to split dr bills and the mother is to provide a copy so the father can pay his half but the mothers doesn't do so how is the father supposed to keep up on his end of it?
or is that a legal advise question?
The father cannot pay his half until the mother proves payment, assuming the mother is required to provide a copy.
what exactly is it that makes the parent better than the other when the judge is deciding to gets cutody?
Per a term like that, a father only need reimbursement upon proof of payment by the mother.
It's based on the best interests of the child, but usually comes down to ability, fitness, and relationship with the parent.
Other considerations include who the better role model, and which one is part of a community/school district to which the child has become acclimated.
so what about with the income of the parents how does that work?
or does that only matter when child support is brought in
That helps to demonstrate ability to care for the child.
It is a factor, but child support can overcome relative inability in this regard.
ok... so if the mother doesn't work and the father does how does that work?
with custody and support
If the mother is below the poverty line, it would be difficult for the father to obtain support from her - as there would be nothing to garnish or request.
so the likely hood of the mother getting custody with no job is slim?
also because the mother stays at home with the child and the father works who has the child best interest then?
If the mother is better suited to be at home with the child, that will be something the court will consider also.
and how do they decifer that with a child that can barely talk
though she doesn't make the money to take care of the child? and which in that case the mother would of course file for child support?
It will be one consideration. Every consideration is a piece of the overall puzzle.
Typically, the court presumes shared custody, unless one parent is unfit or unable.
what is considered harassment exactly?
There is no way to - for certain - say how a court will rule, especially if one party lies.
It's typically considered excessive and unreasonable contact.
i have more questions they are just getting harder to remember... can you give me more information about how the whole mediation and custody thing works?
The parties can agree to a custodial relationship in the mediation itself. If they do not come to an agreement, it will proceed to court, where the judge will order a certain arrangement - based on depositions, documentation, and other considerations.
what is verbal abuse?
is it ok to record such happenings with out the other parties knowledge? like if the mother has a problem when in exchange of the child and begins cursing and yelling etc. are we legally allowed to record it on tape?
Harassment as per 13-2904, 13-2916 and 13-2921
... is verbal abuse.
If the yelling is in a public setting (in which there is no expectation of privacy), one can record it. If it shows a generally disagreeable state, it may be relevant to the court.
However, the court might dismiss such evidence as overly prejudicial to the character of the person.
That is, if it isn't relevant to a cause of action at issue.
Do you have further questions? I'm still here to serve you.
if the parents have already gone through mediation and have come up with a schedule and agreement and there is paperwork on it does it only last for so long and the parents have to go back? or does one parent have to take the other back to court to change things?
Good question. Typically, such agreements are everlasting. However, the other parent can return to court to motion to modify after a substantial change in circumstances from the time of the agreement.
Since they are contracts, these agreements are meant to last UNLESS they have a termination provision.
what is a termination provision?
A provision by which the contract would terminate upon the happening of a condition - as prescribed in the agreement.
ok... hang on one second
Sure, no problem.
the mother in this case is to pay a percentage of the insurance for the child how are those payments to the father supposed to be made?
does she have to pay with a personal check? or is she allowed to pay from her boyfriends company account
Why do you ask? Is one of these forms objectionable to you?
Typically, so long as it's paid - and there's proof of payment - there's no issue.
If payment isn't made, one typically goes back to court to enforce through garnishment.
ok... well I think im done beating our brains for the day lol
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