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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 90428
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Hello, I have a couple of other general family law questions

Customer Question

Hello, I have a couple of other general family law questions but since you have spent a more than fair amount of time answering my motion specific questions I thought I'd ask if you want to continue with me or allow another expert to answer. Either way is fine. I appreciate all your help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your new question. I am here and have no problem working with you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, great. Thank you.


 


My ex recently gained more visitation. My son is very unhappy with the change, ran away from his dad and is now in therapy. My ex only cares about the reduction he will pay in support.


 


1) My son is age 11 DOB 12-20-01. At what age is his able to have a say to the courts regarding his preference to live with Mom, vs. Dad? Son is very unhappy and has anxiety, etc. over the change.


 


2) When and under what circumstances can I file to modify the visitation again. At this time I only wnat some minor changes for example:


 


a) An outlined Holiday Plan. Judge took away all holidays and told dad & I we need to work it out. Dad responded by stating he wanted our kids for the entirety of Christmas (Eve and Day) and he will not negotiate.


 


b) Judge perceived me to be hindering dad's relationship w/kids (no proof but ex had a big lawyer & I had none) and gave me less time with kids, and used predjudice against me using public child assistance day care, etc. He ordered that I get kids every Wed at 6pm instead of after school (3pm). The distance from my work to my ex's home is 30+ miles.


 


Just as starters I want a holiday and transportation plan. The way the plan is now (except for Wed as I noted aboved) we each get the kids from school or drop them off to school. It's almost summer break, so what happens now? My ex is unreasonable and I can't rely on him to work with me? I don't want to try and regain primary custody at this time but I do want some fairness in close to a 50/50 plan (I was given slightly less than a 50/50 plan).


 


Appreciate your input.


 


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional questions.

1) The age in CA for the court to consider the wishes of the child depends on the educational and emotional maturity of the child and age is not set in the statutes. The courts evaluate the child's emotional and educational maturity to determine if they are aware of the decisions they are expressing and if they are in the best interests of the child. The child's wishes are only one factor the court considers and are not always the determining factor. Your son is very close, depending on maturity in each individual case the age range is usually anywhere from 12-14 when they start considering the wishes of the child.

2) You need major or significant changes in circumstances for the court to revisit visitation modification. The fact the child is running away and if he has a therapist willing to testify in court about the harm caused by this additional visitation time with your ex, then this could be significant change in circumstances sufficient for the court to change visitation rights.

3) If the court is perceiving you as interfering with the relationship with the other parent, then you need to get support from the therapist to show that he is being damaged by the ex's conduct. The court may, and it may be at your cost, so be careful, appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child. Realize these cases are very traumatic on parents and the children involved and the court is stuck in the middle with having to listen to both sides and make an evaluation, so you need to present expert testimony to support your position about the harm this is causing the child.



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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 90428
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Law Educator, Esq. and 21 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the information. I am aware of the details of the therapist, court appointed lawyer, etc. but for now I'm just going to observe things for a while.


FYI, when visitation was just changed in April - there was no major or significant change in circumstance as there should have been. As was my understanding, too.


 


Even still I don't want to pursue a change in visitation at this point just want an outlined Holiday plan, etc. As my ex, will keep kids from me at Christmas if left unchecked. Am I able to petition for minor changes such as an adjustment of 3 hrs of pick-up time or request that ex bring them to me at 6pm rather than me pick them up from him due to commute distance, plus a holiday schedule? Without an official "large scale visitation change" request?


 


My ex has 3 x more income than I do and me having to pick my kids up from him actually adds to my financial hardship. My ex put it in writing that he is agreeable to me getting kids earlier but only if I am not seeking a "change in custody visitation". If I can't put this stuff through the courts then am I without recourse?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your clarification.

You are able to petition for just changes in the holiday plan and pick up/drop off only if the two of you cannot work them out and you would attach an affidavit to the motion that you made a good faith effort to try to negotiate that with the ex and he refused to negotiate.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 90428
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Law Educator, Esq. and 21 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I received an email saying that I needed t rate you, but I see that I have. Thank you for your excellent service.


 


As a final question to this thread please let me know which form I would use to file for...


 


"You are able to petition for just changes in the holiday plan and pick up/drop off only if the two of you cannot work them out and you would attach an affidavit to the motion that you made a good faith effort to try to negotiate that with the ex and he refused to negotiate."


 


The issue has come up sooner than I exected and I already don't see him being willing to negotiate so I should prepare. Thanks.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much, you have rated me. The computer system sends out auto generated emails that we as experts have no control over and I do apologize for any inconvenience.

You use CA form FL-300 to request a modification of custody/visitation, which is what you are asking them to do in modifying the visitation schedule and holiday schedule and pick up/drop off.

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