Meeting with lawyer today, changes in custody laws

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Stillirise

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Meeting with lawyer today, changes in custody laws
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:49:19 AM »
I met with a lawyer awhile back. I told her to begin preparing paperwork to file for divorce.  I have a phone meeting with her this afternoon, because I still feel uncertain about how to proceed with some of our assets, what to ask for in terms of custody, etc.

I don’t feel like I have evidence to make the case that uPDh is abusive to the children.  We live in a region where it seems physical abuse or neglect is the only thing that truly matters in the eyes of the courts. 

Also, there’s a push here for new laws next legislative session ensuring that custody cases start from 50/50, and negotiate accordingly, rather than the current “best interest of the children, and equitable for the parents,” type language that currently exists. I agree with this change when you have 2 normal, willing parents.  However, this could be a huge issue in our case.  It is absolutely not in our children’s best interest for uPDh to be their caregiver 50% of the time.  I think he even knows that’s not realistic. However, I also know he would not want to be seen by others as having “given away” parenting time, as would be the case if he were to “allow” me to have more than 50% physical custody. 

So, now I have to decide if I want to play the slow and steady game, as planned, or move up my timelines to try and make this happen before the potential changes in custody laws.

Any thoughts, or anything you’d wished you’d gotten more clarity on at the beginning of the process?

Thanks! 

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Penny Lane

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Re: Meeting with lawyer today, changes in custody laws
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2019, 03:56:21 PM »
It's hard to know for sure. But I vote you do it on your own time and not worry so much about the law.

My reasoning is that I've seen groups push laws like this in several states I've lived in. They often don't go anywhere. Unless it seems that the bill has a lot of momentum, I would remind you that there is a long way to go between a bill and a law.

And anyway if it does pass - a LOT of the people on this board have seen their divorces drag out years, like multiple. So even if you filed tomorrow there's no guarantee that the law would be the same when you're doing final negotiations. (That being said, the temporary custody agreement is often the basis for the permanent order - so if you start off with more than 50% I think you have a generally better chance of getting it).

Ultimately though there is no wrong answer here - it's up to you and whether you feel ready and able. Good luck.

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Stillirise

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Re: Meeting with lawyer today, changes in custody laws
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2019, 05:39:41 PM »
Penny Lane,
Thanks for the encouragement. I spoke with my lawyer, and she said basically the same thing.  My very first priority is the best interest of the children. Last week, DD9 gave me a Christmas list asking for her parents to get along, then asked me if “we” could divorce uPDh.  It was heartbreaking.  I tried to keep the discussion minimal, abstract and hypothetical. However, I made sure to explain  that even if  that did happen, she would still have to spend time with him.

Plus, there’s also such a complicated mess of properties, assets, common business interests, etc., that it just seems so overwhelming to try and sort it all out.  I’ve been sitting on the paperwork, because I’m just not sure I have it in me yet to take it all on.  I’ve always been proud of my ability to tackle big projects, but this..... :blink:

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Meeting with lawyer today, changes in custody laws
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 09:06:29 PM »
Any chance you two can separate and work an arrangement so the courts are not involved.
I.e. separate but still married?

If not, this could be tricky.

I live in a state where it's almost always 50/50 and there is a mandatory 1 year legal separation in separate dwellings. 

For these reasons I am holding out as married until later. 

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hhaw

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Re: Meeting with lawyer today, changes in custody laws
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2019, 08:51:06 PM »
Before filing officially, see about getting your children into therapy with a really good forensic child psychologist who can advocate for them, and testify if necessary.

Once you file, the PD has the power to block you ever direction you try to get your kids help, IME.

IF you're still married, you have more rights, IME.

Children should have a voice.  They should be protected from the adult conflict.  Judges don't like it when the kids are dragged through the mud, and used as weapons, IME, so do everything you can to document, and SHOW the court what your children's reality is.

What are the laws in your State around recording devices?  Around nanny cams.  Think think think how to best document your case to show the Court the truth with economy of motion.

Good luck,
hhaw



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