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John Domestic
John Domestic, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Over 13 years of Experience in Family Law.
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Our Florida Divorce was finalized in January 2009 and we have

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Our Florida Divorce was finalized in January 2009 and we have 1 minor child in common who will turn 5 in July. At the time of the divorce, my ex was already living in Ohio with his girlfriend and so I was able to get permission to move to Texas. Since we were living 1200 miles apart (whether I was in Texas or Florida), I was made the primary residency parent and he was made the secondary residency parent.

In 2010, my ex and his wife (the same woman as in 2009) moved to Houston, Texas. He started pulling all kinds of power plays about how long he could have visitation with his son that were not in our son's best interest, so I hired a lawyer in Texas to changed the visition to the Texas Standard (that stopped the constant haggling over length of time for each visit -- from 7 days to 5 days, and the transportation issue -- he wanted me to provide all the transportation.) My ex and I agreed on a non-standard visitation plan that is to stay in effect until our son starts Kindergarten. After our son starts kindergarten, then the Texas Standard Visitation Plan goes into effect (we agreed to add 2 weeks visitation in the summer because my ex says he will not be able to exercise his visitation the rest of the year -- his wife wants the holidays for herself). My ex has already asked for visitation time after the school year starts and when I asked him about that he said that he thought we would hold our son back a year and have him start Kindergarten when he is 6. I am not in agreement with that. Our son is very smart and is already spelling his name and counting to 100. Academically he is ready for Kindergarten and it would be detrimental for him to go through pre-school again, not to mention he will be very bored. I didn't mention anything else to my ex about his request for the late August.

How much of a discussion am I supposed to have with my ex about this. I know he has a right to be involved in decisions, but whether or not our child starts Kindergarten at 5 when our son meets the age criteria.

I should also mention, that my ex has constantly tried to claim that our son is "severely developmentally delayed" or "autistic" and I have countered each claim with evidence to the contrary (Easter Seals Developmental Assessment and Pediatric exam).
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  John Domestic replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer. I will answer as clearly as possible. I do ask for you Accept my answer so I am paid when we are done.


At the time the visitation schedule was set in Texas there should have been an order that stated who was the managing "conservator." This is the decision maker for things like education in Texas. If it was a joint managing conservatorship then both of you must come to an agreement on when to start Kindergarten.


Can you read your Texas custody modification order to see if a "managing conservator" was set?



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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Ok. I have been searching for that information in the documents but have been unable to find it. I am attaching the Executed Mediation Agreement as well as the Orders (this is not the executed copy but this version was executed in December and I have a copy at home). The Mediation Agreement states in Section II, paragraph 1 that "All Previous Orders in the Florida Final Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage shall remain in full force and effect except the visitatio schedule modified herein and the issue of child support."

Attachment: 2012-05-01_152300_executed_mediation_agreement_july_2011.pdf

Attachment: 2012-05-01_152424_order_-_pending_execution.pdf

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
During Mediation my lawyer stated that as managing conservator I would be the one to make final decisions on matters like school, etc.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Here is the Florida Divorce Order...

Attachment: 2012-05-01_154043_florida_divorce__mediation_agreement1.pdf

Expert:  John Domestic replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. The portion of the order that says that all remaining provisions of the Florida Custody order remain in effect would result in you still being considered the "primary" residential parent. The term "primary" would translate to managing conservator in Texas. As the managing conservator you have final say in school, etc.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Where do you see in the Florida Divorce Order that I am the primary parent? Or is it a given if I am recieving child support and the father has visitation?
Expert:  John Domestic replied 5 years ago.
I did not originally see your posting of the FL order and settlement. I was going by your statement in your original question about what the FL order said. "I was made the primary residency parent and he was made the secondary residency parent."

Based on the order that you have "shared responsibility" you would be joint managing conservators in TX. This means that you must make the decisions together.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Ok. Then what happens when we can't agree. If the education system & his pre-school teacher say that that our son is ready for Kindergarten and he is of age, and his father wants to hold him back, who makes the final call.


The father is 250 miles away.


Does it make sense to go back to my lawyer to get this changed?