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Parents with 15yr old daughter have difficulties

Customer Question
Parents with 15yr old...

Parents with 15yr old daughter have difficulties establishing joint custody plan. Wife's attorney threatens to "take custody before the court" - husband feels threatened and angry. Husband proposes to work with family counselor to help parents and daughter communicate andresolve issues to agree on a health co-parenting plan going forward.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in family court?

None - just letter from wife's attorney to 'take custody before the court' - what does that mean technically and practically?

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are they in?

Massachusetts

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No, want to know the technical and practical implications for 'take custody before the court' - sounds terribly threatening to husband.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/13/2017
Family Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,320
Experience: Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

What are the feelings of the daughter about the custody?

Have there been any issues between daughter and father or abnormal levels of conflict?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Daughter is fine with joint custody - confusion and discord pertaining to lack of a plan to spell out what ‘joint custody’ means (requirements, expectations, etc) related to visits with parents (weekends, holidays, vacations)
Family Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Okay so, I do not get what the issue here is? Joint custody typically comes with liberal visitations, generally meaning every other weekend and one day during the week on the off week and alternating holidays. It typically is up to the parents to be agreeable and flexible as these plans, according to our judges in MA, are "not meant to be written in stone" and they expect parents to be flexible and make modifications as necessary for best interests of the child.

So I guess you are telling me that the two parents cannot work together to agree to do what is best for the child?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Agreed. Thank you
Family Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

That was not an answer to you, it was a statement trying to find out if that was the issue you were having.

If that is indeed your issue, you will need to ask the judge to assign a family mediator to sit down with both parents to work out a parenting plan both of you can agree and adhere to. I can say that if the parties cannot agree, when the matter goes before the judge the judge will be told which of the parents was the parent that caused the plan to not work and the judge can come up with a parenting plan that is not very favorable to that parent. So overall, it is so much better for the two parents to work this out and come up with a reasonable plan for the 15 year old's best interests and not for convenience to the parents, instead of getting the judge involved or even a mediator for that matter.

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