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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37003
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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I am a "never-married" father from massachusetts. Like many

Customer Question

I am a "never-married" father from massachusetts. Like many others i have 50% legal custody and she has soul physical. My case didn't go to trial, we did it all in mediation, but a judge did preside over the case. Years later, I have gone above and beyond everything that is required of me, but my ex continually deliberately breaks the order we have from salem family court. I am repeatedly subjected to early pick-ups with no make-up time, and denials of my "first right of refusal" for caring for my daughter when her mother is unavailable.

What are my options? and what type of sanctions would the court issue to her if this were brought back before a judge? Is there any way i would be granted soul or shared physical custody?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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What are my options? and what type of sanctions would the court issue to her if this were brought back before a judge? Is there any way i would be granted soul or shared physical custody?
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If your ex is repeatedly violating the terms of the order that was put in place by the mediator and then formally signed off by the judge, then you would need to file a motion for contempt of court. Before I did this, I would suggest that you document several instances where she has done this...date, times, facts surrounding it...so you have specific proof of her actions that is indisputable.
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When you file the motion, it will force her to appear in front of the judge and explain why she is violating the judge's orders repeatedly. Although the judge has the power to impose sanctions from nothing up to 6 months in jail, to be honest, if this is the first contempt motion you have filed, it will likley result in a good chewing out by the judge and that is it. A first contempt motion wouldn't be enough to result in any change of the custodial situation, but if she continues, it can be. The judge can agree to change the custody order to provide you more time and can even award you full custody if ex repeatedly violates the order and prevents you from seeing your child.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

could you define or elaborate on "indisputable". should i videotape her mother picking her up from school rather than me? Could you give me some examples of what kind of proof i would need? I have kept a record of all recent infractions in a notebook, but I dont have much other than that.

Expert:  Barrister replied 4 years ago.
Well, "indisputable" may have been a poor choice of words as anything can be disputed. But you would have strong evidence of the breaches by being able to provide specific instances when ex has violated the agreement.
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It wouldn't be enough for you to go in to court and say "she violates the agreement all the time". It is much more persuasive to a judge if you can say "she violates the agreement all the time. For example, on Dec XX, she did this. Then on Jan XX she did this. Then on Jan XX she did this".
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See what I mean? Allegations without supporting evidence aren't as convincing.
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But that is what I was referring to...keeping a record in a notebook of when she is late, when she is early, when she refuses to do something that the agreement says she has to, or when she does something that is prohibited. Witnesses are useful too, but if you have specific dates and times noted, that would likely be enough for a judge to take some kind of punitive action against ex for the violations.
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Thanks.

Barrister

.

Please don't forget to rate my service "OK" or higher. It is only then that I receive credit for my work.

.

If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

.

I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.