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Old 04-04-2005, 01:28 PM   #1
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I've been having problems regarding visitation. My ex has physical costody and the visitation schedule is a classic "cookie cutter" plan. I must admit that I wasn't in a frame of mind to make an informed decision when I accepted the plan so part of the following problem is mine.

The summer visitation schedule conflicts with my work schedule and so I'm given a choice with daycare or having my oldest of 15 watch my youngest of seven when I'm at work. Niether child is interested in in these two scenarios. I'm against them too since my idea of a visitation is actually being with my children.

My ex understands this, but uses the fact I'm not seeing them as often as the divorce agreement dictates as a kind of guilt and leverage on other matters of contention. Recently I asked to see my children individually. Since my son is 15 and my daughter 7 I'd like to spend time with them on things age appropriate. Indeed I see my 7 year old daughter alone many times since my teenage son has "things to do".

My ex is resistant to my seeing my son individually for reasons I don't understand and she will not explain. I asked for four days with my son and she offered a compromize of two days. I don't understand her behavior. My son and I are getting along better than ever and he's growing into a man.

My questions are:

1. Do I hire a lawyer and spend money for modifications of visitation?

2. Is there a better way to do this and save the $ for where it is used best for our children's interests.
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Old 04-04-2005, 04:01 PM   #2
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Even if you hire a lawyer it is possible that they will make you go through mediation first. Which means they would want you guys to come to some sort of agreement. Did you sign your name to a legal document when she created the agreement? That makes a big difference whether you signed and had it notarized. I would suggest you having a lawyer anyway. You could look into the options for legal aid in your area. Have you done any investigation on options for representation yet? you can always call your local social services office and see if they have some resources.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:09 PM   #3
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It also makes a difference depends on if you have a notarized document or a court order. If your visitation agreement has been signed by a judge, that makes it enforcable, and you can hold her in comtempt of court. I dunno your situation. If you file a motion to modify, a judge may request that you settle outside of court. You can always say no. If you file and pay the fees, you are guarenteed your five minutes in front of a judge.

But to answer your questions...

1. That would be the easiest way to do it. Your bases would be covered, you would have someone knowledgable of the law on your side. If you have the money, then go that route. You get what you pay for.

2. You can always file pro-bono, and represent yourself, but you are going to have to work D@MN hard to make sure you are prepared. Going to court, if you are the one to initiate it, is a very serious matter. Especially if it involves how much time you spend with your children.

You specifically asked if the money could be saved to spend in other ways that are better for your children. So maybe you should ask yourself, Isn't time spent with your children the best investment of money you could ever imagine? I would bet your kids would be more then happy to eat mac and cheeze if it meant more time with their father.

If you have the money, then by all means, find the best darned family law atty you can. I would totally agree that a 15yo boy needs as much time with his father as he can get. You should go for full custody of him. He probably needs you more then you know.
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