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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102317
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Background: We share joint physical/legal custody. Children

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We share joint physical/legal custody. Children are 8,10,&12.
For sake of my questions visitations are as follows:
Tuesday from 3-7pm and weekend visits Friday 3pm to Sunday 7pm

My circumstances have changed. I was laid off of work, and displaced due to long term marriage and could accommodate this early schedule. I also live over 1.5 hours from ex. I am now starting a school to work program. My hours will not allow me to have the Tuesday night dinner anymore and I need to pickup kids on weekends at 7PM on Friday or Saturday.

My ex is not in agreement. I notified ex and they said they do not agree and will leave the kids in the park for me to pick up there. Which is ridiculous in itself.

I checked with court and it is a 3 month or so wait for modification hearing. What can I do in the meantime? The ex is being unreasonable because they want to have date nights on those nights etc.
Our court order does not say anything if one party is late they forfeit time etc.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

Just to clarify, please:

1) Did you already file with the court for modification, or not yet?
2) The clerk told you that there is a three month wait for TEMPORARY ORDERS, or, to have the trial? Or, not sure?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have not filed a modification. I was just hoping to do this out of court first and notify ex of changes.


I am not sure what you mean by temporary orders... Are talking about an ex parte order?

The clerk said to file a request for modification and get a court date assigned would be about 3 months.


I think you have answered my question; thank you.

I am afraid that I have some bad news. A party cannot unilaterally change the custody order without (a) a Judge's consent at a hearing, or, (b) the other party signing off on it and then the Judge signing off on it.

I am therefore afraid that unless the other party agrees to informally modify the arrangement until the formal modification has been heard, one has little options for relief here... I am sorry - I wish I had better news.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So is there a thing as a temporary orders for the judge to sign off since the hearing will be in 3 months?


So what happens when I am late? They can bring that up in court and I technically would be in contempt right?


Well the way it works is the following:

1) A party files for a modification. It will be set for trial, but months down the line.

2) While a modification is pending, either party may request temporary orders that modify the matter until this is re-heard at the trial hearing. These normally take a few weeks at the MOST to be heard.

Ex-parte orders are a separate issue, and because this is not an immediate emergency, these do not apply here (but I see you have down your homework- kudos).

So I assume that the 3 months meant for the trial order originally, but now, I am not sure. It is best to get the clerk to clarify. If she meant the trial, then temporary orders may be heard a lot faster.

It would be unusual for a court to take 3 months to simply hear temporary orders.

So what happens when I am late? They can bring that up in court and I technically would be in contempt right?

Correct. However, contempt is a subjective thing. Punishment can range from admonishment to jailing, but depends on the action and the defense. If you could not do it - simply could not, and tried to work this out with him but he did not reasonably budge at all, then the Judge may be much more lenient. Imprisonment is saved only for brazen/malicious actions.

But it is still best to get this modified formally, of course.

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